Participation of the Salmonella OmpD Porin in the Infection of RAW264.7 Macrophages and BALB/c Mice

Salmonella Typhimurium is the etiological agent of gastroenteritis in humans and enteric fever in mice. Inside these hosts, Salmonella must overcome hostile conditions to develop a successful infection, a process in which the levels of porins may be critical. Herein, the role of the Salmonella Typhimurium porin OmpD in the infection process was assessed for adherence, invasion and proliferation in RAW264.7 mouse macrophages and in BALB/c mice. In cultured macrophages, a ΔompD strain exhibited increased invasion and proliferation phenotypes as compared to its parental strain. In contrast, overexpression of ompD caused a reduction in bacterial proliferation but did not affect adherence or invasion. In the murine model, the ΔompD strain showed increased ability to survive and replicate in target organs of infection. The ompD transcript levels showed a down-regulation when Salmonella resided within cultured macrophages and when it colonized target organs in infected mice. Additionally, cultured macrophages infected with the ΔompD strain produced lower levels of reactive oxygen species, suggesting that down-regulation of ompD could favor replication of Salmonella inside macrophages and the subsequent systemic dissemination, by limiting the reactive oxygen species response of the host.