Mannose-binding lectin impairs Leptospira activity through the inhibitory effect on the motility of cell

Jun Xu, Yijie Guo, Shuichi Nakamura, Md Shafiqul Islam, Rintaro Tomioka, Hiroshi Yoneyama, Emiko Isogai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) plays key role in lectin pathway of innate immunity, and shows the ability of triggering opsonization intermediately. Substantial increase in the serum level of MBL has been confirmed during leptospirosis, which caused by a pathogenic spirochete, Leptospira. Leptospira has a fascinating locomotion pattern, which simultaneously gyrating and swimming forward, such motility enables that Leptospira is difficult to be captured by immune cells if without any assistance. In this study, the effect of mannose-binding lectin to Leptospira was quantitatively investigated by measuring some kinematic parameters, to discover the mechanism behind MBL-mediated immune responses during leptospiral infection. The results showed that mannose-binding lectin is capable of inhibiting the motility of Leptospira by transforming free swimming cells to tumbled rotating cells, resulted in the increase number of rotating cells. Otherwise, decrease in rotation rate of rotating cell has been observed. However, the swimming speed of swimming Leptospira cells showed no observable change under the effect of MBL. The inhibitory effect were only valid in a relatively short period, Leptospira cells regained their original motility after 2. h. This raises an interesting topic that Leptospira is somehow able to escape from the inhibitory effect of MBL by dragging such unfavorable molecules toward to the cell end and eventually throwing it out. The inhibitory effect of MBL on the motility of Leptospira is expected to provide a new insight into lectin pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalMicrobiological Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1


  • Cell swimming speed
  • Leptospira motility
  • Mannose-binding lectin
  • Motile fraction
  • Rotation rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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