Intrauterine group A streptococcal infections are exacerbated by prostaglandin E2.

Mason KL, Rogers LM, Soares EM, Bani-Hashemi T, Erb Downward J, Agnew D, Peters-Golden M, Weinberg JB, Crofford LJ, Aronoff DM
J Immunol. 2013 191 (5): 2457-65

PMID: 23913961 · PMCID: PMC3750066 · DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1300786

Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus; GAS) is a major cause of severe postpartum sepsis, a re-emerging cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Immunological alterations occur during pregnancy to promote maternofetal tolerance, which may increase the risk for puerperal infection. PGE2 is an immunomodulatory lipid that regulates maternofetal tolerance, parturition, and innate immunity. The extent to which PGE2 regulates host immune responses to GAS infections in the context of endometritis is unknown. To address this, both an in vivo mouse intrauterine (i.u.) GAS infection model and an in vitro human macrophage-GAS interaction model were used. In C57BL/6 mice, i.u. GAS inoculation resulted in local and systemic inflammatory responses and triggered extensive changes in the expression of eicosanoid pathway genes. The i.u. administration of PGE2 increased the mortality of infected mice, suppressed local IL-6 and IL-17A levels, enhanced neutrophilic inflammation, reduced uterine macrophage populations, and increased bacterial dissemination. A role for endogenous PGE2 in the modulation of antistreptococcal host defense was suggested, because mice lacking the genes encoding the microsomal PGE2 synthase-1 or the EP2 receptor were protected from death, as were mice treated with the EP4 receptor antagonist, GW627368X. PGE2 also regulated GAS-macrophage interactions. In GAS-infected human THP-1 (macrophage-like) cells, PGE2 inhibited the production of MCP-1 and TNF-α while augmenting IL-10 expression. PGE2 also impaired the phagocytic ability of human placental macrophages, THP-1 cells, and mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Exploring the targeted disruption of PGE2 synthesis and signaling to optimize existing antimicrobial therapies against GAS may be warranted.

MeSH Terms (15)

Animals Cell Line Dinoprostone Disease Models, Animal Female Flow Cytometry Humans Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Pregnancy Puerperal Infection Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Streptococcal Infections Streptococcus pyogenes Uterus

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