OmpT is one of the members of the outer membrane protein family that has been identified as a virulence factor in most of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). However, the exact role of OmpT in the urinary tract infections (UTIs) remains unclear. To determine the role of OmpT in the pathogenesis of UPEC, an isogenic deletion mutant of ompT (COTD) was constructed by the λ Red recombination. Human bladder epithelial cell line 5637(HBEC 5637) was used to evaluate the ability of bacterial adhesion/invasion. A murine model of UTI was established to study the formation of intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs) in the process of UTIs. The cytokines were also examined during the pathogenesis. The results showed that the COTD strain was deficient in bacterial adhesion and invasion as well as in IBC formation compare to the parent strain. ELISA quantification analysis of cytokines showed that the levels of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-8 in the serum, bladder and kidney tissues of the mice infected with COTD were lower than that of the CFT073 group. In summary, these results suggest that OmpT plays a multifaceted role in pathogenesis of UTI, including increased bacterial adhesiveness/invasiveness, formation of IBCs and upregulated proinflammatory cytokines.
Keywords: IBCs; OmpT; UPEC; UTIs; human bladder epithelial cells.
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