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Open Access Short Report

Hyperoxia accelerates Fas-mediated signaling and apoptosis in the lungs of Legionella pneumophila pneumonia

Tsuneharu Maeda12, Soichiro Kimura1*, Tetsuya Matsumoto3, Yoshinari Tanabe2, Fumitake Gejyo2 and Keizo Yamaguchi1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Toho University Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo 143-8540, Japan

2 Division of Respiratory Medicine and Infection Control and Prevention Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata University Medical School, Niigata 951-8510, Japan

3 Department of Microbiology, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:107  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-107

Published: 6 April 2011



Oxygen supplementation is commonly given to the patients with severe pneumonia including Legionella disease. Recent data suggested that apoptosis may play an important role, not only in the pathogenesis of Legionella pneumonia, but also in oxygen-induced tissue damage. In the present study, the lethal sensitivity to Legionella pneumonia were compared in the setting of hyperoxia between wild-type and Fas-deficient mice.


C57BL/6 mice and B6.MRL-Faslpr mice characterized with Fas-deficiency were used in this study. After intratracheal administration of L. pneumophila, mice were kept in hyperoxic conditions (85-90% O2 conc.) in an airtight chamber for 3 days. Bone-marrow derived macrophages infected with L. pneumophila were also kept in hyperoxic conditions. Caspase activity and cytokine production were determined by using commercially available kits. Smaller increases of several apoptosis markers, such as caspase-3 and -8, were demonstrated in Fas-deficient mice, even though the bacterial burdens in Fas-deficient and wild type mice were similar. Bone-marrow derived macrophages from Fas-deficient mice were shown to be more resistant to Legionella-induced cytotoxicity than those from wild-type mice under hyperoxia.


These results demonstrated that Fas-mediated signaling and apoptosis may be a crucial factor in the pathogenesis of Legionella pneumonia in the setting of hyperoxia.