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Kidney Int. 2007 Apr;71(8):778-86. Epub 2007 Jan 17.

Fimbrial lectins influence the chemokine repertoire in the urinary tract mucosa.

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Department of MIG, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


The defense against mucosal infections relies on chemokines that recruit inflammatory cells to the mucosa. This study examined if the chemokine response to uro-pathogenic Escherichia coli is influenced by fimbrial expression. The CXC (CXCL1, CXCL5, CXCL8, CXCL9, CXCL10) and CC chemokines (CCL2, CCL3, CCL5) were quantified after in vitro infection of uro-epithelial cells with a fimbriated E. coli pyelonephritis isolate, or with P or type 1 fimbriated transformants of an avirulent E. coli K-12 strain. The response profile was shown to vary with the fimbrial type. Type 1 fimbriated E. coli elicited mainly CXCL1 and CXCL8, whereas P fimbriated E. coli stimulated CCL2 and CCL5 and class II were more potent chemokine inducers than class III P fimbriae. Chemokines were also quantified in urine samples from 73 patients with febrile urinary tract infection, and analyzed as a function of disease severity and fimbrial expression by the strain infecting each patient. A complex CXC and CC chemokine response was detected in patient urine, with a significant influence of the fimbrial type. The results show that virulence factors like fimbriae may modify the mucosal chemokine response. This mechanism may allow the host to adjust the inflammatory cell infiltrate to fit the infecting strain.

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