Hypersusceptibility to invasive pneumococcal infection in experimental sickle cell disease involves platelet-activating factor receptor
ABSTRACT Children with sickle cell disease have a 600-fold increased incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease. Platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFr) mediates pneumococcal invasion, and up-regulation of PAFr on chronically activated endothelia could contribute to increased bacterial invasion. Mice transplanted with sickle cell bone marrow developed more extensive infection, and 57% died, compared with 16% of wild-type mice. Histopathological analysis revealed that sickle cell mice expressed significantly more PAFr on endothelia and epithelia. Pharmacological blockade or genetic deletion of PAFr protected sickle cell mice from mortality. We conclude that PAFr plays an important role in hypersusceptibility to pneumococcal infection in sickle cell disease.
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ABSTRACT: Pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality during influenza virus epidemics. We had previously advanced the hypothesis that interactions of pneumococcus with the receptor for platelet activating factor (PAFR) in the lung were facilitated by antecedent influenza virus infection and play a major role in the pathogenesis of bacterial superinfections. Although influenza enhanced the adherence of pneumococci to respiratory epithelial cells in vitro, chemical or antibody-mediated blockade of the PAFR did not affect adherence. In agreement with these data, mice lacking PAFR had similar bacterial loads within the lung compartment when compared to heterozygous littermates and were not protected from secondary pneumococcal pneumonia after influenza. Lack of support for this hypothesis and the observation of enhanced inflammation during secondary pneumococcal pneumonia in mice lacking PAFR may moderate enthusiasm for treatment strategies targeting the interaction of bacteria with PAFR.Infectious Diseases 02/2008; 40(1):11-7. DOI:10.1080/00365540701477568 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aging is associated with increased inflammation and risk of community-acquired pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumoniae co-opts the nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB)-regulated proteins polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) and platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFr) to attach and invade cells. We sought to determine whether aging and chronic inflammation were associated with increased pIgR and PAFr levels in the lungs and increased susceptibility to S. pneumoniae infection. Lung protein and messenger RNA levels were quantitated using Western blot and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. NFkB activation was measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Cytokine levels were measured by cytometric bead analysis. To model chronic inflammation, mice were implanted with osmotic pumps that delivered tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Aged mice and those infused with tumor necrosis factor-alpha had increased levels of pIgR and PAFr in their lungs and were more susceptible to S. pneumoniae infection. During pneumonia, aged mice had reduced levels of pIgR and PAFr and less NFkB activation, despite greater bacterial burden. We determined that aged mice had decreased amounts of lung Toll-like receptors 1, 2, and 4 and reduced capacity to respond to S. pneumoniae with proinflammatory cytokine production. Aged mice and, potentially, elderly humans are more susceptible to pneumonia because of a priming effect of chronic inflammation and Toll-like receptor dysfunction.The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2009; 200(4):546-54. DOI:10.1086/600870 · 5.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by intravascular hemolysis and inflammation coupled to a 400-fold greater incidence of invasive pneumococcal infection resulting in fulminant, lethal pneumococcal sepsis. Mechanistically, invasive infection is facilitated by a proinflammatory state that enhances receptor-mediated endocytosis of pneumococci into epithelial and endothelial cells. As statins reduce chronic inflammation, in addition to their serum cholesterol-lowering effects, we hypothesized that statin therapy might improve the outcome of pneumococcal infection in SCD. In this study, we tested this hypothesis in an experimental SCD mouse model and found that statin therapy prolonged survival following pneumococcal challenge. The protective effect resulted in part from decreased platelet-activating factor receptor expression on endothelia and epithelia, which led to reduced bacterial invasion. An additional protective effect resulted from inhibition of host cell lysis by pneumococcal cholesterol-dependent cytotoxins (CDCs), including pneumolysin. We conclude therefore that statins may be of prophylactic benefit against invasive pneumococcal disease in patients with SCD and, more broadly, in settings of bacterial pathogenesis driven by receptor-mediated endocytosis and the CDC class of toxins produced by Gram-positive invasive bacteria.The Journal of clinical investigation 02/2010; 120(2):627-35. DOI:10.1172/JCI39843 · 13.77 Impact Factor