Adherence of Escherichia coli to urinary tract epithelium induces neutrophil migration across the uroepithelium to combat bacterial infection. Neutrophil adherence to the apical membrane of uroepithelial cells may be an important factor for bacterial clearance. We used an in vitro model of urinary tract infection to examine the effects of uropathogenic E. coli on neutrophil adhesion to the uroepithelial cell line RT4. We found that distinct clinical isolates caused different levels of neutrophil adherence. One particular isolate caused significant neutrophil adhesion in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The neutrophil adhesion-promoting effect induced by this isolate was not caused by bacterial secreted products, suggesting that contact between intact E. coli and uroepithelial cells is required for promoting neutrophil adhesion. This adhesion was almost exclusively mediated by CD11b/CD18, suggesting that E. coli upregulates CD11b/CD18 counterligands on the uroepithelial surface. These data suggest that certain uropathogenic E. coli selectively promote adhesion of neutrophils to ligands on uroepithelial cells by a CD11b/CD18-dependent mechanism.
- Escherichia coli
- Urinary tract infection