Regular paperThe influence of net surface charge on the interaction of uropathogenic Escherichia coli with human neutrophils
Review articleOpen access

AbstractEscherichia coli strains, grown to suppress fimbrial expression, synthesised enhanced quantities of polysaccharide capsule, which significantly lessened their binding to heparin sepharose columns. In the presence of poly-l-lysine, these strains were strongly retained on the columns confirming their highly anionic nature. Uropathogenic strains of E. coli expressing type 1 fimbrial adhesins activated the respiratory burst, the degranulation response and the release of leukotrienes from human neutrophils (PMN) to a significantly greater extent than the same strains grown in a medium to suppress this fimbrial expression. The addition of the poly-cation poly-l-lysine, however, selectively increased neutrophil activation in response to these non-fimbriate strains. This dose-dependent effect was reversed by the addition of heparin suggesting a mechanism dependent on surface charge. The results of this study suggest that non-specific mechanisms involving the neutralisation of surface charge, in addition to specific receptor and adhesin mediated events could affect neutrophil activation at sites of infection.

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