TITLE

Bacterial Pore-Forming Cytolysins Induce Neuronal Damage in a Rat Model of Neonatal Meningitis

AUTHOR(S)
Reiß, Anja; Braun, Johann S.; Jäger, Katja; Freyer, Dorette; Laube, Gregor; Bührer, Christoph; Felderhoff-Muser, Ursula; Stadelmann, Christine; Nizet, Victor; Weber, Joerg R.
PUB. DATE
February 2011
SOURCE
Journal of Infectious Diseases;2/1/2011, Vol. 203 Issue 3, p393
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) are leading causes of bacterial meningitis in neonates and children. Each pathogen produces a pore-forming cytolytic toxin, β-hemolysin/cytolysin (β-h/c) by GBS and pneumolysin by SP. The aim of this study was to understand the role of these pore-forming cytotoxins, in particular of the GBS β-h/c, as potential neurotoxins in experimental neonatal meningitis. Methods. Meningitis was induced in 7- and 11-day-old rats by intracisternal injection of wild type (WT) GBS or SP and compared with isogenic β-h/c- or pneumolysin-deficient mutants, or a double mutant of SP deficient in pneumolysin and hydrogen peroxide production. Results. GBS β-h/c and SP pneumolysin contributed to neuronal damage, worsened clinical outcome and weight loss, but had no influence on the early kinetics of leukocyte influx and bacterial growth in the cerebrospinal fluid. In vitro, β-h/c-induced neuronal apoptosis occurred independently of caspase-activation and was not preventable by the broad spectrum caspase-inhibitor z-VAD-fmk. Conclusions. These data suggest that both cytolytic toxins, the GBS β-h/c and SP pneumolysin, contribute to neuronal damage in meningitis and extend the concept of a key role for bacterial pore-forming cytolysins in the pathogenesis and sequelae of neonatal meningitis.
ACCESSION #
57754699

 

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