Sialylation of Campylobacter jejuni lipo-oligosaccharides: impact on phagocytosis and cytokine production in mice.
Huizinga R., Easton AS., Donachie AM., Guthrie J., van Rijs W., Heikema A., Boon L., Samsom JN., Jacobs BC., Willison HJ., Goodyear CS.
BACKGROUND: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a post-infectious polyradiculoneuropathy, frequently associated with antecedent Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) infection. The presence of sialic acid on C. jejuni lipo-oligosaccharide (LOS) is considered a risk factor for development of GBS as it crucially determines the structural homology between LOS and gangliosides, explaining the induction of cross-reactive neurotoxic antibodies. Sialylated C. jejuni are recognised by TLR4 and sialoadhesin; however, the functional implications of these interactions in vivo are unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we investigated the effects of bacterial sialylation on phagocytosis and cytokine secretion by mouse myeloid cells in vitro and in vivo. Using fluorescently labelled GM1a/GD1a ganglioside-mimicking C. jejuni strains and corresponding (Cst-II-mutant) control strains lacking sialic acid, we show that sialylated C. jejuni was more efficiently phagocytosed in vitro by BM-MΦ, but not by BM-DC. In addition, LOS sialylation increased the production of IL-10, IL-6 and IFN-β by both BM-MΦ and BM-DC. Subsequent in vivo experiments revealed that sialylation augmented the deposition of fluorescent bacteria in splenic DC, but not macrophages. In addition, sialylation significantly amplified the production of type I interferons, which was independent of pDC. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results identify novel immune stimulatory effects of C. jejuni sialylation, which may be important in inducing cross-reactive humoral responses that cause GBS.