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Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Although human exposure to Gram-negative Vibrio vulnificus (V. vulnificus) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been reported to result in septic shock, its impact on the central nervous system’s innate immunity remains undetermined. The purpose of this study was to determine whether V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS might activate rat microglia in vitro and stimulate the release of superoxide anion (O2), a reactive oxygen species known to cause oxidative stress and neuronal injury in vivo. Brain microglia were isolated from neonatal rats, and then treated with either V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS or Escherichia coli O26:B6 LPS for 17 hours in vitro. O2 was determined by cytochrome C reduction, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 by gelatinase zymography. Generation of cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α), IL-6, and transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1α)/chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 3 (CCL3), MIP-2/chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 2 (CXCL2), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)/CCL2, and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-2alpha/beta (CINC-2α/β)/CXCL3, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), were determined by specific immunoassays. Priming of rat microglia by V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS in vitro yielded a bell-shaped dose-response curve for PMA (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate)-stimulated O2 generation: (1) 0.1–1 ng/mL V. vulnificus LPS enhanced O2 generation significantly but with limited inflammatory mediator generation; (2) 10–100 ng/mL V. vulnificus LPS maximized O2 generation with concomitant release of thromboxane B2 (TXB2), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and several cytokines and chemokines; (3) 1000–100,000 ng/mL V. vulnificus LPS, with the exception of TXB2, yielded both attenuated O2 production, and a progressive decrease in MMP-9, cytokines and chemokines investigated. Thus concentration-dependent treatment of neonatal brain microglia with V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS resulted in a significant rise in O2 production, followed by a progressive decrease in O2 release, with concomitant release of lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), and generation of TXB2, MMP-9, cytokines and chemokines. We hypothesize that the inflammatory mediators investigated may be cytotoxic to microglia in vitro, by an as yet undetermined autocrine mechanism. Although V. vulnificus LPS was less potent than E. coli LPS in vitro, inflammatory mediator release by the former was clearly more efficacious. Finally, we hypothesize that should V. vulnificus LPS gain entry into the CNS, it would be possible that microglia might become activated, resulting in high levels of O2 as well as neuroinflammatory TXB2, MMP-9, cytokines and chemokines.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.