Staphylococcus epidermidis polysaccharide intercellular adhesin induces IL-8 expression in human astrocytes via a mechanism involving TLR2.
Staphylococcus epidermidis is an opportunistic biofilm-forming pathogen associated with neurosurgical device-related meningitis. Expression of the polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) on its surface promotes S. epidermidis biofilm formation. Here we investigated the pro-inflammatory properties of PIA against primary and transformed human astrocytes. PIA induced IL-8 expression in a dose- and/or time-dependent manner from U373 MG cells and primary normal human astrocytes. This effect was inhibited by depletion of N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosamine polymer from the PIA preparation with Lycopersicon esculentum lectin or sodium meta-periodate. Expression of dominant-negative versions of the TLR2 and TLR4 adaptor proteins MyD88 and Mal in U373 MG cells inhibited PIA-induced IL-8 production. Blocking IL-1 had no effect. PIA failed to induce IL-8 production from HEK293 cells stably expressing TLR4. However, in U373 MG cells which express TLR2, neutralization of TLR2 impaired PIA-induced IL-8 production. In addition to IL-8, PIA also induced expression of other cytokines from U373 MG cells including IL-6 and MCP-1. These data implicate PIA as an important immunogenic component of the S. epidermidis biofilm that can regulate pro-inflammatory cytokine production from human astrocytes, in part, via TLR2.