Tissue Eng Part A 2012 Jan 3;18(1-2):147-56. Epub 2011 Oct 3.
Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Pneumology, University Children's Hospital, Duesseldorf, Germany.
Infective endocarditis (IE) remains a serious complication after heart valve replacement. Autologous valves constructed by matrix-based tissue engineering are under investigation to increase biocompatibility. The impact of the underlying matrix on the risk to develop IE is not known. The IE is characterized by bacterial adhesion and subsequent interactions of disseminating bacteria with endothelial cells (ECs) and monocytes, evoking endothelial proinflammatory and procoagulant activity, leading to heart valve destruction. In the current study, we, therefore, have seeded human ECs on a fibrin versus collagen gel matrix and, at confluence, infected them with Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus sanguis, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Especially Sta. aureus infected ECs grown on fibrin (4.2% of the inoculum) and collagen (3.7%) matrices, more than on ECs grown on noncoated plates (1.2%; p<0.01). This was associated with higher monocyte adhesion (61%; p<0.01 on fibrin and 43%; p<0.05 on collagen) versus control cultures (30%), even at comparable EC surface expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular adhesion molecule-1. The collagen matrix attenuated the Sta. aureus-induced monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 expression 2.0-fold, compared with the noncoated control ECs. This reduction coincided with a 4.2-5.0-fold reduction of the procoagulant activity, triggered in ECs grown on noncoated wells, as a consequence of tissue factor (TF) expression by ECs, further stimulated by EC-bound monocytes. Overall, moderate responses were seen on infection with Str. sanguis and Sta. epidermidis for both gel matrices. Thus, even when fibrin and collagen gel matrices equally increase bacterial adhesion, and subsequent monocyte adhesion to infected ECs, these matrices modulate EC responses to these stimuli, thus resulting in attenuated cytokine production and attenuated adherent monocyte-dependent TF production by the ECs. Further investigations will need to confirm whether also in vivo, EC-matrix interactions can attenuate EC responses to bacteria and inflammatory cells to reduce IE at infected endovascular sites.