CD95/CD95 Ligand Interactions on Epithelial Cells in Host Defense to Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Science  20 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5491, pp. 527-530
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5491.527

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes severe infections, particularly of the lung, that are life threatening. Here, we show thatP. aeruginosa infection induces apoptosis of lung epithelial cells by activation of the endogenous CD95/CD95 ligand system. Deficiency of CD95 or CD95 ligand on epithelial cells prevented apoptosis of lung epithelial cells in vivo as well as in vitro. The importance of CD95/CD95 ligand–mediated lung epithelial cell apoptosis was demonstrated by the rapid development of sepsis in CD95- or CD95 ligand–deficient mice, but not in normal mice, afterP. aeruginosa infection.

  • * Present address: Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 332 North Lauderdale Street, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: erich.gulbins{at}

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