Activation of the lectin pathway of complement in experimental human keratitis with Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Michael Osthoff, Karl D Brown, David Chee Ming Kong, Mark Daniell, Damon Peter Eisen

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Purpose: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) microbial keratitis (MK) is a sight-threatening disease. Previous animal studies have identified an important contribution of the complement system to the clearance of P. aeruginosa infection of the cornea. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a pattern recognition receptor of the lectin pathway of complement, has been implicated in the host defense against P. aeruginosa. However, studies addressing the role of the lectin pathway in P. aeruginosa MK are lacking. Hence, we sought to determine the activity of the lectin pathway in human MK caused by P. aeruginosa. Methods: Primary human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) from cadaveric donors were exposed to two different P. aeruginosa strains. Gene expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, MBL, and other complement proteins was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and MBL synthesis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and intracellular fow cytometry. Results: MBL gene expression was not detected in unchallenged HCECs. Exposure of HCECs to P. aeruginosa resulted in rapid induction of the transcriptional expression of MBL, IL-6, and IL-8. In addition, expression of several complement proteins of the classical and lectin pathways, but not the alternative pathway, were upregulated after 5 h of challenge, including MBL-associated serine protease 1. However, MBL protein secretion was not detectable 18 h after challenge with P. aeruginosa. Conclusions: MK due to P. aeruginosa triggers activation of MBL and the lectin pathway of complement. However, the physiologic relevance of this finding is unclear, as corresponding MBL oligomer production was not observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38 - 45
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Vision
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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