[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive intracellular pathogen that causes meningitis and septicemia in immunocompromised individuals, and spontaneous abortion in pregnant women. The innate immune response against L. monocytogenes is primarily mediated by neutrophils and monocytes. IL-23 is an important pro-inflammatory cytokine well known for its role in neutrophil recruitment in various infectious and autoimmune diseases. We have previously shown that IL-23 is required for host resistance against L. monocytogenes and for neutrophil recruitment to the liver, but not the spleen, during infection. Despite efficient neutrophil recruitment to the spleen, IL-23p19 knockout (KO) mice have an increased bacterial burden in this organ, suggesting that IL-23 may regulate the recruitment/function of another cell type to the spleen. In this study, we show that specific depletion of neutrophils abrogated the differences in bacterial burden in the livers, but not the spleens, of C57BL/6 (B6) and IL-23p19 KO mice. Interestingly, L. monocytogenes-infected IL-23p19 KO mice had fewer monocytes in the spleen, as well as a reduction in the monocyte-recruiting chemokines, CCL2 and CCL7, compared to B6 mice. Additionally, the overall concentrations of TNF-α and nitric oxide (NO(.)), as well as the percentages and total numbers of monocytes producing TNF-α and NO(.) were reduced in IL-23p19 KO mice compared to B6 mice, leading to increased bacterial burdens in the spleens of L. monocytogenes-infected IL-23p19 KO mice. Collectively, our data establish that IL-23 is required for the optimal recruitment of TNF-α and NO(.)-producing inflammatory monocytes, thus revealing a novel mechanism by which this pro-inflammatory cytokine provides protection against bacterial infection.
Infection and immunity 09/2012; 80(12). DOI:10.1128/IAI.00589-12 · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species play important roles during immune responses to bacterial pathogens. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (ecSOD) regulates extracellular concentrations of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species and contributes to tissue protection during inflammatory insults. The participation of ecSOD in immune responses seems therefore intuitive, yet is poorly understood. In the current study, we used mice with varying levels of ecSOD activity to investigate the involvement of this enzyme in immune responses against Listeria monocytogenes. Surprisingly, our data demonstrate that despite enhanced neutrophil recruitment to the liver, ecSOD activity negatively affected host survival and bacterial clearance. Increased ecSOD activity was accompanied by decreased colocalization of neutrophils with bacteria, as well as increased neutrophil apoptosis, which reduced overall and neutrophil-specific TNF-α production. Liver leukocytes from mice lacking ecSOD produced equivalent NO· compared with liver leukocytes from mice expressing ecSOD. However, during infection, there were higher levels of peroxynitrite (NO(3)·(-)) in livers from mice lacking ecSOD compared with livers from mice expressing ecSOD. Neutrophil depletion studies revealed that high levels of ecSOD activity resulted in neutrophils with limited protective capacity, whereas neutrophils from mice lacking ecSOD provided superior protection compared with neutrophils from wild-type mice. Taken together, our data demonstrate that ecSOD activity reduces innate immune responses during bacterial infection and provides a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
The Journal of Immunology 03/2012; 188(7):3342-50. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1102341 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have suggested that neutrophils are required for resistance during infection with multiple pathogenic microorganisms. However, the depleting antibody used in those studies binds to both Ly6G and Ly6C (anti-Gr-1; clone RB6-8C5). This antibody has been shown to deplete not only neutrophils but also monocytes and a subset of CD8(+) T cells. Recently, an antibody against Ly6G, which specifically depletes neutrophils, was characterized. In the present study, neutrophils are depleted using the antibody against Ly6G during infection with the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes (LM). Our data show that neutrophil-depleted mice are much less susceptible to infection than mice depleted with anti-Gr-1. Although neutrophils are required for clearance of LM, their importance is more pronounced in the liver and during a high-dose bacterial challenge. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the protection mediated by neutrophils is due to the production of TNF-α, but not IFN-γ. Additionally, neutrophils are not required for the recruitment of monocytes or the generation of adaptive T-cell responses during LM infection. This study highlights the importance of neutrophils during LM infection, and indicate that depletion of neutrophils is less detrimental to the host than depletion of all Gr-1-expressing cell populations.
European Journal of Immunology 09/2011; 41(9):2666-76. DOI:10.1002/eji.201041363 · 4.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Listeria monocytogenes (LM) is a gram-positive bacterium that is a common contaminant of processed meats and dairy products. In humans, ingestion of LM can result in intracellular infection of the spleen and liver, which can ultimately lead to septicemia, meningitis, and spontaneous abortion. Interleukin (IL)-23 is a cytokine that regulates innate and adaptive immune responses by inducing the production of IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22. We have recently demonstrated that the IL-23/IL-17 axis is required for optimal recruitment of neutrophils to the liver, but not the spleen, during LM infection. Furthermore, these cytokines are required for the clearance of LM during systemic infection. In other infectious models, IL-22 induces the secretion of anti-microbial peptides and protects tissues from damage by preventing apoptosis. However, the role of IL-22 has not been thoroughly investigated during LM infection. In the present study, we show that LM induces the production of IL-22 in vivo. Interestingly, IL-23 is required for the production of IL-22 during primary, but not secondary, LM infection. Our findings suggest that IL-22 is not required for clearance of LM during primary or secondary infection, using both systemic and mucosal models of infection. IL-22 is also not required for the protection of LM infected spleens and livers from organ damage. Collectively, these data indicate that IL-22 produced during LM infection must play a role other than clearance of LM or protection of tissues from pathogen- or immune-mediated damage.
PLoS ONE 02/2011; 6(2):e17171. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0017171 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most studies investigating the function of IL-23 have concluded that it promotes IL-17-secreting T cells. Although some reports have also characterized IL-23 as having redundant pro-inflammatory effects with IL-12, we have instead found that IL-23 antagonizes IL-12-induced secretion of IFN-γ. When splenocytes or purified populations of T cells were cultured with IL-23, IFN-γ secretion in response to IL-12 was dramatically reduced. The impact of IL-23 was most prominent in CD8(+) T cells, but was also observed in NK and CD4(+) T cells. Mechanistically, the IL-23 receptor was not required for this phenomenon, and IL-23 inhibited signaling through the IL-12 receptor by reducing IL-12-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) phosphorylation. IL-23 was also able to reduce IFN-γ secretion by antagonizing endogenously produced IL-12 from Listeria monocytogenes (LM)-infected macrophages. In vivo, LM infection induced higher serum IFN-γ levels and a greater percentage of IFN-γ(+)CD8(+) T cells in IL-23p19-deficient mice as compared with WT mice. This increase in IFN-γ production coincided with increased LM clearance at days 2 and 3 post-infection. Our data suggest that IL-23 may be a key factor in determining the responsiveness of lymphocytes to IL-12 and their subsequent secretion of IFN-γ.
European Journal of Immunology 08/2010; 40(8):2236-47. DOI:10.1002/eji.200939759 · 4.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Listeria monocytogenes (LM) is a Gram-positive, intracellular bacterium that can induce spontaneous abortion, septicemia, and meningitis. Although it is known that neutrophils are required for elimination of the bacteria and for survival of the host, the mechanisms governing the recruitment of neutrophils to LM-infected tissues are not fully understood. We demonstrate here that IL-23 and the IL-17 receptor A (IL-17RA), which mediates both IL-17A and IL-17F signaling, are necessary for resistance against systemic LM infection. LM-infected IL-23p19 knockout (KO) mice have decreased production of IL-17A and IL-17F, while IFN-gamma production is not altered by the lack of IL-23. LM induces the production of IL-17A from gammadelta T cells, but not CD4, CD8, or NK cells. Furthermore, a lack of efficient neutrophil recruitment to the liver is evident in both IL-23p19 KO and IL-17RA KO mice during LM infection. Immunocytochemical analysis of infected livers revealed that neutrophils were able to localize with LM in IL-23p19 KO and IL-17RA KO mice, indicating that IL-23 and IL-17RA do not regulate the precise localization of neutrophils with LM. The importance of IL-23-induced IL-17A was demonstrated by injecting IL-23p19 KO mice with recombinant IL-17A. These mice had reduced LM bacterial burdens compared with IL-23p19 KO mice that did not receive IL-17A. These results indicate that during LM infection, IL-23 regulates the production of IL-17A and IL-17F from gammadelta T cells, resulting in optimal liver neutrophil recruitment and enhanced bacterial clearance.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2009; 183(12):8026-34. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.0901588 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune responses to pathogens occur within the context of current and previous infections. Cross protection refers to the phenomena where infection with a particular pathogen provides enhanced resistance to a subsequent unrelated pathogen in an antigen-independent manner. Proposed mechanisms of antigen-independent cross protection have involved the secretion of IFN-gamma, which activates macrophages, thus providing enhanced innate immunity against the secondary viral or bacterial pathogen. Here we provide evidence that a primary infection with the chronic respiratory pathogen, Mycoplasma pulmonis, provides a novel form of cross protection against a secondary infection with Listeria monocytogenes that is not mediated by IFN-gamma, but instead relies upon IL-17 and mobilization of neutrophils. Mice infected with M. pulmonis have enhanced clearance of L. monocytogenes from the spleen and liver, which is associated with increased numbers of Gr-1(+)CD11b(+) cells and higher levels of IL-17. This enhanced clearance of L. monocytogenes was absent in mice depleted of Gr-1(+) cells or in mice deficient in the IL-17 receptor. Additionally, both the IL-17 receptor and neutrophils were essential for optimal clearance of M. pulmonis. Thus, a natural component of the immune response directed against M. pulmonis was able to enhance clearance of L. monocytogenes.
European Journal of Immunology 02/2009; 39(2):426-38. DOI:10.1002/eji.200838726 · 4.03 Impact Factor