Campylobacter jejuni invade chicken LMH cells inefficiently and stimulate differential expression of the chicken CXCLi1 and CXCLi2 cytokines

Microbiology (Reading). 2008 Dec;154(Pt 12):3835-3847. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2008/021279-0.


Campylobacter jejuni is a major food-borne bacterial pathogen, which is capable of causing diarrhoea containing blood and leukocytes. C. jejuni invasion of the intestinal epithelial cells and the release of proinflammatory molecules contribute to the pathophysiology of campylobacteriosis. Given the commensal relationship of C. jejuni with chickens, we hypothesized that C. jejuni invasion of chicken cells and the release of host cell cytokines would be significantly less than with human cells. To test our hypothesis, we examined the interactions of C. jejuni with chicken LMH cells, and performed in vivo experiments with chickens. The binding and internalization assays revealed that C. jejuni was significantly less invasive of LMH cells relative to human INT 407 cells, even though the bacteria bound to each host cell species equally. We also assessed interleukin-8 (IL-8) transcript, IL-8 secretion, and the release of chemoattractant molecules from the inoculated cells. Inoculation of LMH cells with C. jejuni stimulated expression of both chicken IL-8 orthologues, chCXCLi2 and chCXCLi1, but at levels significantly less than human IL-8 (huCXCL8) expressed from human INT 407 cells inoculated with C. jejuni. Moreover, the supernatant fluids of the C. jejuni-inoculated LMH cells resulted in little heterophil migration. In vivo, C. jejuni were observed bound to the cells lining the glandular crypts, but overt signs of cell invasion or pathology were not observed. These results indicate that cytokine expression in chicken LMH cells in response to C. jejuni is distinct from that of Salmonella typhimurium.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Campylobacter jejuni / pathogenicity*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / physiology*
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Cecum / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line
  • Chickens / microbiology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-8