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J Infect Dis. 2003 Jul 1;188(1):108-13. Epub 2003 Jun 12.

Polymorphic membrane protein (PMP) 20 and PMP 21 of Chlamydia pneumoniae induce proinflammatory mediators in human endothelial cells in vitro by activation of the nuclear factor-kappaB pathway.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


We tested whether polymorphic membrane proteins (PMPs) of Chlamydia pneumoniae might play a role in triggering an inflammatory response in human endothelial cells. Of 15 purified, recombinant chlamydial PMPs tested, 2 (PMP 20 and PMP 21) dose-dependently increased the production of the inflammatory mediators interleukin (IL)-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), in cultured human endothelial cells; production of IL-8 was also increased. When endothelial cells were infected by live C. pneumoniae, an increase in the production of IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1 was seen. We used adenovirus-induced overexpression of IkappaBalpha-an inhibitor of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB-to demonstrate that PMP 20 and PMP 21 increase the production of IL-6 and MCP-1 in human endothelial cells by activation of the NF-kappaB pathway, because, in cells overexpressing IkappaBalpha, treatment with the respective PMP did not result in increased production of IL-6 and MCP-1. Thus, C. pneumoniae could, by interactions of its PMPs with the endothelium, contribute to the process of vascular injury during the development and progression of atherosclerotic lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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