IL-10 plays an important role in the control of inflammation but not in the bacterial burden in S. epidermidis CNS catheter infection

Yenis M. Gutierrez-Murgas, Gwenn Skar, Danielle Ramirez, Matthew Beaver, Jessica Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Shunt infection is a frequent and serious complication in the surgical treatment in hydrocephalus. Previous studies have shown an attenuated immune response to these biofilm-mediated infections. We proposed that IL-10 reduces the inflammatory response to Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) CNS catheter infection. Methods: In this study, a murine model of catheter-associated S. epidermidis biofilm infection in the CNS was generated based on a well-established similar model for S. aureus. The catheters were pre-coated with a clinically derived biofilm-forming strain of S. epidermidis (strain 1457) which were then stereotactically implanted into the lateral left ventricle of 8-week-old C57BL/6 and IL-10 knockout (IL-10 knockout) mice. Bacterial titers as well as cytokine and chemokine levels were measured at days 3, 5, 7, and 10 in mice implanted with sterile and S. epidermidis-coated catheters. Results: Cultures demonstrated a catheter-associated and parenchymal infection that persisted through 10 days following infection. Cytokine analysis of the tissue surrounding the catheters revealed greater levels of IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, in the infected group compared to the sterile. In IL-10 KO mice, we noted no change in bacterial burdens, showing that IL-10 is not needed to control the infection in a CNS catheter infection model. However, IL-10 KO mice had increased levels of pro-inflammatory mediators in the tissues immediately adjacent to the infected catheter, as well as an increase in weight loss. Conclusions: Together our results indicate that IL-10 plays a key role in regulating the inflammatory response to CNS catheter infection but not in control of bacterial burdens. Therefore, IL-10 may be a useful therapeutic target for immune modulation in CNS catheter infection but this should be used in conjunction with antibiotic therapy for bacterial eradication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number271
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 13 2016


  • Biofilm
  • Catheter
  • Central nervous system
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • IL-10
  • S. epidermidis
  • Shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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