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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Feb;6(1):61-5.

Recent progress in understanding Bartonella-induced vascular proliferation.

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Division of Molecular Microbiology, Biozentrum of the University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


The ability to induce endothelial cell proliferation is a common feature of human pathogenic Bartonella species. Recent data have indicated that bartonellae can provoke angioproliferation by at least two independent mechanisms: directly, by triggering proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis of endothelial cells; and indirectly, by stimulating a paracrine angiogenic loop of vascular endothelial growth factor production by infected macrophages. A NF-kappaB-mediated acute inflammatory reaction of the Bartonella-infected endothelium appears to be critical for the recruitment of monocytes/macrophages and the initiation and maintenance of a paracrine angiogenic loop. Given that bartonellae effectively adhere to and invade endothelial cells, their ability to trigger angioproliferation might represent a dedicated pathogenic strategy for expanding the bacterial host cell habitat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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