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J Leukoc Biol. 2008 May;83(5):1100-10. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1207810. Epub 2008 Feb 25.

Human monocytes/macrophages are a target of Neisseria meningitidis Adhesin A (NadA).

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Centro Ricerche Biotecnologie Innovative, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy.


Specific surface proteins of Neisseria meningitidis have been proposed to stimulate leukocytes during tissue invasion and septic shock. In this study, we demonstrate that the adhesin N. meningitidis Adhesin A (NadA) involved in the colonization of the respiratory epithelium by hypervirulent N. meningitidis B strains also binds to and activates human monocytes/macrophages. Expression of NadA on the surface on Escherichia coli does not increase bacterial-monocyte association, but a NadA-positive strain induced a significantly higher amount of TNF-alpha and IL-8 compared with the parental NadA-negative strain, suggesting that NadA has an intrinsic stimulatory action on these cells. Consistently, highly pure, soluble NadA(Delta351-405), a proposed component of an antimeningococcal vaccine, efficiently stimulates monocytes/macrophages to secrete a selected pattern of cytokines and chemotactic factors characterized by high levels of IL-8, IL-6, MCP-1, and MIP-1alpha and low levels of the main vasoactive mediators TNF-alpha and IL-1. NadA(Delta351-405) also inhibited monocyte apoptosis and determined its differentiation into a macrophage-like phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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