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Anthrax edema toxin differentially regulates lipopolysaccharide-induced monocyte production of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-6 by increasing intracellular cyclic AMP.
D L Hoover; A M Friedlander; L C Rogers; I K Yoon; R L Warren; A S Cross (Profiled Author: Alan S Cross)
Department of Bacterial Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. 20307.
Infection and immunity 1994;62(10):4432-9.
Bacillus anthracis exotoxins mediate most of the symptomatology of severe anthrax. In addition to a clinical syndrome reminiscent of septic shock, which may be mediated by cytokines produced by macrophages stimulated with lethal toxin, infected patients show profound edema at sites of infection. Edema is mediated by edema toxin (ET), which comprises of a binding molecule, protective antigen, and an active moiety, edema factor, which possesses intrinsic adenylyl cyclase activity. Intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) regulates the production of several cytokines that modulate edema formation and play important roles in host defense against invading bacteria. To determine whether ET enhanced the accumulation of cAMP in monocytes and thereby influenced cytokine production, we cultured human monocytes with endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) and dilutions of ET and determined the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in culture supernatant fluids. We further estimated cytokine-specific mRNA accumulation in monocytes by reverse transcription PCR and examined intracellular cAMP concentrations following treatment with ET. ET and LPS each induced monocytes to secrete comparable amounts of IL-6. ET did not inhibit and in most experiments modestly enhanced LPS-induced IL-6 production. In contrast to this stimulatory effect on IL-6 production, ET induced little or no TNF-alpha production. Moreover, ET profoundly inhibited LPS-induced TNF-alpha synthesis. These regulatory phenomena were also observed at the mRNA level in association with dose-related enhancement of intracellular cAMP in ET-treated monocytes. Monocytes treated with dibutyryl cAMP, an active analog of cAMP, produced cytokines in a pattern identical to that of cells treated with ET. The disruption of cytokine networks as a consequence of unregulated, ET-induced cAMP accumulation in human monocytes may impair cellular antimicrobial responses and contribute to clinical signs and symptoms.
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