Sialylation of Campylobacter jejuni Lipo-Oligosaccharides: Impact on Phagocytosis and Cytokine Production in Mice

Ruth Huizinga, AS Easton, AM Donachie, J Guthrie, Wouter Rijs, Astrid Heikema, L (Louis) Boon, Janneke Samsom, B.C. Jacobs, HJ Willison, CS Goodyear

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Background: Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a post-infectious polyradiculoneuropathy, frequently associated with antecedent Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) infection. The presence of sialic acid on C. jejuni lipo-oligosaccharide (LOS) is considered a risk factor for development of GBS as it crucially determines the structural homology between LOS and gangliosides, explaining the induction of cross-reactive neurotoxic antibodies. Sialylated C. jejuni are recognised by TLR4 and sialoadhesin; however, the functional implications of these interactions in vivo are unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study we investigated the effects of bacterial sialylation on phagocytosis and cytokine secretion by mouse myeloid cells in vitro and in vivo. Using fluorescently labelled GM1a/GD1a ganglioside-mimicking C. jejuni strains and corresponding (Cst-II-mutant) control strains lacking sialic acid, we show that sialylated C. jejuni was more efficiently phagocytosed in vitro by BM-M Phi, but not by BM-DC. In addition, LOS sialylation increased the production of IL Conclusions/Significance: These results identify novel immune stimulatory effects of C. jejuni sialylation, which may be important in inducing cross-reactive humoral responses that cause GBS.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPLoS One (print)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC MM-02-72-02
  • EMC MM-04-44-02
  • EMC MM-04-54-07

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