RNA expression patterns change dramatically in human neutrophils exposed to bacteria

Academic Program

Not applicable

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology; Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


A comprehensive study of changes in messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in human neutrophils following exposure to bacteria is described. Within 2 hours there are dramatic changes in the levels of several hundred mRNAs including those for a variety of cytokines, receptors, apoptosis-regulating products, and membrane trafficking regulators. In addition, there are a large number of up-regulated mRNAs that appear to represent a common core of activation response genes that have been identified as early-response products to a variety of stimuli in a number of other cell types. The activation response of neutrophils to nonpathogenic bacteria is greatly altered by exposure to Yersinia pestis, which may be a major factor contributing to the virulence and rapid progression of plague. Several gene clusters were created based on the patterns of gene induction caused by different bacteria. These clusters were consistent with those found by a principal components analysis. A number of the changes could be interpreted in terms of neutrophil physiology and the known functions of the genes. These findings indicate that active regulation of gene expression plays a major role in the neutrophil contribution to the cellular inflammatory response. Interruption of these changes by pathogens, such as Y pestis, could be responsible, at least in part, for the failure to contain infections by highly virulent organisms.

DOI of Published Version



Blood. 2001 Apr 15;97(8):2457-68.

Journal/Book/Conference Title


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID