Editors' ChoiceInflammation

Bacteria Signal Kidney Damage

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Science's STKE  13 Jun 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 36, pp. tw4
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.36.tw4

Certain strains of E. coli cause inflammation in the kidney and contribute to renal failure. Uhlén et al. identified α-hemolysin as a secreted factor produced by uropathogenic bacteria that induced calcium oscillations in cultured renal proximal tubule cells and renal epithelial cells. Inhibitors of L-type Ca2+ channels or inhibitors of IP3 receptors blocked the calcium oscillations. Application of α-hemolysin to renal epothelial cells led to an increase in the secretion of the inflammatory mediators interleukin-6 and interleukin-8. The authors suggest that during early phases of infection, kidney damage arises not by cytolysis, but by the stimulation of inflammatory cytokines by α-hemolysin.

Uhlén, P., Laestadlus, Å., Jahnukainen, T., Söderblom, T., Bäckhed, F., Celsi, G., Brismar, H., Normark, S., Aperia, A., and Richter-Dahlfors, A. α-haemolysin of uropathogenic E. coli induces Ca2+ oscillations in renal epithelial cells. Nature 405: 694-697. [Online Journal]

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