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Infect Immun. 2002 Aug;70(8):4075-82.

Bacterium-induced CXCL10 secretion by osteoblasts can be mediated in part through toll-like receptor 4.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 28223, USA.


Two common pathogens known to cause bone infection, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus, were investigated to determine their abilities to induce chemokine expression in cultured mouse and human osteoblasts. While these cells are responsible for bone formation, we were surprised to find that they could respond to bacterial infection by upregulating expression of the chemokine CXCL10 (IP-10). However, there were significant differences in the abilities of the gram-negative bacterium Salmonella and the gram-positive bacterium S. aureus to induce expression of CXCL10. Reverse transcription-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analyses showed high levels of Salmonella-induced CXCL10 mRNA and protein expression, respectively, whereas the osteoblast response to S. aureus was significantly less. Consistent with these findings, Salmonella-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS), but not S. aureus-derived peptidoglycan, could induce expression of CXCL10. An antibody against toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) could block the LPS-induced CXCL10 production, demonstrating the functional expression of TLR4 by osteoblasts. Despite the inducible nature of TLR2 mRNA expression by bacterium-infected osteoblasts, peptidoglycan failed to stimulate CXCL10 secretion. Immunofluorescent staining of bacterium-infected calvaria (i.e., skull bone) demonstrated the presence of CXCL10 in osteoblasts. The fact that osteoblasts did not express CXCR3 mRNA, whereas T lymphocytes can express high levels of this receptor, suggests that osteoblast-derived CXCL10 may recruit T lymphocytes to the sites of bone infections.

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