PLoS One 2013 27;8(9):e76583. Epub 2013 Sep 27.
Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, Mohali, Punjab, India.
Vibrio cholerae porin OmpU plays a crucial role in the survival of the organism in the human gut. Various observations suggest critical involvement of OmpU in V. cholerae pathogenesis. However, OmpU is poorly characterized in terms of its ability to evoke cellular responses, particularly in the context of host immune system. Therefore, towards characterizing V. cholerae OmpU for its host immunomodulatory functions, we have studied the ability of OmpU to elicit pro-inflammatory responses in a range of immune cells which include, mouse RAW 264.7 macrophages, human THP-1 monocytes and human PBMCs. We have observed that purified OmpU induces pro-inflammatory responses in terms of production of NO, TNFα and IL-6. Interestingly, pre-treatment of the cells with OmpU suppresses the production of NO, TNFα, IL-6 as well as IL-12 upon subsequent activation with LPS. Our results therefore suggest that V. cholerae OmpU may have a differential regulatory role in terms of host immunomodulatory function: it can induce pro-inflammatory responses in target host immune cells, whereas it can also exert suppressive effect on LPS-induced pro-inflammatory responses. In addition, our study indicates that purified OmpU may have the ability to skew the Th1 response towards the Th2 response, presumably via suppression of IL-12 production.