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Immunology. 1997 Jun;91(2):281-8.

The involvement of macrophage-derived tumour necrosis factor and lipoxygenase products on the neutrophil recruitment induced by Clostridium difficile toxin B.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology/Clinical Research Unit-HUWC, Federal University of CearĂ¡, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil.


Clostridium difficile (Cd) toxins appear to mediate the inflammatory response in pseudomembranous colitis and/or colitis associated with the use of antibiotics. In contrast to Cd Toxin A (TxA), Cd Toxin B (TxB) has been reported not to promote fluid secretion or morphological damage in rabbits and hamsters and also does not induce neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. However, TxB is about 1000 times more potent than TxA in stimulating the release of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) by cultured monocytes. In the present study, we investigated the ability of TxB to promote neutrophil migration into peritoneal cavities and subcutaneous air-pouches of rats. We also examined the role of resident peritoneal cells in this process as well as the inflammatory mediators involved. TxB caused a significant and dose-dependent neutrophil influx with a maximal response at 0.1 microgram/cavity after 4 hr. Depleting the peritoneal resident cell population by washing the peritoneal cavity or increasing this population by pretreating the animals with thioglycollate blocked and amplified the TxB-induced neutrophil migration, respectively. Pretreating the animals with MK886 (a lipoxygenase inhibitor), NDGA (a dual cyclo- and lipoxygenase inhibitor) or the glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, but not with indomethacin (a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor), or BN52021 (a platelet-activating factor antagonist), inhibited the neutrophil migration evoked by TxB. Pretreatment with dexamethasone or the administration of anti-TNF-alpha serum into the air-pouches also significantly reduced the TxB-induced neutrophil migration. Supernatants from TxB-stimulated macrophages induced neutrophil migration when injected into the rat peritoneal cavity. This effect was attenuated by the addition of either MK886 or dexamethasone to the macrophage monolayer and by preincubating the supernatants with anti-TNF-alpha serum. TxB also stimulated the release of TNF-alpha by macrophages. Overall, these results suggest that TxB induces an intense neutrophil migration which is mediated by macrophage-derived TNF-alpha and lipoxygenase products.

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