Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS Toxin Induces Pulmonary Eosinophilic and Lymphocytic Inflammation

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 01/2012; 46(6):815-22. DOI: 10.1165/rcmb.2011-0135OC
Source: PubMed


Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes acute and chronic lung infections in humans, leading to a variety of pulmonary and extrapulmonary sequelae. Of the airway complications of M. pneumoniae infection, M. pneumoniae-associated exacerbation of asthma and pediatric wheezing are emerging as significant sources of human morbidity. However, M. pneumoniae products capable of promoting allergic inflammation are unknown. Recently, we reported that M. pneumoniae produces an ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating toxin termed the community-acquired respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) toxin. Here we report that naive mice exposed to a single dose of recombinant CARDS (rCARDS) toxin respond with a robust inflammatory response consistent with allergic disease. rCARDS toxin induced 30-fold increased expression of the Th-2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 and 70- to 80-fold increased expression of the Th-2 chemokines CCL17 and CCL22, corresponding to a mixed cellular inflammatory response comprised of a robust eosinophilia, accumulation of T cells and B cells, and mucus metaplasia. The inflammatory responses correlate temporally with toxin-dependent increases in airway hyperreactivity characterized by increases in airway restriction and decreases in lung compliance. Furthermore, CARDS toxin-mediated changes in lung function and histopathology are dependent on CD4(+) T cells. Altogether, the data suggest that rCARDS toxin is capable of inducing allergic-type inflammation in naive animals and may represent a causal factor in M. pneumoniae-associated asthma.

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Available from: Jorge Medina, Sep 10, 2014
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    • "We have shown that exposure of naïve BALB/cJ mice to rCARDS toxin resulted in an eosinophilic-rich peribronchiolar and perivascular cellular inflammation, resembling asthma [19], [22]. To test the capacity of CARDS toxin to exacerbate preexisting asthma-like inflammation, BALB/cJ mice were treated with OVA and challenged with rCARDS toxin 48 hours after the last OVA challenge, at the peak of OVA-induced allergic inflammation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes a range of airway and extrapulmonary pathologies in humans. Clinically, M. pneumoniae is associated with acute exacerbations of human asthma and a worsening of experimentally induced asthma in mice. Recently, we demonstrated that Community Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome (CARDS) toxin, an ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating toxin synthesized by M. pneumoniae, is sufficient to induce an asthma-like disease in BALB/cJ mice. To test the potential of CARDS toxin to exacerbate preexisting asthma, we examined inflammatory responses to recombinant CARDS toxin in an ovalbumin (OVA) murine model of asthma. Differences in pulmonary inflammatory responses between treatment groups were analyzed by histology, cell differentials and changes in cytokine and chemokine concentrations. Additionally, assessments of airway hyperreactivity were evaluated through direct pulmonary function measurements. Analysis of histology revealed exaggerated cellular inflammation with a strong eosinophilic component in the CARDS toxin-treated group. Heightened T-helper type-2 inflammatory responses were evidenced by increased expression of IL-4, IL-13, CCL17 and CCL22 corresponding with increased airway hyperreactivity in the CARDS toxin-treated mice. These data demonstrate that CARDS toxin can be a causal factor in the worsening of experimental allergic asthma, highlighting the potential importance of CARDS toxin in the etiology and exacerbation of human asthma.
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae has been associated with worsening asthma in children. Sensitive assays have been developed to detect M pneumoniae-derived community-acquired respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) toxin. To identify the frequency and persistence of M pneumoniae detection in respiratory secretions of children with and without asthma and to evaluate antibody responses to M pneumoniae and the impact of M pneumoniae on biological markers, asthma control, and quality of life. We enrolled 143 pediatric patients (53 patients with acute asthma, 26 patients with refractory asthma, and 64 healthy controls; age range, 5-17 years) during a 20-month period with 2 to 5 follow-up visits. We detected M pneumoniae using CARDS toxin antigen capture and polymerase chain reaction and P1 adhesin polymerase chain reaction. Immune responses to M pneumoniae were determined by IgG and IgM levels directed against CARDS toxin and P1 adhesin. pH was measured in exhaled breath condensates, and asthma control and quality of life were assessed using the Asthma Control Test and Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire. M pneumoniae was detected in 64% of patients with acute asthma, 65% with refractory asthma, and 56% of healthy controls. Children with asthma had lower antibody levels to M pneumoniae compared with healthy controls. Exhaled breath condensate pHs and asthma control and quality of life scores were lower in M pneumoniae-positive patients with asthma. The results suggest that M pneumoniae detection is common in children, M pneumoniae detection is associated with worsening asthma, and children with asthma may have poor humoral immune responses to M pneumoniae.
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