Roles of Lung Epithelium in Neutrophil Recruitment During Pneumococcal Pneumonia.
ABSTRACT Epithelial cells line the respiratory tract and interface with the external world. Epithelial cells contribute in some fashion to pulmonary inflammation, but specific epithelial roles have proven difficult to define. To discover unique epithelial activities that influence immunity during infection, we generated mice with NF-κB RelA mutated throughout all epithelial cells of the lung, and we coupled this approach with epithelial cell isolation from infected and uninfected lungs for cell-specific analyses of gene induction. The RelA mutant mice appeared normal basally, but in response to pneumococcus in the lungs they were unable to rapidly recruit neutrophils to the air spaces. Epithelial cells expressed multiple neutrophil-stimulating cytokines during pneumonia, all of which depended on RelA. Cytokine expression by non-epithelial cells was unaltered by the epithelial mutation of RelA. Epithelial cells were the predominant sources of CXCL5 and GM-CSF, while non-epithelial cells were major sources for other neutrophil-activating cytokines. Epithelial RelA mutation decreased whole lung levels of CXCL5 and GM-CSF during pneumococcal pneumonia, while lung levels of other neutrophil-recruiting factors were unaffected. Defective neutrophil recruitment in epithelial mutant mice could be rescued by administration of CXCL5 or GM-CSF. These results reveal a specialized immune function for the pulmonary epithelium, the induction of CXCL5 and GM-CSF to accelerate neutrophil recruitment in the infected lung.
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ABSTRACT: Zinc finger protein 36, C3H type-like 1 (ZFP36L1) is one of several Zinc Finger Protein 36 (Zfp36) family members, which bind AU rich elements within 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) to negatively regulate the post-transcriptional expression of targeted mRNAs. The prototypical member of the family, Tristetraprolin (TTP or ZFP36), has been well-studied in the context of inflammation and plays an important role in repressing pro-inflammatory transcripts such as TNF-α. Much less is known about the other family members, and none have been studied in the context of infection. Using macrophage cell lines and primary alveolar macrophages we demonstrated that, like ZFP36, ZFP36L1 is prominently induced by infection. To test our hypothesis that macrophage production of ZFP36L1 is necessary for regulation of the inflammatory response of the lung during pneumonia, we generated mice with a myeloid-specific deficiency of ZFP36L1. Surprisingly, we found that myeloid deficiency of ZFP36L1 did not result in alteration of lung cytokine production after infection, altered clearance of bacteria, or increased inflammatory lung injury. Although alveolar macrophages are critical components of the innate defense against respiratory pathogens, we concluded that myeloid ZFP36L1 is not essential for appropriate responses to bacteria in the lungs. Based on studies conducted with myeloid-deficient ZFP36 mice, our data indicate that, of the Zfp36 family, ZFP36 is the predominant negative regulator of cytokine expression in macrophages. In conclusion, these results imply that myeloid ZFP36 may fully compensate for loss of ZFP36L1 or that Zfp36l1-dependent mRNA expression does not play an integral role in the host defense against bacterial pneumonia.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109072. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109072 · 3.53 Impact Factor