Gram-positive bacterial cell wall components including PGN (peptidoglycan) elicit a potent pro-inflammatory response in diverse cell types, including endothelial cells, by activating TLR2 (Toll-like receptor 2) signalling. The functional integrity of the endothelium is under the influence of a network of gap junction intercellular communication channels composed of Cxs (connexins) that also form hemichannels, signalling conduits that are implicated in ATP release and purinergic signalling. PGN modulates Cx expression in a variety of cell types, yet effects in endothelial cells remain unresolved. Using the endothelial cell line b.End5, a 6 h challenge with PGN induced IL-6 (interleukin 6), TLR2 and Cx43 mRNA expression that was associated with enhanced Cx43 protein expression and gap junction coupling.
- endothelial cells
- Staphylococcus epidermidis