[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
Numerous intracellular bacterial pathogens replicate in specialized vacuoles within macrophages. We systematically study the molecular mechanism and the impact of macrophage-intrinsic antibacterial defense. Using L . pneumophila , an important cause of pneumonia and model organism for intracellular bacteria, we found that type I and II interferons critically modify the proteome of bacterial vacuoles to restrict infection. We identify IRG1 and demonstrate a bactericidal activity of its metabolite itaconic acid on bacteria in their vacuole. Moreover, our study provides evidence for the impact of this cell-autonomous defense pathway in alveolar macrophages to restrict lung infection. We speculate that vacuolar IRG1 or its product itaconic acid could serve as future therapeutic targets to fight intracellular and drug-resistant bacteria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major cause of respiratory failure during influenza A virus (IAV) infection is damage to the epithelial-endothelial barrier of the pulmonary alveolus. Damage to this barrier results in flooding of the alveolar lumen with proteinaceous oedema fluid, erythrocytes and inflammatory cells. To date, the exact roles of pulmonary epithelial and endothelial cells in this process remain unclear.Here, we used an in vitro co-culture model to understand how IAV damages the pulmonary epithelial-endothelial barrier. Human epithelial cells were seeded on the upper half of a transwell membrane while human endothelial cells were seeded on the lower half. These cells were then grown in co-culture and IAV was added to the upper chamber.We showed that the addition of IAV (H1N1 and H5N1 subtypes) resulted in significant barrier damage. Interestingly, we found that, while endothelial cells mounted a pro-inflammatory/pro-coagulant response to a viral infection in the adjacent epithelial cells, damage to the alveolar epithelial-endothelial barrier occurred independently of endothelial cells. Rather, barrier damage was associated with disruption of tight junctions amongst epithelial cells, and specifically with loss of tight junction protein claudin-4.Taken together, these data suggest that maintaining epithelial cell integrity is key in reducing pulmonary oedema during IAV infection.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · European Respiratory Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lipid-containing alveolar interstitial fibroblasts, or simply lipofibroblasts, are increasingly recognized as an important component of the epithelial stem-cell niche in the rodent lung. Although lipofibroblasts were initially believed to merely assist type 2 alveolar epithelial cells in surfactant production during neonatal life, recent evidence suggests that these cells are indispensable for the survival and growth of epithelial stem cells during adult life. Despite the increasing interest in lipofibroblast biology, little is known about their cellular origin or the molecular pathways controlling their formation during embryonic development. Here, we show that a population of lipid-droplet-containing stromal cells emerges in the developing mouse lung between E15.5 and E16.5. This event is accompanied by significant upregulation, in the lung mesenchyme, of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (the master switch of lipogenesis), adipose differentiation-related protein (marker of mature lipofibroblasts) and fibroblast growth factor 10 (previously shown by our group to identify a subpopulation of lipofibroblast progenitors). We also demonstrate that although only a subpopulation of total embryonic lipofibroblasts derives from Fgf10-positive progenitor cells, in vivo knockdown of Fgfr2b ligand activity as well as reduction in Fgf10 expression lead to global reduction in the expression levels of lipofibroblast markers at E18.5. Constitutive Fgfr1b knockouts and mutants with conditional partial inactivation of Fgfr2b in the lung mesenchyme reveal the involvement of both receptors in lipofibroblast formation and suggest a possible compensation between the two receptors. We also provide data from human fetal lungs to demonstrate the relevance of our discoveries to humans. Our results reveal an essential role for Fgf10 signaling in the formation of lipofibroblasts during late lung development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is clinical syndrome characterized by decreased lung fluid reabsorption, causing alveolar edema. Defective alveolar ion transport undertaken in part by the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase underlies this compromised fluid balance, although the molecular mechanisms at play are not understood. We describe here increased expression of FXYD1, FXYD3 and FXYD5, three regulatory subunits of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, in the lungs of ARDS patients. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, a pathogenic mediator of ARDS, drove increased FXYD1 expression in A549 human lung alveolar epithelial cells, suggesting that pathogenic TGF-β signaling altered Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity in affected lungs. Lentivirus‑mediated delivery of FXYD1 and FXYD3 allowed for overexpression of both regulatory subunits in polarized H441 cell monolayers on an air/liquid interface. FXYD1 but not FXYD3 overexpression inhibited amphotericin B‑sensitive equivalent short-circuit current in Ussing chamber studies. Thus, we speculate that FXYD1 overexpression in ARDS patient lungs may limit Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity, and contribute to edema persistence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance:
Although MERS-CoV has not yet acquired extensive distribution being mainly confined to the Arabic and Korean peninsulas, it could adapt to spread more readily amongst humans and thereby become pandemic. Therefore, the development of a vaccine is mandatory. The integration of antigen-coding genes into recombinant MV resulting in co-expression of MV and foreign antigens can efficiently be achieved. Thus, in combination with the excellent safety profile of the MV vaccine, recombinant MV seems to constitute an ideal vaccine platform. The present study shows that a recombinant MV expressing MERS-S was genetically stable and induced strong humoral and cellular immunity against MERS-CoV in vaccinated mice. Subsequent challenge experiments indicate protection of vaccinated animals, illustrating the potential of MV as vaccine platform with the potential to target emerging infections such as MERS-CoV.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) represents a major cause of mortality in intensive care patients. Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) by fibrates, such as WY-14643 (WY), has been described to beneficially influence inflammation and experimental lung injury. The impact of PPAR-α activation on alveolar epithelial cells (AEC) has not been studied yet.
To investigate the effect of PPAR-α activator WY in wild-type (WT) and in PPAR-α knockout (PPAR-α(-/-)) animals, mice were treated in different regimes: mice received chow enriched with or without WY for 14 days prior AEC isolation (in-vivo treatment). Furthermore, isolated AEC from both groups were subsequently cultured with or without WY (in-vitro treatment). AEC were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cell culture supernatant and cell lysate were used for analysis of pro-inflammatory mediators.
AEC challenged with LPS showed a significantly increased generation of pro-inflammatory mediators. After in-vivo WY-exposure, AEC displayed significantly reduced concentration of TNF-α, MIP-2, and TxB2 after LPS stimulation. This beneficial effect was abrogated in PPAR-α(-/-) animals. Interestingly, sole in-vitro application of WY-14643 failed to reduce levels of pro-inflammatory mediators whereas we found an additive effect of a combined in-vivo and in-vitro PPAR-α activation. PGE2 concentration remained high after LPS challenge and was unaffected by WY treatment.
PPAR-α activation by in-vivo exposure to fibrates reduced the inflammatory response in isolated AEC. These findings may facilitate further studies investigating the translation of pharmacological PPAR-α activation into clinical therapy of ARDS.
No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Experimental Lung Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza A viruses (IAV) pose a constant threat to the human population and therefore a better understanding of their fundamental biology and identification of novel therapeutics is of upmost importance. Various reporter-encoding IAV were generated to achieve these goals, however, one recurring difficulty was the genetic instability especially of larger reporter genes. We employed the viral NS segment coding for the non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and nuclear export protein (NEP) for stable expression of diverse reporter proteins. This was achieved by converting the NS segment into a single open reading frame (ORF) coding for NS1, the respective reporter and NEP. To allow expression of individual proteins, the reporter genes were flanked by two porcine Teschovirus-1 2A peptide (PTV-1 2A)-coding sequences. The resulting viruses encoding luciferases, fluorescent proteins or a Cre recombinase are characterized by a high genetic stability in vitro and in mice and can be readily employed for antiviral compound screenings, visualization of infected cells or cells that survived acute infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Impaired immune function contributes to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Disease progression is further exacerbated by pathogen infections due to impaired immune responses. Elimination of infected cells is achieved by cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells that are activated by MHC I-mediated presentation of pathogen-derived antigenic peptides. The immunoproteasome, a specialized form of the proteasome, improves generation of antigenic peptides for MHC I presentation thereby facilitating anti-viral immune responses. However, immunoproteasome function in the lung has not been investigated in detail yet. In this study, we comprehensively characterized the function of immunoproteasomes in the human and murine lung. Parenchymal cells of the lung express low constitutive levels of immunoproteasomes, while they are highly and specifically expressed in alveolar macrophages. Immunoproteasome expression is not altered in whole lung tissue of COPD patients. Novel activity-based probes and native gel analysis revealed that immunoproteasome activities are specifically and rapidly induced by IFNγ treatment in respiratory cells in vitro and by virus infection of the lung in mice. Our results suggest that the lung is potentially capable of mounting an immunoproteasome-mediated efficient adaptive immune response to intracellular infections.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a major cause of mortality in intensive care units. As there is raising evidence about immuno-modulatory effects of lipid emulsions required for parenteral nutrition of ARDS patients, we sought to investigate whether infusion of conventional soybean oil (SO)-based or fish oil (FO)-based lipid emulsions rich in either n-6 or n-3 fatty acids, respectively, may influence subsequent pulmonary inflammation.
In a randomized controlled, single-blinded pilot study, forty-two volunteers received SO, FO, or normal saline for two days. Thereafter, volunteers inhaled pre-defined doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) followed by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) 8 or 24 h later. In the murine model of LPS-induced lung injury a possible involvement of resolvin E1 (RvE1) receptor ChemR23 was investigated. Wild-type and ChemR23 knockout mice were infused with both lipid emulsions and challenged with LPS intratracheally.
In volunteers receiving lipid emulsions, the fatty acid profile in the plasma and in isolated neutrophils and monocytes was significantly changed. Adhesion of isolated monocytes to endothelial cells was enhanced after infusion of SO and reduced by FO, however, no difference of infusion on an array of surface adhesion molecules was detected. In neutrophils and monocytes, LPS-elicited generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines increased in the SO and decreased in the FO group. LPS inhalation in volunteers evoked an increase in neutrophils in BAL fluids, which decreased faster in the FO group. While TNF-α in the BAL was increased in the SO group, IL-8 decreased faster in the FO group. In the murine model of lung injury, effects of FO similar to the volunteer group observed in wild-type mice were abrogated in ChemR23 knockout mice.
After infusion of conventional lipid emulsions, leukocytes exhibited increased adhesive and pro-inflammatory features. In contrast, FO-based lipid emulsions reduced monocyte adhesion, decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines, and neutrophil recruitment into the alveolar space possibly mediated by ChemR23-signaling. Lipid emulsions thus exert differential effects in human volunteers and mice in vivo.
DRKS00006131 at the German Clinical Trial Registry, 2014/05/14.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Critical care (London, England)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maturation of the lung extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in the formation of alveolar gas exchange units. A key step in ECM maturation is cross-linking of collagen and elastin, which imparts stability and functionality to the ECM. During aberrant late lung development in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) patients and animal models of BPD, alveolarization is blocked, and the function of ECM cross-linking enzymes is deregulated, suggesting that perturbed ECM cross-linking may impact alveolarization. In a hyperoxia (85% O2)-based mouse model of BPD, blunted alveolarization was accompanied by alterations to lung collagen and elastin levels and cross-linking. Total collagen levels were increased (by 63%). The abundance of dihydroxylysinonorleucine collagen cross-links and the dihydroxylysinonorleucine-to-hydroxy-lysinonorleucine ratio were increased by 11 and 18%, respectively, suggestive of a profibrotic state. In contrast, insoluble elastin levels and the abundance of the elastin cross-links desmosine and isodes-mosine in insoluble elastin were decreased by 35, 30, and 21%, respectively. The lung collagen-to-elastin ratio was threefold increased. Treatment of hyperoxia-exposed newborn mice with the lysyl oxidase inhibitor (3-aminopropionitrile partially restored normal collagen levels, normalized the dihydroxylysinonorleucine-to-hydroxy-lysinonorleucine ratio, partially normalized desmosine and isodes-mosine cross-links in insoluble elastin, and partially restored elastin foci structure in the developing septa. However, (3-aminopropionitrile administration concomitant with hyperoxia exposure did not improve alveolarization, evident from unchanged alveolar surface area and alveoli number, and worsened septal thickening (increased by 12%). These data demonstrate that collagen and elastin cross-linking are perturbed during the arrested alveolarization of developing mouse lungs exposed to hyperoxia.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Influenza A viruses (IAV) replicate their segmented RNA genome in the nucleus of infected cells and utilize caspase-dependent nucleocytoplasmic export mechanisms to transport newly formed ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) to the site of infectious virion release at the plasma membrane. In this study, we obtained evidence that apoptotic caspase activation in IAV-infected cells is associated with the degradation of the nucleoporin Nup153, an integral subunit of the nuclear pore complex. Transmission electron microscopy studies revealed a distinct enlargement of nuclear pores in IAV-infected cells. Transient expression and subcellular accumulation studies of multimeric marker proteins in virus-infected cells provided additional evidence for increased nuclear pore diameters facilitating the translocation of large protein complexes across the nuclear membrane. Furthermore, caspase 3/7 inhibition data obtained in this study suggest that active, Crm1-dependent IAV RNP export mechanisms are increasingly complemented by passive, caspase-induced export mechanisms at later stages of infection.
In contrast to the process seen with most other RNA viruses, influenza virus genome replication occurs in the nucleus (rather than the cytoplasm) of infected cells. Therefore, completion of the viral replication cycle critically depends on intracellular transport mechanisms that ensure the translocation of viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes across the nuclear membrane. Here, we demonstrate that virus-induced cellular caspase activities cause a widening of nuclear pores, thereby facilitating nucleocytoplasmic translocation processes and, possibly, promoting nuclear export of newly synthesized RNPs. These passive transport mechanisms are suggested to complement Crm1-dependent RNP export mechanisms known to occur at early stages of the replication cycle and may contribute to highly efficient production of infectious virus progeny at late stages of the viral replication cycle. The report provides an intriguing example of how influenza virus exploits cellular structures and regulatory pathways, including intracellular transport mechanisms, to complete its replication cycle and maximize the production of infectious virus progeny.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rationale: Recent studies indicate that tumor associated macrophages with an M2 phenotype can influence cancer progression and metastasis, but the regulatory pathways remain poorly characterized. Objectives: This study investigated the role of tumor-associated macrophages (MΦ) in lung cancer. Methods and results: Co-culturing of MΦ with mouse Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LLC1) and 10 different human lung cancer cell lines (adenocarcinoma, squamous and large cell carcinoma) caused upregulation of CCR2/CCL2 and CX3CR1/CX3CL1 in both the cancer cells and the MΦ. In the MΦ-tumor cell system, IL-10 drove CCR2 and CX3CR1 upregulation, while CCL1, G-CSF and MIP1α were required for the upregulation of CCL2 and CX3CL1. Downstream phenotypic effects included enhanced LLC1 proliferation and migration and MΦ M2 polarization. In vivo, MΦ depletion (clodronate, MaFIA mice) and genetic ablation of CCR2 and CX3CR1 all inhibited LLC1 tumor growth and metastasis, shifted tumor-associated MΦ towards M1 polarization, suppressed tumor vessel growth and enhanced survival (metastasis model). Furthermore, mice treated with CCR2 antagonist mimicked genetic ablation of CCR2 by reducing tumor growth and metastasis. In human lung cancer samples, tumor MΦ infiltration and CCR2 expression correlated with tumor stage and metastasis. Conclusions: Tumor-associated MΦ play a central role in lung cancer growth and metastasis, with bidirectional crosstalk between MΦ and cancer cells via CCR2- and CX3CR1-signaling as an central underlying mechanism. These findings suggest that the therapeutic strategy of blocking CCR2 and CX3CR1 may prove beneficial for halting lung cancer progression.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza virus is a paradigm for a pathogen that frequently crosses the species barrier from animals to humans, causing severe disease in the human population. This ranges from frequent epidemics to occasional pandemic outbreaks with millions of death. All previous pandemics in humans were caused by animal viruses or virus reassortants carrying animal virus genes, underlining that the fight against influenza requires a One Health approach integrating human and veterinary medicine. Furthermore, the fundamental question of what enables a flu pathogen to jump from animals to humans can only be tackled in a transdisciplinary approach between virologists, immunologists and cell biologists. To address this need the German FluResearchNet was established as a first nationwide influenza research network that virtually integrates all national expertise in the field of influenza to unravel viral and host determinants of pathogenicity and species transmission and to explore novel avenues of antiviral intervention. Here we focus on the various novel anti-flu approaches that were developed as part of the FluResearchNet activities.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · International Journal of Medical Microbiology