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F. nucleatum enables breaking bond on blood vessels to allow invaders in
Date:12/15/2011

the body through breaks in the mucous membranes of the mouth, due to injuries or periodontal disease, this particular bacterium triggers a cascade of signals that causes the hook to recede back into the endothelial cell. The oral bacterium leads the way with any other harmful invaders following along.

This "deceding" was observed by confocal microscopy when Han used cells from human umbilical cord. The researchers introduced F. nucleatum and demonstrated the VE-cadherins break on bonds on the endothelial cells and creating enough space in the endothelium for the invaders to move in.

Lab tests included introducing F. nucleatum with and without other bacteria. When E. coli alone was introduced, the bond did not break. But when F. nucleatum was introduced first, the bond broke, and the E. coli bacteria were able to move through the otherwise intact cell layers.

"This cascade knocks out the guard on duty and allows the bacteria to enter the blood and travel like a bus loaded with riders throughout the system. Whenever the F. nucleatum wants to get off the bus at the liver, brain, spleen, or another place, it does," Han said.

When it disembarks from its ride through the blood, it begins to colonize. The colony of bacteria induces an inflammatory reaction that has a range of consequences from necrosis of tissue to fetal death.


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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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