[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Q fever endocarditis, a severe complication of Q fever, is associated with a defective immune response, the mechanisms of which are poorly understood. We hypothesized that Q fever immune deficiency is related to altered distribution and activation of circulating monocyte subsets. Monocyte subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with Q fever endocarditis and controls. The proportion of classical monocytes (CD14+CD16- monocytes) was similar in patients and controls. In contrast, the patients with Q fever endocarditis exhibited a decrease in the non-classical and intermediate subsets of monocytes (CD16+ monocytes). The altered distribution of monocyte subsets in Q fever endocarditis was associated with changes in their activation profile. Indeed, the expression of HLA-DR, a canonical activation molecule, and PD-1, a co-inhibitory molecule, was increased in intermediate monocytes. This profile was not restricted to CD16+ monocytes because CD4+ T cells also overexpressed PD-1. The mechanism leading to the overexpression of PD-1 did not require the LPS from C. burnetii but involved interleukin-10, an immunosuppressive cytokine. Indeed, the incubation of control monocytes with interleukin-10 led to a higher expression of PD-1 and neutralizing interleukin-10 prevented C. burnetii-stimulated PD-1 expression. Taken together, these results show that the immune suppression of Q fever endocarditis involves a cross-talk between monocytes and CD4+ T cells expressing PD-1. The expression of PD-1 may be useful to assess chronic immune alterations in Q fever endocarditis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) orchestrate host defenses against microorganisms. In infectious diseases due to intracellular bacteria, the inefficiency of the immune system to eradicate microorganisms has been attributed to the hijacking of DC functions. In this study, we selected intracellular bacterial pathogens with distinct lifestyles and explored the responses of monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs). Using lipopolysaccharide as a control, we found that Orientia tsutsugamushi, the causative agent of scrub typhus that survives in the cytosol of target cells, induced moDC maturation, as assessed by decreased endocytosis activity, the ability to induce lymphocyte proliferation and the membrane expression of phenotypic markers. In contrast, Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, and Brucella abortus, the agent of brucellosis, both of which reside in vacuolar compartments, only partly induced the maturation of moDCs, as demonstrated by a phenotypic analysis. To analyze the mechanisms used by C. burnetii and B. abortus to alter moDC activation, we performed microarray and found that C. burnetii and B. abortus induced a specific signature consisting of TLR4, TLR3, STAT1 and interferon response genes. These genes were down-modulated in response to C. burnetii and B. abortus but up-modulated in moDCs activated by lipopolysaccharide and O. tsutsugamushi. This transcriptional alteration was associated with the defective interferon-β production. This study demonstrates that intracellular bacteria specifically affect moDC responses and emphasizes how C. burnetii and B. abortus interfere with moDC activation and the antimicrobial immune response. We believe that comparing infection by several bacterial species may be useful for defining new pathways and biomarkers and for developing new treatment strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, is known to persist in humans and rodents but its cellular reservoir in hosts remains undetermined. We hypothesized that adipose tissue serves as a C. burnetii reservoir during bacterial latency. BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were infected with C. burnetii by the intraperitoneal route or the intracheal route. Adipose tissue was tested for the presence of C. burnetii several months after infection. C. burnetii was detected in abdominal, inguinal and dorsal adipose tissue 4 months post-infection, when no bacteria were detected in blood, liver, lungs and spleen, regardless of the inoculation route and independently of mouse strain. The transfer of abdominal adipose tissue from convalescent BALB/c mice to naïve immunodeficient mice resulted in the infection of the recipient animals. It is likely that C. burnetii infects adipocytes in vivo because bacteria were found in adipocytes within adipose tissue and replicated within in vitro-differentiated adipocytes. In addition, C. burnetii induced a specific transcriptional program in in-vivo and in vitro-differentiated adipocytes, which was enriched in categories associated with inflammatory response, hormone response and cytoskeleton. These changes may account for bacterial replication in in-vitro and chronic infection in-vivo. Adipose tissue may be the reservoir in which C. burnetii persists for prolonged periods after apparent clinical cure. The mouse model of C. burnetii infection may be used to understand the relapses of Q fever and provide new perspectives to the follow-up of patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune system biology and most physiologic functions are tightly linked to circadian rhythms. Time of day-dependent variations in many biologic parameters also play a fundamental role in the disease process. We previously showed that the genes encoding the peripheral molecular clock were modulated in a sex-dependent manner in Q fever.
Here, we examined severe trauma patients at admission to the intensive care unit. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, the whole-blood expression of the molecular clock components ARNTL, CLOCK, and PER2 was assessed in male and female trauma patients. Healthy volunteers of both sexes were used as controls.
We observed a significant overexpression of both ARNTL and CLOCK in male trauma patients.
We report, for the first time, the sex-related modulation of the molecular clock genes in the blood following severe trauma. These results emphasize the role of circadian rhythms in the immune response in trauma patients.
Epidemiologic study, level IV.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is widely used in proteomics. It has been recently demonstrated that MALDI-TOF MS can be used to identify and classify numerous bacterial species or subspecies. We applied MALDI-TOF MS directly to intact mammalian cells, and we found that this method is valuable to identify human circulating cells and cells involved in the immune response including macrophages. As macrophages are characterized by a high degree of plasticity in response to their microenvironment, we stimulated human macrophages with cytokines, bacterial products, and a variety of bacteria. We found that MALDI-TOF MS discriminated unstimulated and stimulated macrophages, and also detected multifaceted activation of macrophages. We conclude that whole-cell MALDI-TOF MS is an accurate method to identify various cell types and to detect subtle modifications in cell activity.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Q fever is caused by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that persists in M2-polarized macrophages. We wondered whether the concept of M1/M2 polarization is applicable to Q fever patients.
Monocytes from healthy controls were cultured with IFN-γ and IL-4, agonists of M1 and M2 macrophages, respectively, and their gene expression was assessed using whole-genome microarrays. Selected biomarkers were assessed in blood from Q fever patients by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Monocytes exhibited early (6-hour) patterns of activation specific to IFN-γ or IL-4 and a late (18-hour) pattern of common activation. Because these responses were not reducible to M1/M2 polarization, we selected biomarkers and tested their relevance in Q fever patients. The early genes NLRC5, RTP4, and RHOH, which were modulated in response to IFN-γ, were up-regulated in patients with acute Q fever, and the expression levels of the late genes ALOX15, CLECSF1, CCL13, and CCL23 were specifically increased in patients with Q fever endocarditis. The RHOH and ALOX15 genes were associated with the activity of acute Q fever and Q fever endocarditis, respectively.
Our results show that the kinetic model of monocyte activation enables a dynamic approach for the evaluation of Q fever patients.
Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MALDI-TOF is an extensively used mass spectrometry technique in chemistry and biochemistry. It has been also applied in medicine to identify molecules and biomarkers. Recently, it has been used in microbiology for the routine identification of bacteria grown from clinical samples, without preparation or fractionation steps. We and others have applied this whole-cell MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry technique successfully to eukaryotic cells. Current applications range from cell type identification to quality control assessment of cell culture and diagnostic applications. Here, we describe its use to explore the various polarization phenotypes of macrophages in response to cytokines or heat-killed bacteria. It allowed the identification of macrophage-specific fingerprints that are representative of the diversity of proteomic responses of macrophages. This application illustrates the accuracy and simplicity of the method. The protocol we described here may be useful for studying the immune host response in pathological conditions or may be extended to wider diagnostic applications.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variations in lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial outer membrane component, determine virulence of the obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We find that while avirulent C. burnetii LPS (avLPS) stimulates host p38α-MAPK signaling required for proper trafficking of bacteria containing compartments to lysosomes for destruction, pathogenic C. burnetii LPS (vLPS) does not. The defect in vLPS and pathogenic C. burnetii targeting to degradative compartments involves an antagonistic engagement of TLR4 by vLPS, lack of p38α-MAPK-driven phosphorylation, and block in recruitment of the homotypic fusion and protein-sorting complex component Vps41 to vLPS-containing vesicles. An upstream activator of p38α-MAPK or phosphomimetic mutant Vps41-S796E expression overrides the inhibition, allowing vLPS and pathogenic C. burnetii targeting to phagolysosomes. Thus, p38α-MAPK and its crosstalk with Vps41 play a central role in trafficking bacteria to phagolysosomes. Pathogenic C. burnetii has evolved LPS variations to evade this host response and thrive intracellularly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Scrub typhus is a life-threatening disease caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, a bacterium that primarily infects endothelial cells both in vitro and in vivo. Evidence suggests that the interaction of O. tsutsugamushi with myeloid cells may play a pivotal role in O. tsutsugamushi infection. We demonstrated that O. tsutsugamushi replicated within human monocyte-derived macrophages. Bacteria stimulated the expression of a large number of genes, including type I interferon genes, interferon-stimulated genes, inflammation-associated genes and apoptosis-related genes, and the release of inflammatory cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor and interleukin-1β. In addition, O. tsutsugamushi induced an M1-type genetic program in macrophages. O. tsutsugamushi viability was required for the type I interferon response and, to a lesser degree, for the inflammatory response. As interferon-γ is known to elicit M1 polarization, we assessed the effect of interferon-γ on the fate of O. tsutsugamushi in macrophages. Exogenous interferon-γ partially inhibited O. tsutsugamushi replication within macrophages. Our results suggest that the inflammatory response induced by O. tsutsugamushi may account for the local and systemic inflammation observed in scrub typhus.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Microbial Pathogenesis
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of Q fever is higher in men than in women. Because the expression of circadian clock genes differs in male and female mice infected with Coxiella burnetii, we hypothesized that circadian genes are differently modulated in men and women with Q fever. The expression of the Per2 gene was significantly (P = .01) increased in males with acute Q fever compared with healthy volunteers. No significant difference was observed in females. We showed for the first time that gender altered the expression of a circadian gene, Per2, in an infectious disease.
No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole-cell MALDI-TOF MS is routinely used to identify bacterial species in clinical samples. This technique has also proven to allow identification of intact mammalian cells, including macrophages. Here, we wondered whether this approach enabled the assessment human macrophages plasticity. The whole-cell MALDI-TOF spectra of macrophages stimulated with IFN-γ and IL-4, two inducers of M1 and M2 macrophage polarisation, consisted of peaks ranging from 2 to 12kDa. The spectra of unstimulated and stimulated macrophages were clearly different. The fingerprints induced by the M1 agonists, IFN-γ, TNF, LPS and LPS+IFN-γ, and the M2 agonists, IL-4, TGF-β1 and IL-10, were specific and readily identifiable. Thus, whole-cell MALDI-TOF MS was able to characterise M1 and M2 macrophage subtypes. In addition, the fingerprints induced by extracellular (group B Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus) or intracellular (BCG, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Coxiella burnetii) bacteria were bacterium-specific. The whole-cell MALDI-TOF MS fingerprints therefore revealed the multifaceted activation of human macrophages. This approach opened a new avenue of studies to assess the immune response in the clinical setting, by monitoring the various activation patterns of immune cells in pathological conditions.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of proteomics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute Q fever is commonly resolved without an antibiotic regimen, but a primary infection may develop into a chronic infection in a minority of cases. Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, is known to infect macrophages both in vitro and in vivo. It has been observed that the intracellular survival of C. burnetii requires the subversion of the microbicidal properties of macrophages. Adaptive immunity is also essential to cure C. burnetii infection, as demonstrated by clinical studies and animal models. Indeed, the control of infection in patients with primary Q fever involves a systemic cell-mediated immune response and granuloma formation with an essential role for interferon-γ in the protection against C. burnetii. In contrast, chronic Q fever is characterized by defective cell-mediated immunity with the defective formation of granulomas and over-production of interleukin-10, an immunoregulatory cytokine. Finally, epidemiological data demonstrate that age and gender are risk factors for Q fever. The analysis of gene expression programs in mice reveals the importance of sex-related genes in C. burnetii infection because only 14% of the modulated genes are sex-independent, while the remaining 86% are differentially expressed in males and females. These results open a new field to understand how host metabolism controls C. burnetii infection in humans.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The outcome of Q fever, an infectious disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, is associated with granuloma formation. Granulomas are present in patients with resolutive Q fever but are lacking in patients with chronic Q fever.
Study of granuloma formation requires invasive approaches. Here, we took advantage of a recently described method that enables in vitro generation of human granulomas specific for C. burnetii.
Circulating mononuclear cells progressively accumulated around beads coated with C. burnetii extracts, and complete granulomas were generated in 8 days. Granuloma cells consisted of macrophages, lymphocytes, and, to a lesser extent, epithelioid cells and multinucleated giant cells. Early events that govern granuloma formation were studied using live-imaging microscopy. Monocytes migrated toward C. burnetii-coated beads independently of the presence of T lymphocytes and then recruited T lymphocytes. About 90% of patients with chronic Q fever failed to form granulomas. This deficiency was associated with defective migration of monocytes toward coated beads.
Monocytes were involved in the early stages of granuloma formation and recruited T lymphocytes to complete granuloma formation. This article describes a direct relationship between defective granuloma formation and defective migration of monocytes.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases