Human Anti-b, petussis lipopolysaccharid
ordetella pertussis and B. parapertussis are the etiological agents of pertussis, yet the former has a higher incidence and is the cause of a more severe disease, in part due to pertussis toxin. To identify other factors contributing to the different pathogenicity of the two species, we analyzed the capacity of structurally different lipooligosaccharide (LOS) from B.
pertussis and LPS from B. parapertussis to influence immune functions regulated by dendritic cells. Either B. pertussis LOS and B. parapertussis LPS triggered TLR4 signaling and induced phenotypic maturation and IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-23, IL-6, and IL-1β production in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC). B. parapertussis LPS was a stronger inducer of all these activities as compared with B. pertussis LOS, with the notable exception of IL-1β, which was equally produced. Only B. parapertussis LPS was able to induce IL-27 expression.
In addition, although MDDC activation induced by B. parapertussis LPS was greatly dependent on soluble CD14, B. pertussis LOS activity was CD14-independent. The analysis of the intracellular pathways showed that B. parapertussis LPS and B. pertussis LOS equally induced IκBα and p38 MAPK phosphorylation, but B. pertussis LOS triggered ERK1/2 phosphorylation more rapidly and at higher levels than B. parapertussis LPS.
Furthermore, B. pertussis LOS was unable to induce MyD88-independent gene induction, which was instead activated by B. parapertussis LPS, witnessed by STAT1 phosphorylation and induction of the IFN-dependent genes, IFN regulatory factor-1 and IFN-inducible protein-10. These differences resulted in a divergent regulation of Th cell responses, B. pertussis LOS MDDC driving a predominant Th17 polarization.
Overall, the data observed reflect the different structure of the two LPS and the higher Th17 response induced by B. pertussis LOS may contribute to the severity of pertussis in humans.