Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Infect Immun. 1993 Oct;61(10):4064-71.

Bordetella pertussis induces apoptosis in macrophages: role of adenylate cyclase-hemolysin.

Author information

Unité de Bactériologie Moléculaire et Médicale, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U199, Paris, France.


Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, has been shown recently to enter and survive in epithelial cells and macrophages in vitro. In the present study, we show that B. pertussis is cytotoxic for J774A.1 cells, a monocyte-macrophage cell line, and for murine alveolar macrophages. We demonstrate that cell cytotoxicity mediated by B. pertussis occurred through apoptosis, as shown by changes in nuclear morphology and by host cell DNA fragmentation. Parental strains and a mutant deficient in pertussis toxin expression are able to induce apoptosis, whereas avirulent mutant or adenylate cyclase-hemolysin-deficient mutants are not cytotoxic. Both adenylate cyclase and hemolytic activities are required for programmed cell death. These results show that induction of apoptosis is dependent on the expression of adenylate cyclase-hemolysin. The infection of murine alveolar macrophages in primary culture with B. pertussis leads to apoptosis, suggesting that this process might be relevant in vivo. The ability of B. pertussis to promote cell death may be important for the initiation of infection, bacterial survival, and escape of the host immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center