Pneumococcal otitis media is associated with the production of potent inflammatory mediators (leukotrienes), but the mechanism by which pneumococcus induces production of leukotrienes in the middle ear is poorly understood. In this study, up-regulation of 2 genes that govern the lipoxygenase pathway, cPLA2 and 5-LOX, was observed in rats following inoculation of pneumococcus into the middle ear cavity. Expression of cPLA2 was low, and 5-LOX gene expression was not detected in control animals. Up- regulation of cPLA2 and 5-LOX in middle ear epithelial cells was accompanied by an increase of high-molecular-weight glycoproteins in middle ear fluid and cells. These findings suggest that pneumococcus activates the lipoxygenase pathway by up-regulating expression of the cPLA2 and 5-LOX genes. This, in turn, may stimulate synthesis and secretion of high-molecular-weight glycoproteins that facilitate production of fluid in the middle ear cleft.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Received 10 August 1998; revised 8 December 1998. Support: Vikings’ Children Fund; Multiple District (5M) Lion’s Hearing Foundation. Reprints or correspondence: Dr. Jizhen Lin, 2001 6th St. S.E., Room 212 LRB, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (firstname.lastname@example.org).