Recent progress in understanding Bartonella-induced vascular proliferation

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Feb;6(1):61-5. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(03)00006-7.


The ability to induce endothelial cell proliferation is a common feature of human pathogenic Bartonella species. Recent data have indicated that bartonellae can provoke angioproliferation by at least two independent mechanisms: directly, by triggering proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis of endothelial cells; and indirectly, by stimulating a paracrine angiogenic loop of vascular endothelial growth factor production by infected macrophages. A NF-kappaB-mediated acute inflammatory reaction of the Bartonella-infected endothelium appears to be critical for the recruitment of monocytes/macrophages and the initiation and maintenance of a paracrine angiogenic loop. Given that bartonellae effectively adhere to and invade endothelial cells, their ability to trigger angioproliferation might represent a dedicated pathogenic strategy for expanding the bacterial host cell habitat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Bartonella / classification
  • Bartonella / metabolism
  • Bartonella / pathogenicity*
  • Bartonella henselae / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / biosynthesis
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / immunology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / growth & development
  • Endothelium, Vascular / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / immunology
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / classification
  • Interleukins / immunology
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis
  • Lymphokines / immunology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Interleukins
  • Lymphokines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors