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Listeria monocytogenes alters mast cell phenotype, mediator and osteopontin secretion in a listeriolysin-dependent manner

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Article numbere57102
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/02/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS ONE
Issue number2
Volume8
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Whilst mast cells participate in the immune defence against the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, there is conflicting evidence regarding the ability of L. monocytogenes to infect mast cells. It is known that the pore-forming toxin listeriolysin (LLO) is important for mast cell activation, degranulation and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Mast cells, however, are a potential source of a wide range of cytokines, chemokines and other mediators including osteopontin, which contributes to the clearing of L. monocytogenes infections in vivo, although its source is unknown. We therefore aimed to resolve the controversy of mast cell infection by L. monocytogenes and investigated the extent of mediator release in response to the bacterium. In this paper we show that the infection of bone marrow-derived mast cells by L. monocytogenes is inefficient and LLO-independent. LLO, however, is required for calcium-independent mast cell degranulation as well as for the transient and selective downregulation of cell surface CD117 (c-kit) on mast cells. We demonstrate that in addition to the key pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6, mast cells release a wide range of other mediators in response to L. monocytogenes. Osteopontin, IL-2, IL-4, IL-13 and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and chemokines including CCL2, CCL3, CCL4 and CCL5 are released in a MyD88-dependent manner. The wide range of mediators released by mast cells in response to L. monocytogenes may play an important role in the recruitment and activation of a variety of immune cells in vivo. The cocktail of mediators, however, is unlikely to skew the immune response to a particular effector response. We propose that mast cells provide a hitherto unreported source of osteopontin, and may provide an important role in co-ordinating the immune response during Listeria infection.