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Sex differences in IL-17 contribute to chronicity in male versus female urinary tract infection

Abstract : Sex-based differences influence incidence and outcome of infectious disease. Women have a significantly greater incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) than men, yet, conversely, male UTI is more persistent with greater associated morbidity. Mechanisms underlying these sex-based differences are unknown, in part due to a lack of experimental models. We optimized a model to transurethrally infect male mice and directly compared UTI in both sexes. Although both sexes were initially equally colonized by uropathogenic E. coli, only male and testosterone-treated female mice remained chronically infected for up to 4 weeks. Female mice had more robust innate responses, including higher IL-17 expression, and increased γδ T cells and group 3 innate lymphoid cells in the bladder following infection. Accordingly, neutralizing IL-17 abolished resolution in female mice, identifying a cytokine pathway necessary for bacterial clearance. Our findings support the concept that sex-based responses to UTI contribute to impaired innate immunity in males and provide a rationale for non-antibiotic-based immune targeting to improve the response to UTI.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 3:04:37 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 4:06:10 PM

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Anna Zychlinsky Scharff, Matthieu Rousseau, Livia Lacerda Mariano, Tracy Canton, Camila Rosat Consiglio, et al.. Sex differences in IL-17 contribute to chronicity in male versus female urinary tract infection. JCI Insight, American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2019, 5, ⟨10.1172/jci.insight.122998⟩. ⟨pasteur-02173511⟩

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