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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetics, Physiology, and Health Research to Improve Catfish Production

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Early gene response of human brain endothelial cells to Listeria monocytogenes

item Wang, Chinling
item Chou, Chung-hsi
item Tseng, Charles
item Ge, Xijin
item Pinchuk, Lesya

Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2011
Publication Date: 5/5/2011
Publication URL:
Citation: Wang, C., Chou, C., Tseng, C., Ge, X., Pinchuk, L.M. 2011. Early gene response of human brain endothelial cells to Listeria monocytogenes. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 57:441-446.

Interpretive Summary: Listeria monocytogenes is a intracellular bacterium that can lead to fatal infection in humans if it invades the central nervous system (CNS). Direct invasion of vascular endothelial cells by L. monocytogenes is one of the major mechanisms for CNS infection. The survival of the invading pathogen depends on its virulence and the response of the host cells to the pathogen. Understanding the host cell response to L. monocytogenes could be important for controlling L. monocytogenes infections and the associated illness. We used molecular biological techniques to study expression of genes in human brain microvascular endothelial cells 4 hours after infection with L. monocytogenes. Expression of 456 genes changed including upregulation of the cytokines interlukin-8 and interlukin-15. These cytokines are both involved in the attraction and proliferation of immune function related cells (neutrophils, T-lymphocytes and NK cells). The results suggest that the human brain microvascular endothelial cells are capable of recruiting cells of the immune response during early L. monocytogenes. This research is important in understanding L. monocytogenes infections and host response.

Technical Abstract: The gene expression of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) to Listeria monocytogenes at 4 hour infection was analyzed. Four hours after infection, the expression of 456 genes of HBMEC had changed (p<0.05). We noted that many active genes were involved in the formyl-methionylleucylphenylalanine (fMLP) pathway in infected HBMEC. In the up-regulated genes, mRNA levels of interleukin-8 and -15 in infected cells had increased according to microarray and real-time RT-PCR analyses. Since both cytokines are regarded as potent chemotactic factors, the results suggest that HBMEC are capable of recruiting cells of innate and adaptive immune responses during early L. monocytogenes infection.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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