Salmonella infection enhances erythropoietin production by the kidney and liver, which correlates with elevated bacterial burdens

Lin Xi Li, Joseph M. Benoun, Kipp Weiskopf, K. Christopher Garcia, Stephen J Mcsorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Salmonella infection profoundly affects host erythroid development, but the mechanisms responsible for this effect remain poorly understood. We monitored the impact of Salmonella infection on erythroid development and found that systemic infection induced anemia, splenomegaly, elevated erythropoietin (EPO) levels, and extramedullary erythropoiesis in a process independent of Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI2) or flagellin. The circulating EPO level was also constitutively higher in mice lacking the expression of signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα). The expression level of EPO mRNA was elevated in the kidney and liver but not increased in the spleens of infected mice despite the presence of extramedullary erythropoiesis in this tissue. In contrast to data from a previous report, mice lacking EPO receptor (EPOR) expression on nonerythroid cells (EPOR rescued) had bacterial loads similar to those of wild-type mice following Salmonella infection. Indeed, treatment to reduce splenic erythroblasts and mature red blood cells correlated with elevated bacterial burdens, implying that extramedullary erythropoiesis benefits the host. Together, these findings emphasize the profound effect of Salmonella infection on erythroid development and suggest that the modulation of erythroid development has both positive and negative consequences for host immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2833-2841
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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