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Lack of lipoprotein-dependent effects on the cytotoxic interactions of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin with human neutrophils

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Johansson A, Claesson R, Belibasakis G, Makoveichuk E, Hänström L, Olivecrona G & Kalfas S. Lack of lipoprotein-dependent effects on the cytotoxic interactions of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin with human neutrophils. APMIS 2002;110:857–62.

A high odds ratio has been reported for hyperlipidemia and periodontal diseases in humans, and the severity of periodontitis seems to correlate with the hyperlipidemic status of the patients. Early studies indicated that the lipoprotein-containing fraction of the serum enhances the leukotoxic activity of the periodontopathogen Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans against human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL). The protease inhibitors of normal serum account for this enhancement, while delipidated serum has no effect on the leukotoxin-dependent PMNL cytolysis. No information exists for the effect of serum lipoproteins or hyperlipidemic serum. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of serum lipoproteins in the interaction of the leukotoxin of A. actinomycetemcomitans with human PMNL. Purified leukotoxin was mixed with human PMNL prepared from venous blood of healthy subjects and various varying amounts of hyperlipidemic or delipidated serum, or purified serum lipoproteins. The cytolytic activity of leukotoxin was determined by activity of the cytosol enzyme lactate dehydrogenase released from injured PMNL. The degranulating activity of the toxin was measured through the release of the granule components elastase and lactoferrin. Normal human serum without leukotoxin-neutralizing antibodies caused a 4–fold enhancement of the leukotoxic activity when present at concentrations of 5–10% in the reaction mixture. Serum lipoproteins had no effect when added at concentrations that occur normally in serum. At high concentrations, purified low density and very low-density lipoproteins increased the leukotoxicity of the mixture. Nevertheless, hyperlipidemic serum prepared from a normal serum by the addition of autologous lipoproteins had no influence on the leukotoxin-caused cytolysis compared to the normal serum. Pre-incubation of PMNL for 1 h in hyperlipidemic or delipidated serum had no effect on the leukotoxin-induced degranulation of PMNL. The results indicate that the cytotoxic interactions of A. actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin against human PMNL are not influenced by the presence of serum lipoproteins.

Keywords: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans; leukotoxin; neutrophils; serum lipoproteins

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Oral Microbiology, Department of Odontology, and 2: Department of Medical Bioscience, Unit of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Odontology, Umëa, Sweden 3: Periodontology and

Publication date: December 1, 2002


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