[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of Candida albicans to cause disease is associated with its capacity to undergo morphological transition between yeast and filamentous forms, but the role of morphology in colonisation and dissemination from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract remains poorly defined. To explore this, we made use of wild type and morphological mutants of C. albicans in an established model of GI tract colonization, induced following antibiotic-treatment of mice. Our data reveal that GI tract colonization favours the yeast form of C. albicans, that there is constitutive low level systemic dissemination in colonized mice that occurs irrespective of fungal morphology, and that colonization is not controlled by Th17 immunity in otherwise immunocompetent animals. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms of pathogenesis and commensalism of C. albicans, and have implications for our understanding of human disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammalian hosts are colonized with commensal microbes in various mucosal and epithelial tissues, including the intestinal tract. In mice, the presence of segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) promotes Th17 differentiation and the development of autoimmune disease. Here, we demonstrate that the IL-23 pathway dynamically regulates the abundance of SFB as well as mucosal barrier function in the adult animal. Genetic or pharmacological inactivation of the pathway selectively perturbs the abundance of a small group of commensals, including SFB, and results in an impaired mucosal barrier. Defective barrier function leads to systemic dissemination of microbial products, provoking induction of the IL-23 pathway with dual consequences: IL-23 drives IL-22 production to reinforce mucosal barrier function and elicit antimicrobial activities, and it also drives the differentiation of Th17 cells in an attempt to combat escaped microbes in the lamina propria and in distal tissues. Thus, barrier defects generate a systemic environment that facilitates Th17 development.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 09/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) was originally isolated from neutrophils and termed neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL). However, the functions of LCN2 and the cell types that are primarily responsible for LCN2 production remain unclear. To address these issues, hepatocyte-specific Lcn2 knockout (Lcn2Hep-/-) mice were generated and subjected to bacterial infection (with Klesbsiella pneumoniae or Escherichia coli) or partial hepatectomy (PHx). Studies of Lcn2Hep-/- mice revealed that hepatocytes contributed to 25% of the low basal serum level of LCN2 protein (˜62 ng/ml) but were responsible for more than 90% of the highly elevated serum LCN2 protein level (˜6,000 ng/ml) post-infection and more than 60% post-PHx (˜700 ng/ml). Interestingly, both Lcn2Hep-/- and global Lcn2 knockout (Lcn2-/-) mice demonstrated comparable increases in susceptibility to infection with K. pneumoniae or E. coli. These mice also had increased enteric bacterial translocation from the gut to the mesenteric lymph nodes and exhibited reduced liver regeneration after PHx. Treatment with IL-6 stimulated hepatocytes to produce LCN2 in vitro and in vivo. Hepatocyte-specific ablation of the IL-6 receptor or Stat3, a major downstream effector of IL-6, markedly abrogated LCN2 elevation in vivo. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay revealed that STAT3 was recruited to the promoter region of the Lcn2 gene upon STAT3 activation by IL-6. In conclusion, hepatocytes are the major cell type responsible for LCN2 production after bacterial infection or PHx, and this response is dependent on IL-6 activation of the STAT3 signaling pathway. Thus, hepatocyte-derived LCN2 plays an important role in inhibiting bacterial infection and promoting liver regeneration. (Hepatology 2014;)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent findings demonstrate that inhaled cigarette smoke, the predominant lung carcinogen, elicits a T helper 17 (Th17) inflammatory phenotype. Interleukin-17A (IL-17), the hallmark cytokine of Th17 inflammation, displays pro- and anti-tumorigenic properties in a manner that varies according to tumor type and assay system. To investigate the role of IL-17 in lung tumor growth, we used an autochthonous tumor model (K-ras(LA1) mice) with lung delivery of a recombinant adenovirus that expresses IL-17A. Virus-mediated expression of IL-17A in K-Ras(LA1) mice at 8-10 weeks of age doubled lung tumor growth in three weeks relative to littermates that received a green fluorescent protein-expressing control adenovirus. IL-17 induced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression in vivo and in vitro. In accord with this finding, selective and specific inhibitors of MMP-9 repressed the increased motility and invasiveness IL-17-treated lung tumor cells in culture. Knockdown or mutation of p53 promoted the motility of murine lung tumor cells and abrogated the pro-migratory role of IL-17. Co-expression of siRNA-resistant wild-type, but not mutant, human p53 rescued both IL-17-mediated migration and MMP-9 mRNA induction in p53 knockdown lung tumor cells. IL-17 increased MMP-9 mRNA stability by reducing interaction with the mRNA destabilizing serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1). Taken together, our results indicate that IL-17 stimulates lung tumor growth and regulates MMP-9 mRNA levels in a p53- and SRSF1-dependent manner.
American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology. 07/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respiratory infections and diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide, and effective treatments probably require manipulating the inflammatory response to pathogenic microbes or allergens. Here, we review mechanisms controlling the production and functions of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and IL-22, cytokines that direct several aspects of lung immunity. Innate lymphocytes (γδ T cells, natural killer cells, innate lymphoid cells) are the major source of IL-17 and IL-22 during acute infections, while CD4(+) T-helper 17 (Th17) cells contribute to vaccine-induced immunity. The characterization of dendritic cell (DC) subsets has revealed their central roles in T-cell activation. CD11b(+) DCs stimulated with bacteria or fungi secrete IL-1β and IL-23, potent inducers of IL-17 and IL-22. On the other hand, recognition of viruses by plasmacytoid DCs inhibits IL-1β and IL-23 release, increasing susceptibility to bacterial superinfections. IL-17 and IL-22 primarily act on the lung epithelium, inducing antimicrobial proteins and neutrophil chemoattractants. Recent studies found that stimulation of macrophages and DCs with IL-17 also contributes to antibacterial immunity, while IL-22 promotes epithelial proliferation and repair following injury. Chronic diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been associated with IL-17 and IL-22 responses directed against innocuous antigens. Future studies will evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of targeting the IL-17/IL-22 pathway in pulmonary inflammation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Th17 cytokines IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22 are critical for the lung immune response to a variety of bacterial pathogens including Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP). Th2 cytokine expression in the airways is a characteristic feature of asthma and allergic airway inflammation. The Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 diminish ex vivo and in vivo IL-17A expression by Th17 cells. To determine the effect of IL-4 and IL-13 on IL-17-dependent lung immune responses to acute bacterial infection, we developed a combined model in which allergic airway inflammation and lung IL-4 and IL-13 expression were induced by ovalbumin sensitization and challenge prior to acute lung infection with KP. We hypothesized that pre-existing allergic airway inflammation decreases lung IL-17A expression and airway neutrophil recruitment in response to acute KP infection and thereby increases lung KP burden. As hypothesized, we found that allergic airway inflammation decreased KP-induced airway neutrophils and lung IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22 expression. Despite the marked reduction in post-infection airway neutrophilia and lung expression of Th17 cytokines, allergic airway inflammation significantly decreased lung KP burden and post-infection mortality. We showed that decreased lung KP burden was independent of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-17A, and partially-dependent on IL-13 and STAT6. Additionally, we demonstrated that decreased lung KP burden associated with allergic airway inflammation was both neutrophil and CCL8-dependent. These findings suggest a novel role for CCL8 in lung antibacterial immunity against KP and suggest new methods of orchestrating lung antibacterial immunity.
Infection and immunity 06/2014; · 4.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many human cancers are dramatically accelerated by chronic inflammation. However, the specific cellular and molecular elements mediating this effect remain largely unknown. Using a murine model of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), we found that Kras(G12D) induces expression of functional IL-17 receptors on PanIN epithelial cells and also stimulates infiltration of the pancreatic stroma by IL-17-producing immune cells. Both effects are augmented by associated chronic pancreatitis, resulting in functional in vivo changes in PanIN epithelial gene expression. Forced IL-17 overexpression dramatically accelerates PanIN initiation and progression, while inhibition of IL-17 signaling using genetic or pharmacologic techniques effectively prevents PanIN formation. Together, these studies suggest that a hematopoietic-to-epithelial IL-17 signaling axis is a potent and requisite driver of PanIN formation.
Cancer cell 05/2014; 25(5):621-37. · 25.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), infects one third of the world's population. Among these infections, clinical isolates belonging to the W-Beijing appear to be emerging, representing about 50% of Mtb isolates in East Asia, and about 13% of all Mtb isolates worldwide. In animal models, infection with W-Beijing strain, Mtb HN878, is considered "hypervirulent" as it results in increased mortality and causes exacerbated immunopathology in infected animals. We had previously shown the Interleukin (IL) -17 pathway is dispensable for primary immunity against infection with the lab adapted Mtb H37Rv strain. However, it is not known whether IL-17 has any role to play in protective immunity against infection with clinical Mtb isolates. We report here that lab adapted Mtb strains, such as H37Rv, or less virulent Mtb clinical isolates, such as Mtb CDC1551, do not require IL-17 for protective immunity against infection while infection with Mtb HN878 requires IL-17 for early protective immunity. Unexpectedly, Mtb HN878 induces robust production of IL-1β through a TLR-2-dependent mechanism, which supports potent IL-17 responses. We also show that the role for IL-17 in mediating protective immunity against Mtb HN878 is through IL-17 Receptor signaling in non-hematopoietic cells, mediating the induction of the chemokine, CXCL-13, which is required for localization of T cells within lung lymphoid follicles. Correct T cell localization within lymphoid follicles in the lung is required for maximal macrophage activation and Mtb control. Since IL-17 has a critical role in vaccine-induced immunity against TB, our results have far reaching implications for the design of vaccines and therapies to prevent and treat emerging Mtb strains. In addition, our data changes the existing paradigm that IL-17 is dispensable for primary immunity against Mtb infection, and instead suggests a differential role for IL-17 in early protective immunity against emerging Mtb strains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neonatal colonization by microbes, which begins immediately after birth, is influenced by gestational age and the mother's microbiota and is modified by exposure to antibiotics. In neonates, prolonged duration of antibiotic therapy is associated with increased risk of late-onset sepsis (LOS), a disorder controlled by neutrophils. A role for the microbiota in regulating neutrophil development and susceptibility to sepsis in the neonate remains unclear. We exposed pregnant mouse dams to antibiotics in drinking water to limit transfer of maternal microbes to the neonates. Antibiotic exposure of dams decreased the total number and composition of microbes in the intestine of the neonates. This was associated with decreased numbers of circulating and bone marrow neutrophils and granulocyte/macrophage-restricted progenitor cells in the bone marrow of antibiotic-treated and germ-free neonates. Antibiotic exposure of dams reduced the number of interleukin-17 (IL-17)-producing cells in the intestine and production of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Granulocytopenia was associated with impaired host defense and increased susceptibility to Escherichia coli K1 and Klebsiella pneumoniae sepsis in antibiotic-treated neonates, which could be partially reversed by administration of G-CSF. Transfer of a normal microbiota into antibiotic-treated neonates induced IL-17 production by group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in the intestine, increasing plasma G-CSF levels and neutrophil numbers in a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)- and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88)-dependent manner and restored IL-17-dependent resistance to sepsis. Specific depletion of ILCs prevented IL-17- and G-CSF-dependent granulocytosis and resistance to sepsis. These data support a role for the intestinal microbiota in regulation of granulocytosis, neutrophil homeostasis and host resistance to sepsis in neonates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pneumonia due to the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii is a life-threatening infection that occurs in immunocompromised patients. The inability to culture the organism as well as the lack of an annotated genome has hindered antigen discovery that could be useful in developing novel vaccine or antibody-based therapies, as well as diagnostics for this infection. Here we report a novel method of surface proteomics of Pneumocystis murina that reliably detected putative surface proteins that are conserved in Pneumocystis jirovecii. This technique identified novel CD4+ T-cell epitopes as well as a novel B-cell epitope, Meu10, which encodes a GPI anchored protein thought to be involved in ascospore assembly. The described technique should facilitate the discovery of novel target proteins for diagnostics and therapeutics for Pneumocystis infection.
Infection and immunity 03/2014; · 4.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram negative bacterial infections are increasing in frequency and are associated with significant financial costs, morbidity and mortality. Current antibiotic therapies are associated with unacceptably poor clinical outcomes and toxicity. Unfortunately, the development of novel antimicrobials is stagnant leaving a significant clinical need for alternative treatments of MDR Gram negative rod infections. Recent preclinical studies have identified Th17 cells as critical mediators of broadly protective adaptive immunity, including protection against MDR infections. Studies of Th17 eliciting antigens, adjuvants and routes of immunization have identified potential vaccine strategies that may confer long-lived adaptive immunity against MDR Gram negative bacterial infections.
Current opinion in immunology 03/2014; 28C:84-89. · 10.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma is a common respiratory disease affecting ∼300 million people worldwide. Airway inflammation is thought to contribute to asthma pathogenesis, but the direct relationship between inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) remains unclear. This study investigates the role of inflammation in a steroid-insensitive, severe allergic airway disease model and in severe asthmatics stratified by inflammatory profile. First, we used the T-helper (TH)-17 cells adoptive transfer mouse model of asthma to induce pulmonary inflammation, which was lessened by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α neutralization or neutrophil depletion. Although decreased airspace inflammation following TNFα neutralization and neutrophil depletion rescued lung compliance, neither intervention improved AHR to methacholine, and tissue inflammation remained elevated when compared with control. Further, sputum samples were collected and analyzed from 41 severe asthmatics. In severe asthmatics with elevated levels of sputum neutrophils, but low levels of eosinophils, increased inflammatory markers did not correlate with worsened lung function. This subset of asthmatics also had significantly higher levels of TH17-related cytokines in their sputum compared with severe asthmatics with other inflammatory phenotypes. Overall, this work suggests that lung compliance may be linked with cellular inflammation in the airspace, whereas T-cell-driven AHR may be associated with tissue inflammation and other pulmonary factors.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 19 February 2014; doi:10.1038/mi.2014.8.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of community-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pneumonia in previously healthy individuals has increased in the past five years. Such infections are associated with bronchiectasis and high mortality rates, making it a significant public health concern. The mechanisms of host defense against this pathogen are not well characterized. However, patients diagnosed with MRSA, as opposed to MSSA are more likely to have abused alcohol in the past and these patients are more likely to die from sepsis. In the United States, USA300 is the predominant strain that causes necrotizing pneumonia.To investigate whether acute ethanol exacerbates MRSA pneumonia, mice were intraperitoneally administered 2 or 4 g/kg of ethanol 30 minutes prior to oropharyngeal inoculation of 2x10(7) CFU of USA300. Increased pulmonary bacterial burden was observed in alcohol intoxicated mice at 16 and 24 hours and was associated with decreased levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6). IL-6 activates signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) as part of an acute phase response of infection. Reg3γ is an antimicrobial c-type lectin, induced by STAT3 signaling in response to gram-positive bacteria. Previously, in situ hybridization studies showed that Reg3g is highly expressed in lung epithelium. In this present study, we found that acute ethanol exacerbated USA300 in a murine model of USA300 pneumonia. This was associated with reduced IL-6 expression in vivo as well as inhibition of IL-6 induction of STAT3 signaling and Reg3g expression in mouse lung epithelial (MLE12) cells in vitro. Furthermore, recombinant Reg3γ administration four hours after MRSA infection in alcohol intoxicated mice rescued USA300 clearance in vivo. Therefore, acute alcohol intoxication leads to decreased MRSA clearance in part by inhibiting IL-6/STAT3 induction of antimicrobial protein, Reg3γ in the pulmonary epithelium.
Infection and immunity 01/2014; · 4.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The contribution of fungal infections to the morbidity and mortality of HIV-infected individuals is largely unrecognized. A recent meeting highlighted several priorities that need to be urgently addressed, including improved epidemiological surveillance, increased availability of existing diagnostics and drugs, more training in the field of medical mycology, and better funding for research and provision of treatment, particularly in developing countries.
Trends in Microbiology 01/2014; 22(3):107–109. · 8.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epithelium plays an active role in the response to inhaled pathogens in part by responding to signals from the immune system. Epithelial responses may include changes in chemokine expression, increased mucin production and antimicrobial peptide secretion, and changes in ion transport. We previously demonstrated that interleukin-17A (IL-17A), which is critical for lung host defense against extracellular bacteria, significantly raised airway surface pH in vitro, a finding that is common to a number of inflammatory diseases. Using microarray analysis of normal human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells treated with IL-17A, we identified the electroneutral chloride-bicarbonate exchanger Pendrin (SLC26A4) as a potential mediator of this effect. These data were verified by real-time, quantitative PCR that demonstrated a time-dependent increase in Pendrin mRNA expression in HBE cells treated with IL-17A up to 48 h. Using immunoblotting and immunofluorescence, we confirmed that Pendrin protein expression is increased in IL-17 treated HBE cells and that it is primarily localized to the mucosal surface of the cells. Functional studies using live-cell fluorescence to measure intracellular pH demonstrated that IL-17A induced chloride-bicarbonate exchange in HBE cells that was not present in the absence of IL-17A. Furthermore, HBE cells treated with short interfering RNA against Pendrin showed substantially reduced chloride-bicarbonate exchange. These data suggest that Pendrin is part of IL-17A-dependent epithelial changes and that Pendrin may therefore be a therapeutic target in IL-17A-dependent lung disease.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(8):e103263. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-22 is a Th17/Th22 cytokine that is increased in asthma. However, recent animal studies showed controversial findings in the effects of IL-22 in allergic asthma. To determine the role of IL-22 in ovalbumin-induced allergic inflammation we generated inducible lung-specific IL-22 transgenic mice. Transgenic IL-22 expression and signaling activity in the lung were determined. Ovalbumin (OVA)-induced pulmonary inflammation, immune responses, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) were examined and compared between IL-22 transgenic mice and wild type controls. Following doxycycline (Dox) induction, IL-22 protein was readily detected in the large (CC10 promoter) and small (SPC promoter) airway epithelial cells. IL-22 signaling was evidenced by phosphorylated STAT3. After OVA sensitization and challenge, compared to wild type littermates, IL-22 transgenic mice showed decreased eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and in lung tissue, decreased mucus metaplasia in the airways, and reduced AHR. Among the cytokines and chemokines examined, IL-13 levels were reduced in the BAL fluid as well as in lymphocytes from local draining lymph nodes of IL-22 transgenic mice. No effect was seen on the levels of serum total or OVA-specific IgE or IgG. These findings indicate that IL-22 has immune modulatory effects on pulmonary inflammatory responses in allergen-induced asthma.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e107454. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mucosal vaccines are thought to confer superior protection against mucosal infectious diseases. In addition, mucosal routes of vaccine delivery preferentially induce the generation of T helper 17 (Th17) cells, which produce the cytokine IL-17. Th17 cells are critical in mediating vaccine-induced immunity against several mucosal infectious diseases. However, IL-17 is also a potent proinflammatory cytokine, and we recently showed that IL-17 mediates immunopathology and lung injury after influenza infection in mice. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that mucosal pre-exposure to Th17-inducing adjuvants can promote disease exacerbation upon subsequent infection with influenza virus. Mice mucosally pre-exposed to Th17-inducing adjuvants, such as type II heat-labile enterotoxin or cholera toxin, resulted in increased morbidity and exacerbated lung inflammation upon subsequent infection with influenza virus. Furthermore, the increased morbidity was accompanied by increased expression of inflammatory chemokines and increased accumulation of neutrophils. Importantly, blockade of the IL-17 pathway in mice pre-exposed to Th17-inducing adjuvants resulted in attenuation of the inflammatory phenotype seen in influenza-infected mice. Our findings indicate that, before mucosal Th17-inducing adjuvants can be used in vaccine strategies, the short- and long-term detrimental effects of such adjuvants on disease exacerbation and lung injury in response to infections, such as influenza, should be carefully studied.
American Journal Of Pathology 10/2013; · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pneumonia is a leading cause of death worldwide. Staphylococcal aureus can be a cause of severe pneumonia alone or a common pathogen in secondary pneumonia following influenza. Recently, we reported that preceding influenza attenuated the Type 17 pathway, increasing the lung's susceptibility to secondary infection. IL-1β is known to regulate host defense, including playing a role in Th17 polarization. We examined whether IL-1β signaling is required for S. aureus host defense and whether influenza infection impacted S. aureus-induced IL-1β production and subsequent Type 17 pathway activation. Mice were challenged with S. aureus (USA 300), with or without preceding Influenza A/PR/8/34 H1N1 infection. IL-1R1(-/-) mice had significantly higher S. aureus burden, increased mortality, and decreased Type 17 pathway activation following S. aureus challenge. Coinfected mice had significantly decreased IL-1β production versus S. aureus infection alone at early time points following bacterial challenge. Preceding influenza did not attenuate S. aureus-induced inflammasome activation, but there was early suppression of NF-κB activation, suggesting an inhibition of NF-κB-dependent transcription of pro-IL-1β. Furthermore, overexpression of IL-1β in influenza and S. aureus-coinfected mice rescued the induction of IL-17 and IL-22 by S. aureus and improved bacterial clearance. Finally, exogenous IL-1β did not significantly rescue S. aureus host defense during coinfection in IL-17RA(-/-) mice or in mice in which IL-17 and IL-22 activity were blocked. These data reveal a novel mechanism by which Influenza A inhibits S. aureus-induced IL-1β production, resulting in attenuation of Type 17 immunity and increased susceptibility to bacterial infection.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor