Transgenic C57BL/6 mice expressing human serum amyloid P component (HuSAP) are resistant to Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) at dosages that are lethal in HuSAP-negative wild-type mice. However, it is well established that Stx2 initiates extra-intestinal complications such as the haemolytic-uremic syndrome despite the presence of HuSAP in human sera. We now demonstrate that co-administering purified Escherichia coli O55 lipopolysaccharide (LPS), at a dosage of 300 ng/g body weight, to HuSAP-transgenic mice increases their susceptibility to the lethal effects of Stx2. The enhanced susceptibility to Stx2 correlated with an increased expression of genes encoding the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα and chemokines of the CXC and CC families in the kidneys of LPS-treated mice, 48 hours after the Stx2/LPS challenge. Co-administering the glucocorticoid dexamethasone, but not the LPS neutralizing cationic peptide LL-37, protected LPS-sensitized HuSAP-transgenic mice from lethal doses of Stx2. Dexamethasone protection was specifically associated with decreased expression of the same inflammatory mediators (CXC and CC-type chemokines and TNFα) linked to enhanced susceptibility caused by LPS. The studies reveal further details about the complex cascade of host-related events that are initiated by Stx2 as well as establish a new animal model system in which to investigate strategies for diminishing serious Stx2-mediated complications in humans infected with enterohemorrhagic E. coli strains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)