Complement activation is closely associated with plasma endotoxin levels in patients with meningococcal infections. This study assessed complement activation induced by purified Neisseria meningitidis lipopolysaccharide (Nm-LPS), native outer membrane vesicles (nOMVs), LPS-depleted outer membrane vesicles (dOMVs), wild-type meningococci, and an LPS-free mutant (lpxA(-)) from the same strain (44/76) in whole blood anticoagulated with the recombinant hirudin analogue. Complement activation products (C1rs-C1 inhibitor complexes, C4d, C3bBbP, and terminal SC5b-9 complex) were measured by double-antibody EIAs. Nm-LPS was a weak complement activator. Complement activation increased with preparations containing nOMVs, dOMVs, and wild-type bacteria at constant LPS concentrations. With the same protein concentration, complement activation induced by nOMVs, dOMVs, and the LPS-free mutant was equal. The massive complement activation observed in patients with fulminant meningococcal septicemia is, presumably, an indirect effect of the massive endotoxemia. Outer membrane proteins may be more potent complement activators than meningococcal LPSs.
"Most Gram-negative bacteria shed these vesicles, both constitutively during normal growth, and to a greater extent under stressful environmental conditions.27 OMVs from various organisms have been shown to contain lipopolysaccharide and proteins as well as DNA,28,29 and a recent study has identified the proteome of OMVs shed from NTHi during stationary phase growth in rich media in vitro.30 A number of reasons for OMV shedding have been proposed, including niche competition with other bacteria, as a mechanism of horizontal gene transfer, as a method of antigen delivery to host cells, and as quorum-sensing molecule shuttles in biofilms.31,32 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) are human-adapted Gram-negative bacteria that comprise part of the normal flora of the human upper airway, but are also responsible for a number of mucosal infections such as otitis media and bronchitis. These infections often recur and can become chronic. To characterize the effect of long-term co-culture of NTHi with human tissues, we infected primary respiratory epithelial cells grown at the air-liquid interface with three NTHi strains over a range of 1-10 days. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of tissues confirmed that intact NTHi were persisting paracellularly, while organisms observed in intracellular vacuoles appeared degraded. Furthermore, the apical surface and tight junctions of the infected tissues were undisturbed, with high transepithelial electrical resistances, while the basal cell layer displayed more junctional disorganization and wider intercellular spaces than the uninfected control tissues. Although the tissues elaborated the cytokine profile reported for NTHi-caused otitis media in vivo, there was little change in the dynamics of cytokine secretion over the time points tested. Finally, we report that NTHi strains released outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) during extended co-culture with the tissues, and show that these OMVs directly interact with host cell membranes.
Experimental Biology and Medicine 05/2012; 237(5):540-7. DOI:10.1258/ebm.2012.011377 · 2.17 Impact Factor
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