Complement activation induced by purified Neisseria meningitidis lipopolysaccharide (LPS), outer membrane vesicles, whole bacteria, and an LPS-free mutant.
ABSTRACT 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.
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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. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is activated during an immune challenge to liberate energy and modulate immune responses via feedback and regulatory mechanisms. Inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins are known contributors to HPA activation; however, most previous studies only looked at specific time points following LPS administration. Since whole bacteria have different immune stimulatory properties compared with LPS, the aim of the present studies was to determine whether different immune products contribute to HPA activation at different times following live Escherichia coli challenge. Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intraperitoneally with E. coli (2.5 × 10(7) CFU) and a time course of circulating corticosterone, ACTH, inflammatory cytokines, and PGE(2) was developed. Plasma corticosterone peaked 0.5 h after E. coli and steadily returned to baseline by 4 h. Plasma PGE(2) correlated with the early rise in plasma corticosterone, whereas inflammatory cytokines were not detected until 2 h. Pretreatment with indomethacin, a nonselective cyclooxygenase inhibitor, completely blocked the early rise in plasma corticosterone, but not at 2 h, whereas pretreatment with IL-6 antibodies had no effect on the early rise in corticosterone but attenuated corticosterone at 2 h. Interestingly, indomethacin pretreatment did not completely block the early rise in corticosterone following a higher concentration of E. coli (2.5 × 10(8) CFU). Further studies revealed that only animals receiving indomethacin prior to E. coli displayed elevated plasma and liver cytokines at early time points (0.5 and 1 h), suggesting prostaglandins suppress early inflammatory cytokine production. Overall, these data indicate prostaglandins largely mediate the early rise in plasma corticosterone, while inflammatory cytokines contribute to maintaining levels of corticosterone at later time points.AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 09/2011; 301(6):R1648-57. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) is a strict human pathogen that closely interacts with human endothelial cells via type IV pili in vitro. To decipher whether this interaction plays a role in vivo, we set up an experimental model of fulminant meningococcemia in human skin grafted SCID mice using the wild type strain 2C4.3. Human skin and mouse tissues were sampled 24 hours after bacterial challenge for histopathology, immuno-histochemistry and ultrastructural analysis. In all infected mice, Nm targeted the human vasculature, leading to bacterial and blood thrombi, infectious vasculitis and vascular leakage. Mouse vessels, including brain vessels remained unaffected by the infectious and thrombotic process, and a non-piliated Δ pilE derivative of 2C4.3 failed to target human graft vessels and to induce vascular damages. These data demonstrate that N. meningitidis targets human endothelial cells in vivo and that this interaction triggers the vascular damages that characterize purpura fulminans.The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2013; · 5.85 Impact Factor