Response of endothelial cells to exposure to Chlamydia trachomatis, biovar LGV.
Although both are caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) presents differently from the infections caused by Oculogenital (OG) strains. The endothelium of blood and lymph vessels allows passage of cells to the site of infection. Endothelial cells also secrete chemokines and cell adhesion molecules which act as attractants and binding sites for various cellular immune components. Since LGV biovar affect the lymphoid tissue we studied the effect of C. trachomatis on endothelial cells. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were infected with C. trachomatis LGV serovars L1, L2, L3 and the OG strain E at multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 1 and incubated for 24 hours. Stimulation of Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemokine protein-1 (MCP-1) chemokines and the intercellular adhesion molecule -1 (ICAM-1) were quantified by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Transendothelial migration of neutrophils and monocytes was carried out in transwells. The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay was used to measure cell necrosis. Apoptotic cell death was analysed using the BioVisionTM CaspGLOW Fluorescein Caspase Staining Kit and DeadEndTM Colorimetric Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) system with the C. trachomatis Culture Confirmation kit as a counter stain. All Chlamydia trachomatis serovars (L1, L2, L3 and E) successfully infected and replicated in HUVEC after 24 hours of infection. Only L3 stimulated significantly higher production of IL-8, MCP-1 and ICAM-1 by HUVEC as compared to the negative control and mock-infected cells. However, the remaining LGV serovars (L1 and L2) and the OG serovar E showed no significant difference in the stimulation of IL-8, MCP-1 and ICAM-1 when compared to the controls. Comparison of LGV and OG serovars showed no significant difference between these two biovars in inducing production of IL-8 and MCP-1, but L3 stimulated ICAM-1 at a significantly higher level than E. There was no significant difference in the number of migrated neutrophils between untreated HUVEC, mock infected HUVEC and HUVEC infected with Chlamydia serovars. L2 and L3 had significally higher amount of migrated monocytes than the controls with L3 being the highest. L3 was the only serovar that had a significant level of cell death by necrosis. Apototic cells were observed in both uninfected and infected HUVEC which is due to normal cell turn over. None of the infected cells showed TUNEL positive nuclei. It can be concluded that L3 is more virulent than the other serovars during the first 24 hours of infection. Infection with C. trachomatis serovars does not seem to cause any cell death by apoptosis 24 hours post infection. The only cell death that occurs is by necrosis and only on serovar L3 infected cells.