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Microbes Infect. 2006 Jun;8(7):1826-38. Epub 2006 May 5.

The O-antigen affects replication of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in murine macrophage-like J774-A.1 cells through modulation of host cell nitric oxide production.

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Microbiology and Tumour Biology Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 16, 177 71 Stockholm, Sweden.


O-antigen-proficient and defined O-antigen-deficient mutants of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium were compared for intracellular replication and induction of nitric oxide (NO) expression in the murine macrophage-like cell line J774-A.1. While O-antigen-proficient bacteria replicated and provoked induction of host cell NO synthesis to expected levels, DeltawaaK, DeltawaaL and DeltawaaKL mutants displayed increased growth yields and induction of significantly lower levels of macrophage NO production. The downregulation of NO production did not involve suppression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, yet it depended on bacterial protein synthesis during infection of J774-A.1 cells. In contrast, when inhibitor substances were used to block iNOS activity, the growth yield of the wild type significantly exceeded that of the DeltawaaL mutant bacteria. Inactivation of the Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI1)-associated bacterial type III secretion system did not affect intracellular replication in the wild type or the DeltawaaL background. However, inactivation of the SPI2-associated type III secretion strongly abrogated bacterial intracellular replication, and the DeltawaaLDeltassaV double mutant lost the ability to suppress NO expression. The results imply that a lack of O-antigen may increase bacterial fitness in J774-A.1 cells through suppression of iNOS activity, and that the O-antigen may protect against NO-independent restriction of bacterial intracellular replication.

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