Toxicity of Streptococcus pneumoniae in neurons, astrocytes, and microglia in vitro

Kim, YS; Kennedy, S; Täuber, MG (1995). Toxicity of Streptococcus pneumoniae in neurons, astrocytes, and microglia in vitro. Journal of infectious diseases, 171(5), pp. 1363-8. Cary, N.C.: Oxford University Press 10.1093/infdis/171.5.1363

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The toxicity of pneumococci and endotoxin in primary cultures of rat neurons, astrocytes, and microglia and in a human astrocyte and two human glial cell lines was determined. Heat-inactivated, rough pneumococci (up to 10(8) cfu/mL) or their cell wall (up to 50 micrograms/mL) produced dose-dependent toxicity after 48 h in microglial cells and to a lesser extent in astrocytes but not in neurons. Toxicity was similar for equivalent doses of heat-inactivated organisms and pneumococcal cell wall, but time-course experiments showed significant differences between the two stimuli. Endotoxin at concentrations of up to 5 micrograms/mL did not induce significant toxicity in any of the cells. Thus, pneumococci can induce toxicity in two brain cell types, microglia and astrocytes, and the pneumococcal cell wall appears to mediate toxicity. Direct toxic effects of bacteria on brain cells may in part be responsible for brain injury during meningitis.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases

UniBE Contributor:

Täuber, Martin G.






Oxford University Press




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:00

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:17

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URI: (FactScience: 60927)

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