Bianca Ueberberg

Hannover Medical School, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany

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Publications (5)24.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand (Flt3L) is a dendritic cell (DC) growth and differentiation factor with potential in antitumor therapies and antibacterial immunization strategies. However, the effect of systemic Flt3L treatment on lung-protective immunity against bacterial infection is incompletely defined. Here, we examined the impact of deficient (in Flt3L knockout [KO] mice), normal (in wild-type [WT] mice), or increased Flt3L availability (in WT mice pretreated with Flt3L for 3, 5, or 7 days) on lung DC subset profiles and lung-protective immunity against the major lung-tropic pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae. Although in Flt3L-deficient mice the numbers of DCs positive for CD11b (CD11bpos DCs) and for CD103 (CD103pos DCs) were diminished, lung permeability, a marker of injury, was unaltered in response to S. pneumoniae. In contrast, WT mice pretreated with Flt3L particularly responded with increased numbers of CD11bpos DCs and with less pronounced numbers of CD103pos DCs and impaired bacterial clearance and with increased lung permeability following S. pneumoniae challenge. Notably, infection of Flt3L-pretreated mice with S. pneumoniae lacking the pore-forming toxin, pneumolysin (PLY), resulted in substantially less lung CD11bpos DCs activation and reduced lung permeability. Collectively, this study establishes that Flt3L treatment enhances the accumulation of proinflammatory activated lung CD11bpos DCs which contribute to acute lung injury in response to PLY released by S. pneumoniae.
    Infection and Immunity. 12/2012; 80(12).
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptotic death of alveolar macrophages observed during lung infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae is thought to limit overwhelming lung inflammation in response to bacterial challenge. However, the underlying apoptotic death mechanism has not been defined. Here, we examined the role of the TNF superfamily member TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in S. pneumoniae-induced macrophage apoptosis, and investigated the potential benefit of TRAIL-based therapy during pneumococcal pneumonia in mice. Compared with WT mice, Trail(-/-) mice demonstrated significantly decreased lung bacterial clearance and survival in response to S. pneumoniae, which was accompanied by significantly reduced apoptosis and caspase 3 cleavage but rather increased necrosis in alveolar macrophages. In WT mice, neutrophils were identified as a major source of intraalveolar released TRAIL, and their depletion led to a shift from apoptosis toward necrosis as the dominant mechanism of alveolar macrophage cell death in pneumococcal pneumonia. Therapeutic application of TRAIL or agonistic anti-DR5 mAb (MD5-1) dramatically improved survival of S. pneumoniae-infected WT mice. Most importantly, neutropenic mice lacking neutrophil-derived TRAIL were protected from lethal pneumonia by MD5-1 therapy. We have identified a previously unrecognized mechanism by which neutrophil-derived TRAIL induces apoptosis of DR5-expressing macrophages, thus promoting early bacterial killing in pneumococcal pneumonia. TRAIL-based therapy in neutropenic hosts may represent a novel antibacterial treatment option.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 10/2012; 209(11):1937-52. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of macrophage-inducible C-type lectin Mincle in lung innate immunity against mycobacterial infection is incompletely defined. In this study, we show that wild-type (WT) mice responded with a delayed Mincle induction on resident alveolar macrophages and newly immigrating exudate macrophages to infection with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), peaking by days 14-21 posttreatment. As compared with WT mice, Mincle knockout (KO) mice exhibited decreased proinflammatory mediator responses and leukocyte recruitment upon M. bovis BCG challenge, and they demonstrated increased mycobacterial loads in pulmonary and extrapulmonary organ systems. Secondary mycobacterial infection on day 14 after primary BCG challenge led to increased cytokine gene expression in sorted alveolar macrophages of WT mice, but not Mincle KO mice, resulting in substantially reduced alveolar neutrophil recruitment and increased mycobacterial loads in the lungs of Mincle KO mice. Collectively, these data show that WT mice respond with a relatively late Mincle expression on lung sentinel cells to M. bovis BCG infection. Moreover, M. bovis BCG-induced upregulation of C-type lectin Mincle on professional phagocytes critically shapes antimycobacterial responses in both pulmonary and extrapulmonary organ systems of mice, which may be important for elucidating the role of Mincle in the control of mycobacterial dissemination in mice.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2012; 189(6):3121-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2012 International Conference, May 18-23, 2012 • San Francisco, California; 05/2012
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    ABSTRACT: The growth factor GM-CSF has an important role in pulmonary surfactant metabolism and the regulation of antibacterial activities of lung sentinel cells. However, the potential of intra-alveolar GM-CSF to augment lung protective immunity against inhaled bacterial pathogens has not been defined in preclinical infection models. We hypothesized that transient overexpression of GM-CSF in the lungs of mice by adenoviral gene transfer (Ad-GM-CSF) would protect mice from subsequent lethal pneumococcal pneumonia. Our data show that intra-alveolar delivery of Ad-GM-CSF led to sustained increased pSTAT5 expression and PU.1 protein expression in alveolar macrophages during a 28-d observation period. Pulmonary Ad-GM-CSF delivery 2-4 wk prior to infection of mice with Streptococcus pneumoniae significantly reduced mortality rates relative to control vector-treated mice. This increased survival was accompanied by increased inducible NO synthase expression, antibacterial activity, and a significant reduction in caspase-3-dependent apoptosis and secondary necrosis of lung sentinel cells. Importantly, therapeutic treatment of mice with rGM-CSF improved lung protective immunity and accelerated bacterial clearance after pneumococcal challenge. We conclude that prophylactic delivery of GM-CSF triggers long-lasting immunostimulatory effects in the lung in vivo and rescues mice from lethal pneumococcal pneumonia by improving antibacterial immunity. These data support use of novel antibiotic-independent immunostimulatory therapies to protect patients against bacterial pneumonias.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2011; 187(10):5346-56. · 5.52 Impact Factor