Intracellular free calcium is a key second messenger and has been shown to regulate several crucial functions in human neutrophils. The results show that a rise in [Ca2+], is an absolute requirement for efficient killing of serum-opsonized Staphylococcus aureus by human neutrophils. The reduced killing in the absence of Ca2+ was not due to an inhibited ingestion of the S. aureus bacteria but to impairment of the subsequent production of oxygen radicals.
S. aureus is a bacterium which binds to extracellular matrix proteins such as vitronectin. When studying the role of Ca2+ during phagocytosis of S. aureus adherent to vitronectin-coated surfaces, the results show that a rise in [Ca2+], is not a prerequisite for ingestion per se. However, Ca2+ control neutrophil migration on vitronectin, by regulating reversible integrindependent adhesion of the neutrophils.
The intracellular signalling events of the neutrophils induced by S. aureus were also evaluated. The results demonstrate that S. aureus induces both priming and apoptosis in the neutrophils. This was restricted to viable and not heat-killed bacteria. During priming tyrosine phosphorylation of PLCγ2 and Syk is increased. In addition, the Src-family protein kinase Lyn is activated as well by these bacteria. Inhibition of these proteins by selective drugs abrogates priming of the neutrophils, indicating that these proteins participate in neutrophil priming. Interaction of neutrophils with S. aureus as well as a S. aureus-derived factor induces apoptosis in the neutrophils, and this is regulated by p38 MAPK.
Taken together, this investigation shows that the Ca2+-dependent processing of bacteria by human neutrophils leads to several cellular responses affecting inflammation, such as oxidative activation, tyrosine phosphorylation, priming and apoptosis.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2000. , 60 p.
2000-05-30, Elsa Brändströmssalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)