Transferrin increases adherence of iron-deprived Neisseria gonorrhoeae to human endometrial cells.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE:Our purpose was to study the effects of iron deprivation with and without human transferrin supplementation on the adherence and invasion of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to human endometrial cells. STUDY DESIGN:N. gonorrhoeae grown with our without iron was placed in media alone or media containing 2.5 mg/ml saturated human transferrin or unsaturated transferrin. N. gonorrhoeae was inoculated onto polarized human endometrial carcinoma cell (HEC 1-B) monolayers, and at various intervals monolayers were washed and incubated with media containing gentamicin or media alone. Colony-forming units per milliliter of N. gonorrhoeae associated with HEC 1-B cells were then determined. N. gonorrhoeae strains tested included both a transferrin receptor-positive (wild-type) and a transferrin receptor-negative mutant. Differences in percent of original inoculum remaining at varying time points were analyzed by the Mann-Whitney U test. Transmission electron microscopy using a primary endometrial cell line was used to verify findings. RESULTS:Iron-negative N. gonorrhoeae exhibited less adherence than did iron-positive N. gonorrhoeae. No difference in HEC 1-B adherence was seen when either saturated transferrin or unsaturated transferrin was added to the iron-positive N. gonorrhoeae. With iron-negative N. gonorrhoeae addition of either saturated transferrin or unsaturated transferrin significantly increased N. gonorrhoeae adherence although unsaturated transferrin did not permit growth of iron-negative N. gonorrhoeae in tissue culture media alone. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed increased adherence of iron-negative N. gonorrhoeae supplemented with unsaturated transferrin. An iron-negative N. gonorrhoeae mutant lacking the transferrin receptor exhibited no adherence regardless of addition of saturated transferrin or unsaturated transferrin. Invasion could not be quantitated reliably because of persistence of gentamicin effect. CONCLUSION:Iron and transferrin increased attachment of N. gonorrhoeae to human endometrial cells.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Heine, RP; Elkins, C; Wyrick, PB; Sparling, PF

Published Date

  • February 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 174 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 659 - 666

PubMed ID

  • 8623803

Pubmed Central ID

  • 8623803

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-6868

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9378

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0002-9378(96)70446-5


  • eng