Escherichia coli K1 induces IL-8 expression in human brain microvascular endothelial cells

Emmanouil Galanakis, Francescopaolo Di Cello, Maneesh Paul-Satyaseela, Kwang Sik Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Microbial penetration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the central nervous system is essential for the development of meningitis. Considerable progress has been achieved in understanding the pathophysiology of meningitis, however, relatively little is known about the early inflammatory events occurring at the time of bacterial crossing of the BBB. We investigated, using real-time quantitative PCR, the expression of the neutrophil chemoattractants alpha-chemokines CXCL1 (Groα) and CXCL8 (IL-8), and of the monocyte chemoattractant beta-chemokine CCL2 (MCP-1) by human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) in response to the meningitis-causing E. coli K1 strain RS218 or its isogenic mutants lacking the ability to bind to and invade HBMEC. A nonpathogenic, laboratory E. coli strain HB101 was used as a negative control. CXCL8 was shown to be significantly expressed in HBMEC 4 hours after infection with E. coli K1, while no significant alterations were noted for CXCL1 and CCL2 expression. This upregulation of CXCL8 was induced by E. coli K1 strain RS218 and its derivatives lacking the ability to bind and invade HBMEC, but was not induced by the laboratory strain HB101. In contrast, no upregulation of CXCL8 was observed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) after stimulation with E. coli RS218. These findings indicate that the CXCL8 expression is the result of the specific response of HBMEC to meningitis-causing E. coli K1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • E. coli
  • Human brain microvascular endothelial cell
  • Interleukin-8
  • Meningitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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