Ureaplasma species modulate cell adhesion molecules and growth factors in human brain microvascular endothelial cells.


University Childreńs Hospital, University of Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2, 97080 Wuerzburg, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


Ureaplasma species (spp.) are considered commensals of the adult urogenital tract, but may cause chorioamnionitis and preterm birth as well as sepsis and meningitis in neonates. Pathomechanisms in Ureaplasma-driven neuroinflammation are largely unknown. This study addressed mRNA and protein expression of intercellular and vascular cell adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1), granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in native or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) co-stimulated human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) exposed to Ureaplasma (U.) urealyticum or U. parvum. Ureaplasma spp. reduced G-CSF mRNA (p < 0.05) and protein expression (p < 0.01) and increased VEGF mRNA levels (p < 0.01) in native HBMEC. Upon co-stimulation, Ureaplasma isolates enhanced LPS-evoked VEGF and ICAM-1 mRNA expression (p < 0.05), but mitigated G-CSF and VCAM-1 mRNA responses (p < 0.05). In line with previous findings, our results indicate an ability of Ureaplasma spp. to compromise blood-brain barrier integrity, mitigate immune defense, and subdue neuroprotective mechanisms. This may facilitate intracerebral inflammation, allow chronic infections, and promote brain injury. More pronounced effects in co-stimulated cells may indicate an immunomodulatory capacity of Ureaplasma spp.


Cell adhesion molecule,Growth factor,HBMEC,Neuroinflammation,Ureaplasma,

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