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Int Immunol. 2007 Apr;19(4):375-89. Epub 2007 Feb 16.

TLR2-dependent recognition of Streptococcus suis is modulated by the presence of capsular polysaccharide which modifies macrophage responsiveness.

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Groupe de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses du Porc and Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Porcine, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, St-Hyacinthe, Québec, J2S 2M2, Canada.


Streptococcus suis capsular type 2 is an important swine pathogen and an agent of zoonosis. Although meningitis is the most common form of disease, septicemia and septic shock are also frequently reported. Despite reports that CD14 is involved in the recognition of encapsulated S. suis by host cells, the mechanisms underlying exacerbated release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may have a negative impact on disease outcome, are unclear. Here, we demonstrated that stimulation of human monocytes by whole encapsulated S. suis or its purified cell wall components influences the relative expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and CD14 mRNA. Moreover, this stimulation triggered the release of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6) and chemokines (IL-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1), which was significantly reduced by antibody-mediated blocking of TLR2 but not TLR4. Mouse macrophages deficient in TLR2 also showed impaired cytokine responses to encapsulated bacteria. Given that this response was completely abrogated in myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88)-deficient macrophages, other TLRs might also be involved. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the presence of capsular polysaccharide (CPS)-modulated S. suis interactions with TLRs. In the absence of CPS, uncovered cell wall components induced cytokine and chemokine production via TLR2-dependent as well as -independent pathways, whereas CPS contributes to MCP-1 production in a MyD88-independent manner. Overall, this study contributes to a better understanding of the inflammatory processes induced by an encapsulated pathogen and suggests that the relative expression of CPS, known to be modulated during bacterial invasion and dissemination in the host, might alter interactions with host cells and, consequently, the outcome of the inflammatory response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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