CD34 is a highly glycosylated sialomucin expressed on a variety of cells, ranging from vascular endothelial cells to haematopoietic stem cells. Depending on its glycosylation state, CD34 has been shown to promote or inhibit cell adhesion and migration; however, a functional role for CD34 in the gut has not been determined. Using a model of Salmonella-induced gastroenteritis, we investigated the role of CD34 in the context of infection. Upon oral infection, the number of CD34+ cells detected in the submucosa, vascular endothelium and lamina propria significantly increased in S. Typhimurium-infected C57Bl/6 mice. The pathology of S. Typhimurium-infected C57Bl/6 mice was characterized by recruitment of neutrophils to the site of inflammation, submucosal oedema and crypt destruction. In contrast, Cd34(-/-) mice showed a delayed pathology, a defect in inflammatory cell migration into the intestinal tissue and enhanced survival. Importantly, this was not due to a lack of chemotactic signals in Cd34(-/-) mice as these mice had either similar or significantly higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines post infection when compared with infected C57/Bl6 control mice. In summary, we demonstrate a novel role for CD34 in enhancing migration of inflammatory cells and thereby exacerbating host-mediated immunopathology in the intestine of S. Typhimurium-infected mice.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.