Functional analysis of the role of interferon gamma through the characterisation of conditional interferon gamma receptor two mouse mutants.

    Student thesis: Phd


    The data presented within this thesis shows the generation and characterisation of a complete-, macrophage/granulocyte- and T cell-specific IFNγR2 deficient mouse mutant. This mutant mouse is a valuable tool in dissecting the mechanism of action of the pleiotrophic cytokine IFNγ.The global mutant mouse was tested in three models in vivo - DSS induced colitis, Trichuris muris infection and EAE. The aim of the DSS-induced colitis model was to test the role of IFNγ in the innate immune system and, despite previous reports demonstrating IFNγ deficient mice are protected from DSS-colitis, our IFNγR2 deficient mice displayed equal or more severe colitis than control mice. We hypothesise that this discrepancy is due to differences in the gut microbiota.The Trichuris muris model was utilised as a method of examining the role of IFNγ in the adaptive immune system. The complete IFNγR2 mutant was resistant to a low dose T. muris infection; however, neither the T cell specific nor the macrophage/granulocyte specific mutant duplicated the resistant phenotype observed in the global knock-out mice. Analysis of a double conditional T cell and macrophage/granulocyte specific IFNγR2 mutant produced inconsistent results. Initial experiments suggested that, in combination, these deficiencies are sufficient to duplicate the resistant phenotype observed in the global mutant mice, but this was not reproducible.The final in vivo model that we used to analyse IFNγR2 mutant mice was EAE. This model was chosen as, for a long time, the mechanism of action and the involvement of IFNγ in EAE has been a matter of uncertainty. These results demonstrated that global IFNγR2 mutant mice demonstrate an atypical phenotype, with no signs of recovery. In contrast, control mice develop classical EAE symptoms with almost complete recovery prior to the termination of the experiment.The IFNγ receptor mutant mouse generated will be of great value to the scientific community as IFNγ has been demonstrated to play a role in multiple diseases and this tool allows the mechanism of action of this cytokine to be unravelled.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorWerner Muller (Supervisor)


    • conditional mouse mutant
    • DSS colitis
    • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
    • Trichuris muris
    • Interferon gamma

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