Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 380, Issue 3, pp 187–203 | Cite as

The early events of experimental Brucella infection in the mouse

Relationships of bacteria with phagocytic cells and lymphoid tissue responses
  • Jean Oberti
  • Jacques Roux
  • Simone Sanchez-Teff
  • René Caravano


The local lymph node and the spleen of the mouse were examined with combined techniques during the 10 days following a subcutaneous inoculation of living Brucella suis. Light and electron microscopy on epoxy-embedded tissues provided information on the modifications in histological architecture and on the differentiation of various cell series. Incorporation of tritiated thymidine, observed by autoradiography and scintillation counting indicated the degree of cellular activation. Finally, the use of purified, specific, peroxidase-conjugated antibodies allowed a more precise observation of the dissemination of inoculated bacteria, their relationship to phagocytic cells, and the degree of their degradation. It was observed that early activation was mainly seen in macrophages and reticular cells. The participation of the latter cells was apparently more important than in comparative studies concerning other bacteria inducing delayed hypersensitivity (DHS). In contrast, activation of lymphoÏd cells was delayed and moderate; the slow response of plasma cells was noticeable, especially in the lymph node. Dissemination from the site of inoculation of bacteria was probably continuous during the entire observation period. Free, non-altered bacteria were encountered in the sinuses of both organs. Intracellular bacteria showing very different degrees of degradation were seen in macrophages and reticular cells; here again, the participation of reticular cells seemed a special feature of Brucella infection. These data give to Brucella infection of the mouse the features of a T-cell immunological response, but delayed as compared to other immunogens of the same type, and accompanied by peculiar cell reactions. These results are discussed in the light of comparative studies it is suggested that the timing of the induction of antibody production, could play a critical role in the establishment of DHS.

Key words

Brucella Mouse experimental infection Phagocytic cells Immunological response High resolution autoradiography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Oberti
    • 1
  • Jacques Roux
    • 1
  • Simone Sanchez-Teff
    • 1
  • René Caravano
    • 1
  1. 1.Groupe I.N.S.E.R.M. U.65 and Equipe de Recherche Associée nℴ 568 du C.N.R.S.Institut de BiologieMontpellierFrance

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