The immune response to Haemophilus ducreyi is mediated in part by T cells infiltrating the site of infection. In this study, we show that H. ducreyi antigen preparations inhibited the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and primary human T-cell lines. H. ducreyi also inhibited Jurkat T-cell proliferation and induced apoptosis of Jurkat T cells, confirmed through the detection of DNA degradation and membrane unpacking. The cytotoxic product(s) was present in cell-free culture supernatant and whole-cell preparations of H. ducreyi and was heat labile. H. ducreyi produces two known heat-labile toxins, a hemolysin and a cytolethal distending toxin (CDT). Whole cells and supernatants prepared from a hemolysin-deficient mutant had the same inhibitory and apoptotic effects on Jurkat T cells as did its isogenic parent. Preparations made from an H. ducreyi cdtC mutant were less toxic and induced less apoptosis than the parent. The toxic activity of the cdtC mutant was restored by complementation in trans. CdtC-neutralizing antibodies also inhibited H. ducreyi induced toxicity and apoptosis. The data suggest that CDT may interfere with T-cell responses to H. ducreyi by induction of apoptosis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1999|
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