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Comparison of binding and effects of Escherichia coli Shiga toxin 1 on bovine and ovine granulocytes

Menge, C., Eisenberg, T., Stamm, I., Baljer, G.
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology 2006 v.113 no.3-4 pp. 392-403
Shiga-like toxin 1, interspecific variation, disease reservoirs, zoonoses, sheep, cattle, inflammation, animal pathogenic bacteria, granulocytes, cultured cells, intestinal mucosa, milk, binding sites, pathogenesis, receptors, apoptosis, in vitro studies, Escherichia coli
Granulocytes play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) related diseases in humans. Granulocytes are attracted and activated by Stxs in the enteric mucosa and are believed to thereby contribute to the intestinal inflammation. Mature ruminants, the main reservoir hosts of STEC, do not develop pathological changes that can be attributed to the Stxs. To prove whether the latter phenomenon correlates with the inability of the Stxs to affect granulocytes of ruminants, we investigated the ability of Stx1 to bind to granulocytes of cattle and sheep and analysed the effects of Stx1 on viability, phagocytosis, and oxidative burst activity. Bovine granulocytes from blood and milk did not express Stx1-binding sites even after activation of the cells and also were resistant to Stx1. In contrast to bovine granulocytes, granulocytes of sheep constitutively expressed Stx1-receptors of the Gb3/CD77 type ex vivo and bound the recombinant B-subunit of Stx1 (rStxB1). Stx1 holotoxin induced apoptosis in ovine granulocytes after prolonged incubation (18 h) but Stx1 only slightly altered the phagocytosis and oxidative burst activities. The rStxB1 had no effect on granulocytes of either species. While arguing in favour of our initial hypothesis, that granulocytes of both, cattle and sheep are not activated by Stxs, the results of our study are the first evidences for differences in the cellular distribution of Stx-receptors in species equally regarded as STEC carriers.