Hormone-induced changes in HeLa cell membrane architecture relate to changes in microbial adherence: Implications for treatment strategies

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Sommer, Paula ; Cowley, Heather M. (2011)
  • Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
  • Journal: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (issn: 1651-2235, eissn: 1651-2235)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/mehd.v17i1.7810

The female genital tract is susceptible to different microbial infections at different stages of the menstrual cycle. As microbial adherence is receptor-mediated, the effects of the menstrual cycle hormones, oestradiol and progesterone, on the receptor repertoire of HeLa S3 cells that facilitate the adherence of Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli, Lactobacilluc casei and the potential pathogen, Candida albicans , were investigated. Treatment of HeLa S3 cells with progesterone (alone, or in combination with oestradiol mimicking the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle) significantly (p<0.05) promoted the adherence of all the tested microorganisms to the cells when compared with the effects of oestradiol (alone, or in combination with progesterone mimicking the follicular phase). C. albicans and L. casei bound preferentially to the protein fraction of progesterone-treated cells and to the lipid fraction of oestradiol-treated cells (p<0.05) while S. aureus bound to proteins of oestradiol-treated cells and lipids of progesterone-treated cells (p<0.05). E. coli adhered significantly (p<0.05) more to proteins of oestradiol-treated cells than progesterone-treated cells. Numerous hormonally influenced polypeptides and some lipids permitting the adherence of the tested microorganisms were identified by overlay experiments. Irrespective of hormone treatment, six polypeptides possessing saccharide residues with identical migratory properties bound both the potential pathogen, C. albicans and the potentially probiotic species, L. casei . The existence of a common target oligosaccharide on the cells, present irrespective of hormone environment, may indicate a rationale for the development of small oligosaccharide infection inhibitors. Alternatively, stringent selection of probiotic species with common binding patterns regardless of the hormonal milieu is suggested.Key words: progesterone, oestradiol, membrane architecture, microbial adherence
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