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In vitro and in vivo characterization of the interaction, proinflammatory, immunomodulatory and antigenic properties of capsular polysaccharide from Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 1

Kaushal, Nitika, Kumari, Sujata, Jhelum, Hina, Sehgal, Devinder
International journal of biological macromolecules 2020 v.143 pp. 521-532
Streptococcus pneumoniae, Toll-like receptor 1, Toll-like receptor 2, antibodies, antibody formation, cell lines, interleukin-8, mice, moieties, polysaccharides, serotypes, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, virulence
Pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide (PCP) is the major virulence determinant of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). Strains devoid of the capsule are avirulent or highly attenuated. PCP is present in soluble form and on pneumococci in infected individuals. The present study was undertaken to study the interaction of PCP from serotype 1 (PCP1) with immune cells, and its proinflammatory, immunomodulatory and antigenic properties. Binding of PCP1 to the surface of immune cells led to proinflammatory cytokine production which was not cell line or cytokine restricted. HEK293T transfectants expressing TLR1 and TLR2 produced IL-8 upon stimulation with PCP1, untransfected cells did not do so. PCP1 failed to induce TNF-α production from RAW264.7 cells when pre-incubated with a TLR2 blocking antibody. The surface binding of PCP1 was abrogated in the presence of TLR2 blocking antibody. PCP1 failed to bind TLR2 deficient RAW264.7 cells and induce TNF-α production. Unlike PCP1, alkali-treated PCP1 failed to stimulate RAW264.7 cells to produce TNF-α indicating the importance of alkali-sensitive moieties like O-acetyl groups. Alkali-treated PCP1 elicited lower anti-PCP1 antibody response. Mice experiments suggested that alkali-sensitive groups are significant target of protective antibodies in PCP1 immunized mice. Our findings demonstrate that PCP1 is an important modulator of immune response against pneumococci.