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Open AccessArticle

Anthrax Lethal Toxin-Induced Gene Expression Changes in Mouse Lung

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1100 N. Lindsay, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, 825 NE 13th Street, MS 53, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
Microarray Research Facility, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, 825 NE 13th Street, MS 53, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Toxins 2011, 3(9), 1111-1130;
Received: 2 June 2011 / Revised: 24 August 2011 / Accepted: 6 September 2011 / Published: 7 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Toxin)
A major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis is the anthrax Lethal Toxin (LeTx), a bipartite toxin composed of Protective Antigen and Lethal Factor. Systemic administration of LeTx to laboratory animals leads to death associated with vascular leakage and pulmonary edema. In this study, we investigated whether systemic exposure of mice to LeTx would induce gene expression changes associated with vascular/capillary leakage in lung tissue. We observed enhanced susceptibility of A/J mice to death by systemic LeTx administration compared to the C57BL/6 strain. LeTx-induced groups of both up- and down-regulated genes were observed in mouse lungs 6 h after systemic administration of wild type toxin compared to lungs of mice exposed to an inactive mutant form of the toxin. Lungs of the less susceptible C57BL/6 strain showed 80% fewer differentially expressed genes compared to lungs of the more sensitive A/J strain. Expression of genes known to regulate vascular permeability was modulated by LeTx in the lungs of the more susceptible A/J strain. Unexpectedly, the largest set of genes with altered expression was immune specific, characterized by the up-regulation of lymphoid genes and the down-regulation of myeloid genes. Transcripts encoding neutrophil chemoattractants, modulators of tumor regulation and angiogenesis were also differentially expressed in both mouse strains. These studies provide new directions for the investigation of vascular leakage and pulmonary edema induced by anthrax LeTx. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lethal Toxin; lung; gene expression Lethal Toxin; lung; gene expression
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Dumas, E.K.; Cox, P.M.; Fullenwider, C.O.; Nguyen, M.; Centola, M.; Frank, M.B.; Dozmorov, I.; James, J.A.; Farris, A.D. Anthrax Lethal Toxin-Induced Gene Expression Changes in Mouse Lung. Toxins 2011, 3, 1111-1130.

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