2021 Volume 74 Issue 4 Pages 352-358
Necrotizing pneumonia caused by Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-positive community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has high mortality rates and is currently a serious clinical issue. PVL is a two-component toxin (LukS-PV and LukF-PV). It can cause necrosis in target cells by forming pores consisting of an octamer comprised of LukS-PV and LukF-PV. However, considering the specificity of PVL towards several target cells and species, the specific effect of PVL remains controversial. Therefore, we focused on necrotizing pneumonia caused by PVL-positive S. aureus and clarified the effect of PVL on alveolar macrophages, which play a central role in innate immunity in the alveolar space. We constructed recombinant PVL (rPVL) components and stimulated alveolar macrophages isolated from rabbits to evaluate cytotoxicity and pro-inflammatory cytokine release. Recombinant LukS-PV (rLukS-PV), but not recombinant LukF-PV (rLukF-PV), induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release. Specifically, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α release was mediated by the C5a receptor (C5aR) expressed on rabbit alveolar macrophages, and the toxicity of rPVL, consisting of rLukS-PV and rLukF-PV, towards rabbit alveolar macrophages was mediated by the same receptor. Overall, our findings shed light on the C5aR-mediated cytotoxic effect of PVL on alveolar macrophages, which may be useful for understanding the mechanism of necrotizing pneumonia caused by PVL.