Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is an important porcine bacterial pathogen and emerging zoonotic agent. Infections induce an exacerbated inflammation that can result in sudden death (septic shock) and meningitis. Though neutrophilic leukocytosis characterizes S. suis infection, the mediators involved are poorly understood. Among them, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, triggers proliferation of neutrophil progenitors and neutrophil mobilization. However, the systemic production of G-CSF induced during S. suis infection, the cell types involved, and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. In a S. suis serotype 2 mouse model of systemic infection, plasma levels of G-CSF rapidly increased after infection. S. suis activation of DCs and macrophages resulted in high (> 1000 pg/mL) and comparable production levels of G-CSF, as measured by ELISA. By using mutant strains deficient in capsular polysaccharide (CPS) or lipoprotein maturation in combination with purified lipoteichoic acid (LTA) from the latter mutant strain, it was showed that G-CSF production is mainly mediated by S. suis lipoproteins. The Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway via myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MyD88) is required for G-CSF production by DCs and macrophages following S. suis activation, with a partial involvement of TLR2. On the other hand, TLR2-independant G-CSF production induced by S. suis requires internalization and bacterial DNA might play a role in this pathway. Finally, these signals activated nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways leading to G-CSF production. In conclusion, this study demonstrated for the first time that S. suis induces G-CSF production in vivo and DCs and macrophages are key cellular sources of this cytokine mediator, mainly via the binding of lipoproteins to TLR2. The CPS significantly reduced this activation, confirming the powerful role of this component in S. suis virulence. As such, this study contributes to better understand how DCs and macrophages produce G-CSF in response to S. suis, and potentially to other streptococci.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

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