Michael Crowley

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States

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Publications (3)15.57 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The most common causes of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are Gram-negative pathogens such as Escherichia coli; however, Gram-positive organisms, including Streptococcus agalactiae, or group B streptococcus (GBS), also cause UTI. In GBS infection, UTI progresses to cystitis once the bacteria colonize the bladder, but the host responses triggered in the bladder immediately following infection are largely unknown. Here, we used genome-wide expression profiling to map the bladder transcriptome of GBS UTI in mice infected transurethrally with uropathogenic GBS that was cultured from a 35-year-old women with cystitis. RNA from bladders was applied to Affymetrix Gene-1.0ST microarrays; quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to analyze selected gene responses identified in array data sets. A surprisingly small significant-gene list of 172 genes was identified at 24 h; this compared to 2,507 genes identified in a side-by-side comparison with uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). No genes exhibited significantly altered expression at 2 h in GBS-infected mice according to arrays despite high bladder bacterial loads at this early time point. The absence of a marked early host response to GBS juxtaposed with broad-based bladder responses activated by UPEC at 2 h. Bioinformatics analyses, including integrative system-level network mapping, revealed multiple activated biological pathways in the GBS bladder transcriptome that regulate leukocyte activation, inflammation, apoptosis, and cytokine-chemokine biosynthesis. These findings define a novel, minimalistic type of bladder host response triggered by GBS UTI, which comprises collective antimicrobial pathways that differ dramatically from those activated by UPEC. Overall, this study emphasizes the unique nature of bladder immune activation mechanisms triggered by distinct uropathogens.
    Infection and immunity 06/2012; 80(9):3145-60. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early transcriptional activation events that occur in bladder immediately following bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI) are not well defined. In this study, we describe the whole bladder transcriptome of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) cystitis in mice using genome-wide expression profiling to define the transcriptome of innate immune activation stemming from UPEC colonization of the bladder. Bladder RNA from female C57BL/6 mice, analyzed using 1.0 ST-Affymetrix microarrays, revealed extensive activation of diverse sets of innate immune response genes, including those that encode multiple IL-family members, receptors, metabolic regulators, MAPK activators, and lymphocyte signaling molecules. These were among 1564 genes differentially regulated at 2 h postinfection, highlighting a rapid and broad innate immune response to bladder colonization. Integrative systems-level analyses using InnateDB (http://www.innatedb.com) bioinformatics and ingenuity pathway analysis identified multiple distinct biological pathways in the bladder transcriptome with extensive involvement of lymphocyte signaling, cell cycle alterations, cytoskeletal, and metabolic changes. A key regulator of IL activity identified in the transcriptome was IL-10, which was analyzed functionally to reveal marked exacerbation of cystitis in IL-10-deficient mice. Studies of clinical UTI revealed significantly elevated urinary IL-10 in patients with UPEC cystitis, indicating a role for IL-10 in the innate response to human UTI. The whole bladder transcriptome presented in this work provides new insight into the diversity of innate factors that determine UTI on a genome-wide scale and will be valuable for further data mining. Identification of protective roles for other elements in the transcriptome will provide critical new insight into the complex cascade of events that underpin UTI.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2011; 188(2):781-92. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) causes urinary tract infections, but the pathogenic mechanisms underlying GBS urinary tract infections are unknown. We investigated whether uropathogenic GBS can bind to bladder uroepithelium to initiate urinary tract infection. Uropathogenic GBS isolated from a patient with acute cystitis bound to human T24 bladder uroepithelial cells in close association with F-actin in statistically significantly higher numbers compared with nonuropathogenic GBS. In vivo modeling using transurethrally infected mice revealed superior fitness of uropathogenic GBS for bladder colonization and potent uropathogenic GBS-specific up-regulation of interleukin 1alpha during infection. Thus, binding of uropathogenic GBS to uroepithelium and vigorous induction of interleukin 1alpha represents the initial stages of GBS urinary tract infection.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/2010; 201(6):866-70. · 5.85 Impact Factor