Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The outer membrane of cultivated Leptospira species includes lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a porin (OmpL1), and several lipoproteins including LipL36 and LipL41. Experiments were conducted to characterize the in vivo expression and distribution of outer membrane antigens in infected hamster kidney. Hamsters were infected by intraperitoneal inoculation with virulent L. kirschneri serovar grippotyphosa, L. interrogans serovars canicola or lai, or L. borgpetersenii serovar hardjo. Immunohistochemistry using monoclonal LPS antibody or monospecific polyclonal outer membrane protein antisera was used to demonstrate antigens in kidneys 4, 10, and 28 days after inoculation. At all stages of infection LPS, OmpL1, and LipL41 were demonstrated on organisms colonizing the renal tubular lumen. Antisera against LipL41 could detect all 4 strains of Leptospira. Although LipL36 is a prominent outer membrane antigen of cultivated L. kirschneri, it could not be detected in vivo. LP was found throughout the cytoplasm of renal tubular epithelial cells whose luminal surfaces were colonized. At 28 days after inoculation, LPS and OmpL1 were also detected in the interstitium within phagocytes, suggestive that intraluminal shedding and tubular epithelial cell uptake and transport of outer membrane components contribute to the persistent and progressive local host inflammatory response. Taken together, these data support the relevance of outer membrane components in the pathogenesis of leptospiral nephritis, and the potential for OmpL1 and LipL41 in diagnostics and vaccine development.