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Microb Pathog. 2007 May-Jun;42(5-6):167-73. Epub 2007 Jan 25.

Mannheimia haemolytica leukotoxin-induced cytolysis of ovine (Ovis aries) leukocytes is mediated by CD18, the beta subunit of beta2-integrins.

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Department of Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-7040, USA.


Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica causes severe pneumonia in cattle, sheep and goats. Leukotoxin (Lkt) is the most important virulence determinant produced by this organism. Previously, we identified CD18, the beta subunit of beta(2)-integrins, as the receptor for Lkt on bovine leukocytes. Since Lkt is specific for leukocytes of cattle, sheep and goats, we hypothesized that Lkt utilizes CD18 as its receptor on ovine leukocytes as well. Therefore, the objective of this study was to transfect an Lkt-resistant murine cell line (P815) with cDNA encoding ovine CD18, and to determine the susceptibility of the transfectants to Lkt-induced cytolysis. cDNA for ovine CD18 cloned from polymorphonuclear leukocytes was transfected into P815 cells. Flow cytometric analysis of the transfectants revealed surface expression of ovine CD18, and Lkt binding. In a cytotoxicity assay, the transfectants were lysed by Lkt in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas the parent cells were not. Pre-incubation of Lkt with an anti-Lkt neutralizing antibody and pre-incubation of transfectants with an anti-CD18 antibody resulted in inhibition of cytolysis confirming the interaction between Lkt and CD18. Taken together, these results indicate that CD18 on ovine leukocytes serves as a receptor for Lkt, and that CD18 is sufficient to mediate Lkt-induced cytolysis of ovine leukocytes.

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