Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Adheres to Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on Respiratory Epithelial Cells and Upregulates ICAM-1 Expression
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Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is an important respiratory pathogen. NTHI initiates infection by adhering to the airway epithelium. Here, we report that NTHI interacts with intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expressed by respiratory epithelial cells. A fourfold-higher number of NTHI bacteria adhered to Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with human ICAM-1 (CHO-ICAM-1) than to control CHO cells (P < 0.005). Blocking cell surface ICAM-1 with specific antibody reduced the adhesion of NTHI to A549 respiratory epithelial cells by 37% (P < 0.001) and to CHO-ICAM-1 cells by 69% (P < 0.005). Preincubating the bacteria with recombinant ICAM-1 reduced adhesion by 69% (P < 0.003). The adherence to CHO-ICAM-1 cells of NTHI strains deficient in the adhesins P5, P2, HMW1/2, and Hap or expressing a truncated lipooligosaccharide was compared to that of parental strains. Only strain 1128f, which lacks the outer membrane protein (OMP) P5-homologous adhesin (P5 fimbriae), adhered less well than its parental strain. The numbers of NTHI cells adhering to CHO-ICAM-1 cells were reduced by 67% (P < 0.009) following preincubation with anti-P5 antisera. Furthermore, recombinant ICAM bound to an OMP preparation from strain 1128, which expresses P5, but not to that from its P5-deficient mutant, confirming a specific interaction between ICAM-1 and P5 fimbriae. Incubation of respiratory epithelial cells with NTHI increased ICAM-1 expression fourfold (P < 0.001). Adhesion of NTHI to the respiratory epithelium, therefore, upregulates the expression of its own receptor. Blocking interactions between NTHI P5 fimbriae and ICAM-1 may reduce respiratory colonization by NTHI and limit the frequency and severity of NTHI infection.
Infection and Immunity
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