Pro-inflammatory effects of Burkholderia cepacia on cystic fibrosis respiratory epithelium

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2003 Oct 15;38(3):273-82. doi: 10.1016/S0928-8244(03)00169-X.


Burkholderia cepacia causes pulmonary infection with high mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients which is likely to involve interaction with respiratory epithelium. In this study the pro-inflammatory properties of B. cepacia were examined using a range of respiratory epithelial cell lines. B. cepacia and cell-free culture supernatants were used to stimulate cell lines with (SigmaCFTE29o- and IB3) and without (A549) the CF transmembrane conductance regulator mutation (CFTR), together with corrected cell lines (C38 and S9). Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8, but not GM-CSF or IL-1beta, were released from all the cell lines whereas PGE(2) (prostaglandin E(2)) was released from the A549, IB3 and S9 cell lines only. Nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation preceded cytokine release and suppression of NF-kappaB activity diminished cytokine release. These studies indicated that B. cepacia secretory products are potent pro-inflammatory agents for respiratory epithelium and suggest functional CFTR is not required for cytokine or prostanoid responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Burkholderia cepacia / immunology
  • Burkholderia cepacia / pathogenicity*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / physiology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation*
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
  • Respiratory Mucosa / immunology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • NF-kappa B
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Dinoprostone