IL-10-deficient mice infected with the relapsing fever bacterium Borrelia turicatae rapidly succumb to a brain hemorrhage if they are unable to clear peak bacteremia. In this study, we investigated the protective role of IL-10 during relapsing-remitting bacteremia and explored the molecular events involved in the protection of brain endothelium by IL-10. Brain endothelial injury was measured with cytotoxicity and diverse apoptotic assays, whereas the signaling pathway analysis was done by quantitative PCR array. The results showed that severe endothelial cell injury leading to hemorrhage in the brain and other organs occurred in IL-10-deficient mice during relapsing-remitting infection. Human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) produced abundant proinflammatory mediators upon exposure to whole bacteria or purified bacterial lipoprotein but did not produce any detectable IL-10. Whole bacteria and purified outer membrane lipoprotein rapidly killed HBMEC by apoptosis in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Exogenous IL-10 protected HBMEC from apoptosis. HBMEC apoptosis during exposure to a low number of bacteria was associated with downregulation of TNF and TNFAIP3 and upregulation of BAX. In contrast, HBMEC apoptosis during exposure to high concentrations of purified outer membrane lipoprotein was associated with marked upregulation of FAS, FAS ligand, and the adaptor molecules RIPK1 and CFLAR. Exogenous IL-10 reversed all the apoptotic signaling changes induced by whole bacteria or its purified lipoprotein. The results indicate that prominent brain endothelial cell apoptosis occurs during relapsing-remitting bacteremia in the absence of IL-10 and point to a prominent role for bacterial lipoprotein-mediated activation of FAS and caspase-3 in this process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy