Christodoulides, Myron, Makepeace, Benjamin L., Partridge, Kris A., Kaur, Davindaur, Fowler, Mark I., Weller, Roy O. and Heckels, John E.
Interaction of Neisseria meningitidis with human meningeal cells induces the secretion of a distinct group of chemotactic, proinflammatory, and growth-factor cytokines
Infection and Immunity, 70, (8), . (doi:10.1128/IAI.70.8.4035-4044.2002).
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The interactions of Neisseria meningitidis with cells of the leptomeninges are pivotal events in the progression of bacterial leptomeningitis. An in vitro model based on the culture of human meningioma cells was used to investigate the role of the leptomeninges in the inflammatory response. Following challenge with meningococci, meningioma cells secreted specifically the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), the CXC chemokine IL-8, the CC chemokines monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and regulated-upon-activation, normal-T-cell expressed and secreted protein (RANTES), and the cytokine growth factor granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). A temporal pattern of cytokine production was observed, with early secretion of IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1 followed by later increases in RANTES and GM-CSF levels. IL-6 was induced equally by the interactions of piliated and nonpiliated meningococci, whereas lipopolysaccharide (LPS) had a minimal effect, suggesting that other, possibly secreted, bacterial components were responsible.
Induction of IL-8 and MCP-1 also did not require adherence of bacteria to meningeal cells, but LPS was implicated. In contrast, efficient stimulation of RANTES by intact meningococci required pilus-mediated adherence, which served to deliver increased local concentrations of LPS onto the surface of meningeal cells. Secretion of GM-CSF was induced by pilus-mediated interactions but did not involve LPS. In addition, capsule expression had a specific inhibitory effect on GM-CSF secretion, which was not observed with IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, or RANTES. Thus, the data demonstrate that cells of the leptomeninges are not inert but are active participants in the innate host response during leptomeningitis and that there is a complex relationship between expression of meningococcal components and cytokine induction.
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