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See detailDUSP3 genetic deletion confers M2-like−macrophage-dependent tolerance to septic shock
Singh, Pratibha; Dejager, Lien; Amand, Mathieu ULg et al

in Journal of Immunology (in press)

DUSP3 is a small dual-specificity protein phosphatase with an unknown physiological function. We report that DUSP3 is strongly expressed in human and mouse monocytes and macrophages and that its ... [more ▼]

DUSP3 is a small dual-specificity protein phosphatase with an unknown physiological function. We report that DUSP3 is strongly expressed in human and mouse monocytes and macrophages and that its deficiency in mice promotes tolerance to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxin shock and to polymicrobial septic shock following cecal ligation and puncture. By using adoptive transfer experiments, we demonstrate that resistance to endotoxin is macrophage-dependent and transferable and that this protection is associated with a striking increase of M2-like macrophages in DUSP3-/- mice in both the LPS and cecal ligation and puncture models. We show that the altered response of DUSP3-/- mice to sepsis is reflected in decreased TNF production and impaired ERK1/2 activation. Our results demonstrate that DUSP3 plays a key and non-redundant role as a regulator of innate immune responses by mechanisms involving the control of ERK1/2 activation, TNF secretion and macrophage polarization. [less ▲]

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See detailPerspective: Tyrosine Phosphatases As Novel Targets For Antiplatelet Therapy
Tautz, Lutz; Senis, Yotis; Oury, Cécile ULg et al

in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (in press)

Arterial thrombosis is the primary cause of most cases of myocardial infarction and stroke, the leading causes of death in the developed world. Platelets, highly specialized cells of the circulatory ... [more ▼]

Arterial thrombosis is the primary cause of most cases of myocardial infarction and stroke, the leading causes of death in the developed world. Platelets, highly specialized cells of the circulatory system, are key contributors to thrombotic events. Antiplatelet drugs, which prevent platelets from aggregating, have been very effective in reducing the mortality and morbidity of these conditions. However, approved antiplatelet therapies have adverse side effects, most notably the increased risk of bleeding. Moreover, there remains a considerable incidence of arterial thrombosis in a subset of patients receiving currently available drugs. Thus, there is a pressing medical need for novel antiplatelet agents with a more favorable safety profile and less patient resistance. The discovery of novel antiplatelet targets is the matter of intense ongoing research. Recent findings demonstrate the potential of targeting key signaling molecules, including kinases and phosphatases, to prevent platelet activation and aggregation. Here, we offer perspectives to targeting members of the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) superfamily, a major class of enzymes in signal transduction. We give an overview of previously identified PTPs in platelet signaling, and discuss their potential as antiplatelet drug targets. We also introduce VHR (DUSP3), a PTP that we recently identified as a major player in platelet biology and thrombosis. We review our data on genetic deletion as well as pharmacological inhibition of VHR, providing proof-of-principle for a novel and potentially safer VHR-based antiplatelet therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailDUSP3 Phosphatase Deficiency or Inhibition Limit Platelet Activation and Arterial Thrombosis
Musumeci, Lucia ULg; Kuijpers, Marijke; Gilio, Karen et al

in Circulation (2015), 131(7), 656-68

Background A limitation of current antiplatelet therapies is their inability to separate thrombotic events from bleeding occurrences. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to platelet ... [more ▼]

Background A limitation of current antiplatelet therapies is their inability to separate thrombotic events from bleeding occurrences. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to platelet activation is of importance for the development of improved therapies. Recently, protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) have emerged as critical regulators of platelet function. Methods and Results This is the first report implicating the dual-specificity phosphatase 3 (DUSP3) in platelet signaling and thrombosis. This phosphatase is highly expressed in human and mouse platelets. Platelets from DUSP3-deficient mice displayed a selective impairment of aggregation and granule secretion mediated through the collagen receptor glycoprotein VI (GPVI) and the C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2). DUSP3-deficient mice were more resistant to collagen- and epinephrine-induced thromboembolism, compared to wild-type mice, and showed severely impaired thrombus formation upon ferric chloride-induced carotid artery injury. Intriguingly, bleeding times were not altered in DUSP3-deficient mice. At the molecular level, DUSP3 deficiency impaired Syk tyrosine phosphorylation, subsequently reducing phosphorylation of PLCγ2 and calcium fluxes. To investigate DUSP3 function in human platelets, a novel small-molecule inhibitor of DUSP3 was developed. This compound specifically inhibited collagen and CLEC-2-induced human platelet aggregation, thereby phenocopying the effect of DUSP3 deficiency in murine cells. Conclusions DUSP3 plays a selective and essential role in collagen- and CLEC-2-mediated platelet activation and thrombus formation in vivo. Inhibition of DUSP3 may prove therapeutic for arterial thrombosis. This is the first time a PTP, implicated in platelet signaling, has been targeted with a small-molecule drug. [less ▲]

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See detailPurinergic control of inflammation and thrombosis: Role of P2X1 receptors
Oury, Cécile ULg; LECUT, Christelle ULg; Hego, Alexandre ULg et al

in Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal (2015), 13

Inflammation shifts the hemostatic mechanisms in favor of thrombosis. Upon tissue damage or infection, a sudden increase of extracellular ATP occurs, that might contribute to the crosstalk between ... [more ▼]

Inflammation shifts the hemostatic mechanisms in favor of thrombosis. Upon tissue damage or infection, a sudden increase of extracellular ATP occurs, that might contribute to the crosstalk between inflammation and thrombosis. On platelets, P2X1 receptors act to amplify platelet activation and aggregation induced by other platelet agonists. These receptors critically contribute to thrombus stability in small arteries. Besides platelets, studies by our group indicate that these receptors are expressed by neutrophils. They promote neutrophil chemotaxis, both in vitro and in vivo. In a laser-induced injury mouse model of thrombosis, it appears that neutrophils are required to initiate thrombus formation and coagulation activation on inflamed arteriolar endothelia. In thismodel, by using P2X1−/−mice,we recently showed that P2X1 receptors, expressed on platelets and neutrophils, play a key role in thrombus growth and fibrin generation. Intriguingly, in a model of endotoxemia, P2X1−/−mice exhibited aggravated oxidative tissue damage, along with exacerbated thrombocytopenia and increased activation of coagulation, which translated into higher susceptibility to septic shock. Thus, besides its ability to recruit neutrophils and platelets on inflamed endothelia, the P2X1 receptor also contributes to limit the activation of circulating neutrophils under systemic inflammatory conditions. Taken together, these data suggest that P2X1 receptors are involved in the interplay between platelets, neutrophils and thrombosis. We propose that activation of these receptors by ATP on neutrophils and platelets represents a new mechanism that regulates thrombo-inflammation. [less ▲]

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See detailPoster session 6: Saturday 6 December 2014, 08:30-12:30Location: Poster area.
Henri, C.; DULGHERU, Raluca Elena ULg; Magne, J. et al

Poster (2014, December)

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See detailPoster session 5: Friday 5 December 2014, 14:00-18:00Location: Poster area.
Henri, C.; DULGHERU, Raluca Elena ULg; Magne, J. et al

Poster (2014, December)

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See detailP2X1 expressed on polymorphonuclear neutrophils and platelets is required for thrombosis in mice
Darbousset, Roxane; Delierneux, Céline ULg; Mezouar, Soraya et al

in Blood (2014), 124

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and its metabolite, adenosine, are key regulators of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) functions. PMNs have recently been implicated in the initiation of thrombosis. We ... [more ▼]

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and its metabolite, adenosine, are key regulators of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) functions. PMNs have recently been implicated in the initiation of thrombosis. We investigated the role of ATP and adenosine in PMN activation and recruitment at the site of endothelial injury. Following binding to the injured vessel wall, PMNs are activated and release elastase. The recruitment of PMNs and the subsequent fibrin generation and thrombus formation are strongly affected in mice deficient in the P2X1-ATP receptor and in wild-type mice treated with CGS 21680, an agonist of the A2A adenosine receptor or NF449 a P2X1 antagonist. Infusion of wild-type PMNs into P2X1-deficient mice increases fibrin generation but not thrombus formation. Restoration of thrombosis requires infusion of both platelets and PMNs from wild-type mice. In vitro, ATP activates PMNs, whereas CGS 21680 prevents their binding to activated endothelial cells. These data indicate that ATP contributes to PMN activation leading to their adhesion at the site of laser-induced endothelial injury, a necessary step leading to the generation of fibrin and subsequent platelet-dependent thrombus formation. Altogether, our study identifies previously unknown mechanisms by which ATP and adenosine are key molecules involved in thrombosis by regulating the activation state of PMNs. [less ▲]

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See detailRasa3 Controls Megakaryocyte Rap1 Activation, Integrin Signaling and Differentiation into Proplatelet
Molina Ortiz, Patricia ULg; Polizzi, Séléna; Ramery, Eve ULg et al

in PLoS Genetics (2014), 10(6), 1004420

Rasa3 is a GTPase activating protein of the GAP1 family which targets Ras and Rap1. Ubiquitous Rasa3 catalytic inactivation in mouse results in early embryonic lethality. Here, we show that Rasa3 ... [more ▼]

Rasa3 is a GTPase activating protein of the GAP1 family which targets Ras and Rap1. Ubiquitous Rasa3 catalytic inactivation in mouse results in early embryonic lethality. Here, we show that Rasa3 catalytic inactivation in mouse hematopoietic cells results in a lethal syndrome characterized by severe defects during megakaryopoiesis, thrombocytopenia and a predisposition to develop preleukemia. The main objective of this study was to define the cellular and the molecular mechanisms of terminal megakaryopoiesis alterations. We found that Rasa3 catalytic inactivation altered megakaryocyte development, adherence, migration, actin cytoskeleton organization and differentiation into proplatelet forming megakaryocytes. These megakaryocyte alterations were associated with an increased active Rap1 level and a constitutive integrin activation. Thus, these mice presented a severe thrombocytopenia, bleeding and anemia associated with an increased percentage of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow, bone marrow fibrosis, extramedular hematopoiesis, splenomegaly and premature death. Altogether, our results indicate that Rasa3 catalytic activity controls Rap1 activation and integrin signaling during megakaryocyte differentiation in mouse. [less ▲]

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See detailCAMKKβ/AMPK-α1 pathway regulates phosphorylation of cytoskeletal targets in thrombin-stimulated human platelets
Onselaer, Marie-Blanche; Oury, Cécile ULg; Hunter, Roger W et al

in Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis [=JTH] (2014), 12(6), 973-986

Background. Platelet activation requires sweeping morphological changes, supported by contraction and remodelling of platelet actin cytoskeleton. In various other cell types, AMP-activated protein kinase ... [more ▼]

Background. Platelet activation requires sweeping morphological changes, supported by contraction and remodelling of platelet actin cytoskeleton. In various other cell types, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) controls the phosphorylation state of cytoskeletal targets. Objective. We hypothesized that AMPK is activated during platelet aggregation and contributes to the control of cytoskeletal targets. Results. We found that AMPK-α1 was mainly activated by thrombin and not by other platelet agonists in purified human platelets. Thrombin activated AMPK-α1 ex vivo via a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase kinase β (CAMKKβ)-dependent pathway. Pharmacological inhibition of CAMKKβ blocked thrombin-induced platelet aggregation and counteracted thrombin-induced phosphorylation of several cytoskeletal proteins, namely, regulatory myosin light chains (MLC), cofilin and vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), three key elements involved in actin cytoskeleton contraction and polymerization. Platelets isolated from mice lacking AMPK-α1 exhibited reduced aggregation in response to thrombin, associated with a defect in MLC, cofilin and VASP phosphorylation and actin polymerization. More importantly, we show for the first time that AMPK pathway was activated in platelets of patients undergoing major cardiac surgery, in a heparin-sensitive manner. Conclusion. AMPK-α1 is activated by thrombin in human platelets. It controls phosphorylation of key cytoskeletal targets and actin cytoskeleton remodelling during platelet aggregation. [less ▲]

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See detailUsefulness of Serial B-type Natriuretic Peptide Assessment in Asymptomatic Aortic Stenosis.
Henri; Magne; DULGHERU, Raluca Elena ULg et al

in The American journal of cardiology (2014)

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level may be a useful prognostic marker for the management of asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis (AS). The aim of this study was to identify the echocardiographic ... [more ▼]

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level may be a useful prognostic marker for the management of asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis (AS). The aim of this study was to identify the echocardiographic determinants of BNP changes during follow-up in AS. We studied 61 asymptomatic patients with greater than moderate AS and preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction who underwent rest and exercise Doppler echocardiography with concomitant BNP level measurement at baseline. BNP measurement was repeated after inclusion every 6 months. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the median of BNP changes during follow-up. According to parameters at rest, patients in the high BNP changes group had significantly higher E/e' ratio. Statistically significant correlations were found between BNP changes and E/e' ratio and indexed left atrial area. According to exercise parameters, patients in the high BNP changes group had significantly lower exercise-induced increase in LV ejection fraction. Statistically significant correlations were found between BNP changes and exercise-induced changes in LV ejection fraction. After adjustment for age, mean aortic pressure gradient, and BNP level at baseline, multivariate analysis identified indexed left atrial area, E/e' at rest, and exercise-induced increase in ejection fraction as independent determinants of BNP changes during follow-up. In conclusion, this study shows that, in asymptomatic patients with preserved LV function and moderate AS, serial BNP measurements may widely vary. Subclinical LV diastolic and systolic dysfunctions are frequently present in patients with higher serial BNP changes. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of a microRNA landscape targeting the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in inflammation-induced colorectal carcinogenesis
JOSSE, Claire ULg; Bouznad, Nassim ULg; Geurts, Pierre ULg et al

in American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (2014), 306

Inflammation can contribute to tumor formation; however, markers that predict progression are still lacking. In the present study, the well-established azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS ... [more ▼]

Inflammation can contribute to tumor formation; however, markers that predict progression are still lacking. In the present study, the well-established azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced mouse model of colitis-associated cancer was used to analyze microRNA (miRNA) modulation accompanying inflammation-induced tumor development and to determine whether inflammation-triggered miRNA alterations affect the expression of genes or pathways involved in cancer. A miRNA microarray experiment was performed to establish miRNA expression profiles in mouse colon at early and late time points during inflammation and/or tumor growth. Chronic inflammation and carcinogenesis were associated with distinct changes in miRNA expression. Nevertheless, prediction algorithms of miRNA-mRNA interactions and computational analyses based on ranked miRNA lists consistently identified putative target genes that play essential roles in tumor growth or that belong to key carcinogenesis-related signaling pathways. We identified PI3K/Akt and the insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) as major pathways being affected in the AOM/DSS model. DSS-induced chronic inflammation downregulates miR-133a and miR-143/145, which is reportedly associated with human colorectal cancer and PI3K/Akt activation. Accordingly, conditioned medium from inflammatory cells decreases the expression of these miRNA in colorectal adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cells. Overexpression of miR-223, one of the main miRNA showing strong upregulation during AOM/DSS tumor growth, inhibited Akt phosphorylation and IGF-1R expression in these cells. Cell sorting from mouse colons delineated distinct miRNA expression patterns in epithelial and myeloid cells during the periods preceding and spanning tumor growth. Hence, cell-type-specific miRNA dysregulation and subsequent PI3K/Akt activation may be involved in the transition from intestinal inflammation to cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailCD36: linking lipids to the NLRP3 inflammasome, atherogenesis and atherothrombosis
Oury, Cécile ULg

in Cellular & Molecular Immunology (2014), 11

Uptake of the atherogenic lipid mediator oxLDL by CD36 results in the formation of intracellular cholesterol crystals that caused lyso¬somal destabilization and NLRP3 activation. oxLDL not only primes ... [more ▼]

Uptake of the atherogenic lipid mediator oxLDL by CD36 results in the formation of intracellular cholesterol crystals that caused lyso¬somal destabilization and NLRP3 activation. oxLDL not only primes, via a NF-κB-dependent pathway, but also activates NLRP3. CD36-mediated inflammasome activation provides an early pathogenic pathway that links cholesterol accumulation to the chronic inflammatory process of atherosclerosis. During atherogenesis, activated or injured endothelial cells, leucocytes and platelets release ATP that acts in a paracrine manner to transduce sterile inflammatory signals. Among these signals, P2X7 receptors mediate K+ efflux leading to NLRP3 activation. Since ATP assembles ASC complexes in oxLDL-treated macrophages, P2X7 receptors and CD36 may cooperate in vivo to activate NLRP3 inflammasome, contributing to plaque formation. Besides macrophages, CD36 is expressed on platelets where it mediates oxLDL-dependent platelet activation and potentially further IL-1β release. P2X7 receptors contributes to protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) tissue factor-dependent thrombosis. Consequently, both CD36 and P2X7 receptors may be involved in atherothrombosis upon plaque rupture. [less ▲]

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See detailConnection between cardiac vascular permeability, myocardial oedema and inflammation during sepsis: role of the alpha1AMPK isoform
Castanares-Zapatero, Diego; Bouleti, C; Sommereyns, C et al

in Critical Care Medicine (2013), 41(12), 411-22

Objective: Since AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) both controls cytoskeletonorganization in endothelial cells (ECs) and exerts anti-inflammatory effects, we here postulated that it could influence ... [more ▼]

Objective: Since AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) both controls cytoskeletonorganization in endothelial cells (ECs) and exerts anti-inflammatory effects, we here postulated that it could influence vascular permeability and inflammation, thereby counteracting cardiac wall oedema during sepsis. Design: Controlled animal study Settings: University research laboratory Subjects: C57BL/6J, α1AMPK-/- and α1AMPK+/+ mice Intervention: Sepsis was triggered in vivo using a sub-lethal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, O55B5, 10 mg.kg-1), inducing systolic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. LV function, oedema, vascular permeability and inflammation were assessed in vivo in both wild type (WT) mice (α1AMPK+/+) and α1AMPK-deficient mice (α1AMPK-/-). 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide riboside (AICAr) served to study the impact of AMPK activation on vascular permeability in vivo. The integrity of EC monolayers was also examined in vitro after LPS challenge in the presence of AICAr and/or after α1AMPK silencing. Measurements and main results: α1AMPK-deficiency dramatically impaired tolerance to LPS challenge. Indeed, α1AMPK-/- exhibited heightened cardiac vascular permeability after LPS challenge compared to α1AMPK+/+. Consequently, an increase in LV mass corresponding to exaggerated wall oedema occurred in α1AMPK-/-, without any further decrease in systolic function. Mechanistically, the LPS-induced α1AMPK-/- cardiac phenotype could not be attributed to major changes in the systemic inflammatory response, but was due to an increased disruption of interendothelial tight junctions. Accordingly, AMPK activation by AICAr counteracted LPS-induced hyperpermeability in WT mice in vivo as well as in ECs in vitro. This effect was associated with a potent protection of ZO-1 linear border pattern in ECs. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate, for the first time the involvement of a signalling pathway in the control of LV wall oedema during sepsis. AMPK exerts a protective action through the preservation of interendothelial tight junctions. Interestingly, exaggerated LV wall oedema was not coupled with aggravated systolic dysfunction. However, it could contribute to diastolic dysfunction in septic patients. [less ▲]

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See detailCompetitive interaction of a synthetic polycation (PDMAEMA) to human platelets and erythrocytes
Flebus, Luca ULg; Lombart, François ULg; martinez, Lucia et al

Poster (2013, October)

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See detailStudy of the specific interaction between fluorescent PDMAEMA and Platelets compared to Erythrocytes
Flebus, Luca ULg; Lombart, François ULg; Martinez, Lucia et al

Poster (2013, June 18)

Nowadays synthetic polymers provide more and more functionalities in the biomedical world, in particular as part of medical devices and drug delivery systems. Looking for new applications in the ... [more ▼]

Nowadays synthetic polymers provide more and more functionalities in the biomedical world, in particular as part of medical devices and drug delivery systems. Looking for new applications in the cardiovascular field, our attention has been focused on the well-known poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate polymer (PDMAEMA). This synthetic polycation has particularly been studied as a potential DNA carrier to promote cell transfection. However and surprisingly enough relative few studies have been published in order to better understand its hemoreactivity under a free form (thus not based on “PolyElectrolyte Complex”), but also its biodistribution and clearance kinetics. In order to facilitate the in vitro and in vivo monitoring of this polycation and especially to follow its reactivity with whole blood we have labeled it with fluorescein adopting a new chemical route of synthesis. After its thorough purification and full-characterization (NMR, SEC, fluorescent spectroscopy), we followed its interaction with erythrocytes and platelets using flow cytometry. Dose-response curves were established in whole blood and within incubation times ranging between 5 min to 3 h. Considering the largest area and more negative Zeta potential developed by red blood cells compared to platelets, we initially hypothesized that RBC should interact more quickly and efficiently with the polycation. Unexpectedly, platelets presented a higher affinity for the polycation with a saturation binding curve whilst a linear profile was observed for the erythrocyte adsorption curve. Aggregometry analyses also revealed this phenomenon, although displaying a weaker effect in whole blood compared to washed platelets. Ongoing research seeks to understand the molecular mechanism of interaction of this polymer with platelets. [less ▲]

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See detailNeutrophil Extracellular Traps (NET) Entrap and Kill Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto Spirochetes and Are not Affected by Ixodes ricinus Tick Saliva.
MENTEN-DEDOYART, Catherine ULg; Faccinetto, Céline; Golovchenko, Maryna et al

in Journal of Immunology (2012), 189(11), 5393-5401

Lyme disease is a pathology caused by members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex, most often by B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). They are transmitted mainly by Ixodes ricinus ticks ... [more ▼]

Lyme disease is a pathology caused by members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex, most often by B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). They are transmitted mainly by Ixodes ricinus ticks. After a few hours of infestation, neutrophils massively infiltrate the bite site. They can kill Borrelia via phagocytosis, oxidative burst and hydrolytic enzymes. However, factors in tick saliva promote propagation of the bacteria in the host even in the presence of a large number of neutrophils. Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) consists in the extrusion of the neutrophil’s own DNA, forming traps that can retain and kill bacteria. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is apparently associated with the onset of NEtosis. Here we describe NETs formation at the tick bite site in vivo in mice. We show that Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. spirochetes become trapped and killed by NETs in humans and that the bacteria do not seem to release significant nucleases to evade this process. Saliva from I. ricinus did not affect NET formation by human neutrophiles or it stability. However, it strongly decreased neutrophil ROS production, suggesting that a strong decrease of hydrogen peroxide does not affect NET formation. Finally, round bodies were observed trapped in NETs, some of them staining as live cells. This observation could help contribute to a better explanation of erythema migrans. [less ▲]

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