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Microb Pathog. 2001 Mar;30(3):157-66.

The impact of Haemophilus ducreyi cytolethal distending toxin on cells involved in immune response.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, S-413 46, Sweden.


The Haemophilus ducreyi cytolethal distending toxin (HdCDT) induces cell cycle arrest and thereby inhibits cell proliferation of many cultured mammalian cell-lines. We investigated the effect of HdCDT on circulating human hematopoietic cells, including T- and B-cells, monocytes and polymorphonuclear cells (PMN). Lymphocytes were stimulated with T- and B-cell specific mitogens, whereas monocytes and PMN with endotoxin. HdCDT inhibited the mitogen-induced proliferation of T-cells in a dose-dependent manner as assayed by [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation and MTT assays. Similarly to T-cells, HdCDT also inhibited the proliferation of B-cells and consequently the immunoglobulin production, measured by ELISPOT and ELISA assays. In contrast, the HdCDT did not affect monocytes or PMN, as measured by MTT assay. The TNF-alpha production by monocytes and the phagocytic ability of PMN were neither affected. The monocytic cell line THP-1 was, however, sensitive to the toxin, seen as a reduction of proliferation and viability after exposure to HdCDT. In conclusion, exposure to HdCDT significantly affects the proliferation and other biological activities of stimulated human T- and B-cells, while circulating monocytes and PMN are not sensitive to HdCDT. The sensitivity of cells of the acquired immune system to HdCDT may hamper specific host response to H. ducreyi and contribute to persistence of chancroid lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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