Alteration of human endothelial cells may increase their susceptibility to staphylococcal invasion and thus may contribute to the development of intravascular staphylococcal disease. Acidic fibroblast growth factor, a potent regulator of endothelial cell function, had a significant effect on Staphylococcus aureus infection of cultured human endothelial cells. Three of four S. aureus strains had diminished adherence to endothelial cells when the latter were grown in the presence of acidic fibroblast growth factor (P < 0.05). The diminished adherence was time dependent, maximal at 72 h, and independent of the initial bacterial inoculum. A twofold enhancement of S. aureus adherence was observed when endothelial cells were pretreated with heparitinase. Adherence was unaffected by endothelial cell activation by interleukin-1 or endotoxin. Thus, acidic fibroblast growth factor exerted a protective effect, deterring S. aureus adherence to cultured endothelial cells. Endothelial cell heparan sulfate was also directly involved in the adherence process. Subtle modulations of endothelial cells can significantly affect the ability of S. aureus to adhere to and then infect these cells. Similar alterations may contribute to the ability of S. aureus to infect endovascular tissue in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases