Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-7 (7)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Characterization of Released Polypeptides During an Interferon-γ-Dependent Antibacterial Response in Airway Epithelial Cells 
When pathogenic bacteria breach the epithelial lining at mucosal surfaces, rapidly available innate immune mechanisms are critical to halt the infection. In the present study, we characterized the production of antibacterial polypeptides released by epithelial cells. IFN-γ, but neither TNF nor IL-1β alone, induced release of antibacterial activity to a cell culture medium, causing a lytic appearance of killed bacteria as revealed by electron microscopy. Addition of the protein streptococcal inhibitor of complement, derived from Streptococcus pyogenes, known for its ability to neutralize antimicrobial polypeptides (AMPs), reduced the antibacterial activity of the medium. Characterization of the antibacterial incubation medium using mass spectrometric approaches and ELISAs, displayed presence of several classical AMPs, antibacterial chemokines, as well as complement factors and proteases that may interfere with bacterial killing. Many were constitutively produced, that is, being released by cells incubated in a medium alone. While a combination of IFN-γ and TNF did not increase bacterial killing, the presence of TNF boosted the amounts and detectable number of AMPs, including antibacterial chemokines. However, the methods applied in the study failed to single out certain AMPs as critical mediators, but rather demonstrate the broad range of molecules involved. Since many AMPs are higly amphiphatic in nature (i.e., cationic and hydrophobic), it is possible that difficulties in optimizing recovery present limitations in the context investigated. The findings demonstrate that epithelial cells have a constitutive production of AMPs and that IFN-γ is an important inducer of an antibacterial response in which is likely to be a critical part of the innate host defense against pathogenic bacteria at mucosal surfaces.
PMCID: PMC3493045  PMID: 22909116
2.  The Prognostic Value of suPAR Compared to Other Inflammatory Markers in Patients with Severe Sepsis 
Biomarker Insights  2012;7:39-44.
It has been suggested that soluble urokinase plasminogen activator (suPAR) can be used as a marker of disease severity and risk of mortality in sepsis. The aim with the present study was to compare plasma levels of suPAR in patients with severe sepsis to control subjects and correlate it with the level of inflammatory activation, severity and mortality. Samples were collected from 27 sepsis patients at the intensive care unit (ICU), Lund, Sweden; 90-day mortalities were registered. The suPAR level was significantly elevated in sepsis patients compared to controls, but not significantly higher in nonsurvivors than survivors. Plasma levels of suPAR did correlate weakly with the SOFA score and myeloperoxidase (MPO) but not with CRP, PCT, IL-6 or IL-10 in patients with severe sepsis. The weak correlation between suPAR and other inflammatory markers might suggest that suPAR reflects general activation of the immune system rather than exerting inflammatory actions.
PMCID: PMC3329189  PMID: 22550400
inflammatory markers; sepsis; SIRS; soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor; suPAR
4.  In Silico Identification and Biological Evaluation of Antimicrobial Peptides Based on Human Cathelicidin LL-37 
Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are important triggers of the widespread inflammatory response, which contributes to the development of multiple organ failure during sepsis. The helical 37-amino-acid-long human antimicrobial peptide LL-37 not only possesses a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity but also binds and neutralizes LPS. However, the use of LL-37 in sepsis treatment is hampered by the fact that it is also cytotoxic. To find a less toxic analog of LL-37, we used in silico analysis to identify amphipathic helical regions of LL-37. A 21-amino-acid fragment (GKE) was synthesized, the biological actions of which were compared to those of two equally long peptides derived from the N and C termini of LL-37 as well as native LL-37. GKE displayed antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Candida parapsilosis that was similar to or even stronger than LL-37. GKE, as well as the equally long control peptides, attracted granulocytes in a fashion similar to that of LL-37, while only GKE was as potent as LL-37 in inhibiting LPS-induced vascular nitric oxide production. GKE caused less hemolysis and apoptosis in human cultured smooth muscle cells than LL-37. In summary, we have identified an active domain of LL-37, GKE, which displays antimicrobial activity in vitro and LPS-binding activity similar to those of LL-37 but is less toxic. GKE therefore holds promise as a template for the development of peptide antibiotics for the treatment of sepsis.
PMCID: PMC1563516  PMID: 16940092
5.  Human antimicrobial peptide LL-37 is present in atherosclerotic plaques and induces death of vascular smooth muscle cells: a laboratory study 
Death of smooth muscle cells in the atherosclerotic plaques makes the plaques more prone to rupture, which can initiate an acute ischemic event. The development of atherosclerosis includes the migration of immune cells e.g. monocytes/macrophages and T lymphocytes into the lesions. Immune cells can release antimicrobial peptides. One of these, human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide hCAP-18, is cleaved by proteinase 3 generating a 4.5 kDa C-terminal fragment named LL-37, which has been shown to be cytotoxic. The aim of the study was to explore a potential role of LL-37 in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis.
We investigated the presence of LL-37 in human atherosclerotic lesions obtained at autopsy using immunohistochemistry. The direct effects of LL-37 on cultured vascular smooth muscle cells and isolated neutrophil granulocytes were investigated with morphological, biochemical and flow cytometry analysis.
The neointima of atherosclerotic plaques was found to contain LL-37-like immunoreactivity, mainly in macrophages. In cultured smooth muscle cells, LL-37 at 30 μg/ml caused cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation and an increase in caspase-3 activity as studied by microscopy, ELISA and enzyme activity assay, respectively. Flow cytometry demonstrated that LL-37 in a subset of the cells caused a small but rapidly developing increase in membrane permeability to propidium iodide, followed by a gradual development of FITC-annexin V binding. Another cell population stained heavily with both propidium iodide and FITC-annexin V. Neutrophil granulocytes were resistant to these effects of LL-37.
This study shows that LL-37 is present in atherosclerotic lesions and that it induces death of vascular smooth muscle cells. In a subset of cells, the changes indicate the development of apoptosis triggered by an initial mild perturbation of plasma membrane integrity. The findings suggest a role for LL-37 as a mediator of immune cell-induced death of vascular smooth muscle cells in atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC1764755  PMID: 17181861
6.  Antimicrobial and Chemoattractant Activity, Lipopolysaccharide Neutralization, Cytotoxicity, and Inhibition by Serum of Analogs of Human Cathelicidin LL-37 
Antimicrobial peptides have been evaluated in vitro and in vivo as alternatives to conventional antibiotics. Apart from being antimicrobial, the native human cathelicidin-derived peptide LL-37 (amino acids [aa] 104 to 140 of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide) also binds and neutralizes bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and might therefore have beneficial effects in the treatment of septic shock. However, clinical trials have been hampered by indications of toxic effects of LL-37 on mammalian cells and evidence that its antimicrobial effects are inhibited by serum. For the present study, LL-37 was compared to two less hydrophobic fragments obtained by N-terminal truncation, named 106 (aa 106 to 140) and 110 (aa 110 to 140), and to a previously described more hydrophobic variant, the 18-mer LLKKK, concerning antimicrobial properties, lipopolysaccharide neutralization, toxicity against human erythrocytes and cultured vascular smooth muscle cells, chemotactic activity, and inhibition by serum. LL-37, fragments 106 and 110, and the 18-mer LLKKK inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans in a radial diffusion assay, inhibited lipopolysaccharide-induced vascular nitric oxide production, and attracted neutrophil granulocytes similarly. While fragments 106 and 110 caused less hemolysis and DNA fragmentation in cultured cells than did LL-37, the 18-mer LLKKK induced severe hemolysis. The antibacterial effect of fragments 106 and 110 was not affected by serum, while the effect of LL-37 was reduced. We concluded that the removal of N-terminal hydrophobic amino acids from LL-37 decreases its cytotoxicity as well as its inhibition by serum without negatively affecting its antimicrobial or LPS-neutralizing action. Such LL-37-derived peptides may thus be beneficial for the treatment of patients with sepsis.
PMCID: PMC1168709  PMID: 15980359
7.  Bactericidal Activity of Human Eosinophilic Granulocytes against Escherichia coli 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(6):3591-3596.
Eosinophils participate in allergic inflammation and may have roles in the body's defense against helminthic infestation. Even under noninflammatory conditions, eosinophils are present in the mucosa of the large intestine, where large numbers of gram-negative bacteria reside. Therefore, roles for eosinophils in host defenses against bacterial invasion are possible. In a system for bacterial viable counts, the bactericidal activity of eosinophils and the contribution of different cellular antibacterial systems against Escherichia coli were investigated. Eosinophils showed a rapid and efficient killing of E. coli under aerobic conditions, whereas under anaerobic conditions bacterial killing decreased dramatically. In addition, diphenylene iodonium chloride (DPI), an inhibitor of the NADPH oxidase and thereby of superoxide production, also significantly inhibited bacterial killing. The inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) production l-N5-(1-iminoethyl)-ornithine dihydrochloride did not affect the killing efficiency, suggesting that NO or derivatives thereof are of minor importance under the experimental conditions used. To investigate the involvement of superoxide and eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) in bacterial killing, EPO was blocked by azide. The rate of E. coli killing decreased significantly in the presence of azide, whereas addition of DPI did not further decrease the killing, suggesting that superoxide acts in conjunction with EPO. Bactericidal activity was seen in eosinophil extracts containing granule proteins, indicating that oxygen-independent killing may be of importance as well. The findings suggest that eosinophils can participate in host defense against gram-negative bacterial invasion and that oxygen-dependent killing, i.e., superoxide acting in conjunction with EPO, may be the most important bactericidal effector function of these cells.
PMCID: PMC98343  PMID: 11349018

Results 1-7 (7)