To reveal the cause of the impaired elimination of Salmonella enteritidis in HLA–B27–transfected human monocytic cells and to study whether the B pocket of HLA–B27 contributes to these modulatory effects.Methods
Stable U937 cell transfectants expressing HLA–A2, B27, or different forms of B27 with amino acid substitutions in the B pocket were prepared. Mock-transfected cells were prepared using the antibiotic resistance vector (pSV2neo) alone. Cells were differentiated, infected with S enteritidis, and the number of live intracellular S enteritidis organisms was determined using the colony-forming unit method. To visualize intracellular S enteritidis, the bacteria were transformed with green fluorescent protein (GFP), and studied by confocal microscopy.Results
Cells expressing wild-type HLA–B27 were more permissive of intracellular replication of S enteritidis compared with mock-transfected or A2-transfected controls. Cells expressing B27 with an altered B pocket composition having either 6 amino acid substitutions (B27.A2B; substitutions H9F, T24A, E45M, I66K, C67V, and K70H) or a single substitution (B27.E45M) were no longer permissive of S enteritidis replication. In contrast, cells expressing B27 with the single substitution of F for H at position 9 (B27.H9F) retained their permissiveness. Studies using GFP-transformed S enteritidis confirmed that the increase in the amount of intracellular bacteria in B27-expressing cells was due to replication of the bacteria.Conclusion
Our data indicate that HLA–B27 expression modulates the host–microbe interaction that results in an impaired capacity of monocytes to resist intracellular replication of S enteritidis. The phenotype is dependent on glutamic acid at position 45 in the B pocket and, thus, may be due to properties of the B27 heavy chain that are related to this residue. The ability of HLA–B27 to confer susceptibility to Salmonella-triggered reactive arthritis may occur, at least in part, through these modulatory effects.