Cellular and molecular dynamics in the lungs of neonatal and juvenile mice in response to E. coli

Sharon A McGrath-Morrow, Jarrett Venezia, Roland Ndeh, Nigel Michki, Javier Perez, Benjamin David Singer, Raffaello Cimbro, Mark Soloski, Alan L. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacterial pneumonia in neonates can cause significant morbidity and mortality when compared to other childhood age groups. To understand the immune mechanisms that underlie these age-related differences, we employed a mouse model of Escherichia coli pneumonia to deter-mine the dynamic cellular and molecular differences in immune responsiveness between neonates (PND 3–5) and juveniles (PND 12–18), at 24, 48, and 72 hr. Cytokine gene expression from whole lung extracts was also quantified at these time points, using quantitative RT-PCR. E. coli challenge resulted in rapid and significant increases in neutrophils, monocytes, and γδT cells, along with significant decreases in dendritic cells and alveolar macrophages in the lungs of both neonates and juveniles. E. coli-challenged juvenile lung had significant increases in interstitial macrophages and recruited monocytes that were not observed in neonatal lungs. Expression of IFNγ-responsive genes was positively correlated with the levels and dynamics of MHCII-expressing innate cells in neonatal and juvenile lungs. Several facets of immune responsiveness in the wild-type neonates were recapitulated in juvenile MHCII−/− juveniles. Employing a pre-clinical model of E. coli pneumonia, we identified significant differences in the early cellular and molecular dynamics in the lungs that likely contribute to the elevated susceptibility of neonates to bacterial pneumonia and could represent targets for intervention to improve respiratory outcomes and survivability of neonates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere82933
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Cellular and molecular dynamics in the lungs of neonatal and juvenile mice in response to E. coli'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this