Outer membrane protein A of Escherichia coli K1 selectively enhances the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in brain microvascular endothelial cells.

Research paper by Suresh K SK Selvaraj, Parameswaran P Periandythevar, Nemani V NV Prasadarao

Indexed on: 21 Mar '07Published on: 21 Mar '07Published in: Microbes and Infection


Escherichia coli K1 meningitis is a serious central nervous system disease with unchanged mortality and morbidity rates for last few decades. Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) is a cell adhesion molecule involved in leukocyte trafficking toward inflammatory stimuli at the vascular endothelium; however, the effect of E. coli invasion of endothelial cells on the expression of ICAM-1 is not known. We demonstrate here that E. coli K1 invasion of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) selectively up-regulates the expression of ICAM-1, which occurs only in HBMEC invaded by the bacteria. The interaction of outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of E. coli with its receptor, Ecgp, on HBMEC was critical for the up-regulation of ICAM-1 and was depend on PKC-alpha and PI3-kinase signaling. Of note, the E. coli-induced up-regulation of ICAM-1 was not due to the cytokines secreted by HBMEC upon bacterial infection. Activation of NF-kappaB was required for E. coli mediated expression of ICAM-1, which was significantly inhibited by over-expressing the dominant negative forms of PKC-alpha and p85 subunit of PI3-kinase. The increased expression of ICAM-1 also enhanced the binding of THP-1 cells to HBMEC. Taken together, these data suggest that localized increase in ICAM-1 expression in HBMEC invaded by E. coli requires a novel interaction between OmpA and its receptor, Ecgp.