Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is involved in host defense against bacterial infection. Little is known about the role of IL-17 in A. baumannii-infected pneumonia. Our objective was to investigate the role of IL-17 in pulmonary A. baumannii infection in a mouse model. We infected C57BL/6 mice intra-tracheally (i.t.) with A. baumannii to establish pneumonia model and found A. baumannii infection elevated IL-17 expression in lungs. IL-17-deficient (Il17) mice were resistant to pulmonary A. baumannii infection, showing improved mice survival, reduced bacteria burdens, and alleviated lung inflammation. Further, treatment of A. baumannii-infected Il17 mice with IL-17 exacerbated the severity of pneumonia. These data suggest a pathogenic role of IL-17 in pulmonary A. baumannii infection. Further, the infiltration and phagocytic function of neutrophils in broncho-alveolar lavage fluid were detected by flow cytometry. The results showed that Il17 mice had increased neutrophil infiltration and enhanced phagocytosis in neutrophils at the early time of infection. Treatment of mice with IL-17 suppressed phagocytic function of neutrophils. All data suggest that IL-17 promotes susceptibility of mice to pulmonary A. baumannii infection by suppressing neutrophil phagocytosis at early time of infection. Targeting IL-17 might be a potential therapeutic strategy in controlling the outcome of A. baumannii pneumonia.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.