Contribution of the platelet activating factor signaling pathway to cerebral microcirculatory dysfunction during experimental sepsis by ExoU producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Maria Cristina Plotkowski, Vanessa Estato, Sabrina Alves Santos, Mauricio Costa Alves da Silva, Aline Silva Miranda, Pedro Elias de Miranda, Vanessa Pinho, Eduardo Tibiriça, Verônica Morandi, Mauro Martins Teixeira, Albanita Vianna, Alessandra Mattos Saliba
Pathogens and Disease 2015, 73 (7)
Intravital microscopy was used to assess the involvement of ExoU, a Pseudomonas aeruginosa cytotoxin with phospholipase A2 activity, in dysfunction of cerebral microcirculation during experimental pneumosepsis. Cortical vessels from mice intratracheally infected with low density of the ExoU-producing PA103 P. aeruginosa strain exhibited increased leukocyte rolling and adhesion to venule endothelium, decreased capillar density and impaired arteriolar response to vasoactive acetylcholine. These phenomena were mediated by the platelet activating factor receptor (PAFR) pathway because they were reversed in mice treated with a PAFR antagonist prior to infection. Brains from PA103-infected animals exhibited a perivascular inflammatory infiltration that was not detected in animals infected with an exoU deficient mutant or in mice treated with the PAFR antagonist and infected with the wild type bacteria. No effect on brain capillary density was detected in mice infected with the PAO1 P. aeruginosa strain, which do not produce ExoU. Finally, after PA103 infection, mice with a targeted deletion of the PAFR gene exhibited higher brain capillary density and lower leukocyte adhesion to venule endothelium, as well as lower increase of systemic inflammatory cytokines, when compared to wild-type mice. Altogether, our results establish a role for PAFR in mediating ExoU-induced cerebral microvascular failure in a murine model of sepsis.

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