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Infect Immun. 1996 Jun;64(6):2106-13.

Differential secretion of interleukin-8 by human epithelial cell lines upon entry of virulent or nonvirulent Yersinia enterocolitica.

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  • 1Microbial Pathogenesis Unit, International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Brussels, Belgium.


Epithelial cells of the intestinal mucosa are among the first cells encountered by invasive pathogens. Bacterial invasion of the mucosa gives rise to an inflammatory response, characterized by the influx of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The chemotactic stimulus responsible for this accumulation is unknown, but several in vitro studies have demonstrated that epithelial cells secrete the chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8), a potent chemoattractant of polymorphonuclear leukocytes, upon bacterial entry. In this study we analyzed the secretion of IL-8 by human intestinal (T84) and cervical (HeLa) epithelial cell lines in response to infection with the enteric pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica. IL-8 was secreted by T84 and HeLa cells in response to invasion by Y. enterocolitica. Virulent Y. enterocolitica induced a significantly lower level of IL-8 secretion than nonvirulent Y. enterocolitica. Subsequent analysis employing a mutant defective in Yop secretion and various yop mutants showed that the reduced secretion of IL-8 is due to the presence of Yop proteins. Our data suggest that YopB and YopD are required for the suppressive effect.

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