Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 1999 Oct 15;163(8):4308-14.

Cerebral endothelial cells release TNF-alpha after stimulation with cell walls of Streptococcus pneumoniae and regulate inducible nitric oxide synthase and ICAM-1 expression via autocrine loops.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Institute of Medical Immunology, für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Universitaetsklinikum Charité, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.


TNF-alpha, inducible NO synthase (iNOS), and ICAM-1 are considered to be key proteins in the inflammatory response of most tissues. We tested the hypothesis that cell walls of Streptococcus pneumoniae (PCW), the most common cause of adult bacterial meningitis, induce TNF-alpha, iNOS, and ICAM-1 expression in rat primary brain microvascular endothelial cell cultures. We detected TNF-alpha mRNA by RT-PCR already 1 h after stimulation with PCW, while TNF-alpha protein peaked at 4 h (9.4 +/- 3.6 vs 0.1 +/- 0.1 pg/microgram protein). PCW induced iNOS mRNA 2 h after stimulation, followed by an increase of the NO degradation product nitrite (18.1 +/- 4 vs 5.8 +/- 1.8 at 12 h; 18.1 +/- 4 vs 5.8 +/- 1.8 pmol/microgram protein at 72 h). The addition of TNF-alpha Ab significantly reduced nitrite production to 62.2 +/- 14.4% compared with PCW-stimulated brain microvascular endothelial cells (100%). PCW induced the expression of ICAM-1 (measured by FACS), which was completely blocked by TNF-alpha Ab (142 +/- 18.6 vs 97.5 +/- 12.4%; 100% unstimulated brain microvascular endothelial cells). Cerebral endothelial cells express TNF-alpha mRNA as well as iNOS mRNA and release the bioactive proteins in response to PCW. PCW-induced NO production is mediated in part by an autocrine pathway involving TNF-alpha, whereas ICAM-1 expression is completely mediated by this autocrine loop. By these mechanisms, cerebral endothelial cells may regulate critical steps in inflammatory blood-brain-barrier disruption of bacterial meningitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk