Pulmonary infections are a major cause of mortality in the critically ill burn patient. Alcohol consumption before burn increases the risk of pulmonary infection. Previously, we have shown an elevated mortality and lung pathology in mice given ethanol before burn and intratracheal infection relative to controls. Here we examine the cellular composition at 24 and 48 h in the circulation and the alveoli of infected mice given alcohol and burn. At 24 h after injury, blood neutrophils obtained from mice exposed to ethanol before burn and infection were 2-fold above those of the experimental controls (P < 0.05). By 48 h, the number of circulating neutrophils decreased and was comparable to levels found in untreated animals. Moreover, at 24 h, bronchoalveolar lavage cells obtained from all treatment groups had similar frequencies and contained 80% neutrophils regardless of treatment. In contrast, the following day, neutrophils were elevated 2-fold only in the alveoli of infected burn animals and 5-fold when ethanol preceded the injury (P < 0.05). These data were confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy using a neutrophil-specific marker (P < 0.05). Levels of neutrophil chemoattractants, KC and macrophage inflammatory protein 2, and the cytokine, IL-1β, were 2-fold greater in the lungs of infected mice given burn, regardless of ethanol exposure, relative to infected sham injured animals (P < 0.05). Like the number of neutrophils, by the second day after injury, KC and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 remained 5-fold higher in the animals given ethanol, burn, and infection, when compared with other groups (P < 0.05). A similar pattern was seen for pulmonary levels of IL-1β (P < 0.05). Additionally, a reduction in neutrophil apoptosis was observed at the 24-h time point in infected mice exposed to ethanol and burn (P < 0.05). Targeting proinflammatory mediators in mice exposed to ethanol before burn and infection may help alleviate prolonged neutrophil accumulation in the lungs.
Alcohol; inflammation; KC; macrophage inflammatory protein 2; cytokines; apoptosis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; acute lung injury
The role of γδ T cells in the regulation of pulmonary inflammation following Bordetella pertussis infection was investigated. Using a well-characterized murine aerosol challenge model, inflammatory events in mice with targeted disruption of the T-cell receptor δ-chain gene (γδ TCR−/− mice) were compared with those in wild-type animals. Early following challenge with B. pertussis, γδ TCR−/− mice exhibited greater pulmonary inflammation, as measured by intra-alveolar albumin leakage and lesion histomorphometry, yet had lower contemporaneous bacterial lung loads. The larger numbers of neutrophils and macrophages and the greater concentration of the neutrophil marker myeloperoxidase in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from γδ TCR−/− mice at this time suggested that differences in lung injury were mediated through increased leukocyte trafficking into infected alveoli. Furthermore, flow cytometric analysis found the pattern of recruitment of natural killer (NK) and NK receptor+ T cells into airspaces differed between the two mouse types over the same time period. Taken together, these findings suggest a regulatory influence for γδ T cells over the early pulmonary inflammatory response to bacterial infection. The absence of γδ T cells also influenced the subsequent adaptive immune response to specific bacterial components, as evidenced by a shift from a Th1 to a Th2 type response against the B. pertussis virulence factor filamentous hemagglutinin in γδ TCR−/− mice. The findings are relevant to the study of conditions such as neonatal B. pertussis infection and acute respiratory distress syndrome where γδ T cell dysfunction has been implicated in the inflammatory process.
It has been hypothesized that the destruction of lung tissue observed in smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema is mediated by neutrophils recruited to the lungs by smoke exposure. This study investigated the role of the chemokine receptor CXCR2 in mediating neutrophilic inflammation in the lungs of mice acutely exposed to cigarette smoke. Exposure to dilute mainstream cigarette smoke for 1 hour, twice per day for 3 days induced acute inflammation in the lungs of C57BL/6 mice, with increased neutrophils and neutrophil chemotactic CXC chemokines MIP-2 and KC. Treatment with SCH-N, an orally active small molecule inhibitor of CXCR2, reduced the influx of neutrophils into the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Histologic changes were seen, with drug treatment reducing perivascular inflammation and the number of tissue neutrophils. β-glucuronidase activity was reduced in the BAL fluid of mice treated with SCH-N, indicating that the reduction in neutrophils was associated with a reduction in tissue damaging enzymes. Interestingly, while MIP-2 and KC were significantly elevated in the BAL fluid of smoke exposed mice, they were further elevated in mice exposed to smoke and treated with drug. The increase in MIP-2 and KC with drug treatment may be due to the decrease in lung neutrophils which either are not present to bind these chemokines or which fail to provide a feedback signal to other cells that produce these chemokines. Overall, these results demonstrate that inhibiting CXCR2 reduces neutrophilic inflammation and associated lung tissue damage due to acute cigarette smoke exposure.
neutrophil chemokines; emphysema; COPD; MIP-2; KC
Clinical and laboratory evidence suggests that alcohol consumption dysregulates immune function. Burn patients who consume alcohol before their injuries demonstrate higher rates of morbidity and mortality, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, than patients without alcohol at the time of injury. Our laboratory observed higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines and leukocyte infiltration in the lungs of mice after ethanol exposure and burn injury than with either insult alone. To understand the mechanism of the increased pulmonary inflammatory response in mice treated with ethanol and burn injury, we investigated the role of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1. Wild-type and ICAM-1 knockout (KO) mice were treated with vehicle or ethanol and subsequently given a sham or burn injury. Twenty-four hours postinjury, lungs were harvested and analyzed for indices of inflammation. Higher numbers of neutrophils were observed in the lungs of wild-type mice after burn and burn with ethanol treatment. This increase in pulmonary inflammatory cell accumulation was significantly lower in the KO mice. In addition, levels of KC, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 in the lung were decreased in the ICAM-1 KO mice after ethanol exposure and burn injury. Interestingly, no differences were observed in serum or lung tissue content of soluble ICAM-1 24 hours postinjury. These data suggest that upregulation of adhesion molecules such as ICAM-1 on the vascular endothelium may play a critical role in the excessive inflammation seen after ethanol exposure and burn injury.
Intravenous salbutamol (albuterol) reduces lung water in patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Experimental data show that it also reduces pulmonary neutrophil accumulation or activation and inflammation in ARDS.
To investigate the effects of salbutamol on neutrophil function.
The in vitro effects of salbutamol on neutrophil function were determined. Blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were collected from 35 patients with acute lung injury (ALI)/ARDS, 14 patients at risk from ARDS and 7 ventilated controls at baseline and after 4 days' treatment with placebo or salbutamol (ALI/ARDS group). Alveolar–capillary permeability was measured in vivo by thermodilution (PiCCO). Neutrophil activation, adhesion molecule expression and inflammatory cytokines were measured.
In vitro, physiological concentrations of salbutamol had no effect on neutrophil chemotaxis, viability or apoptosis. Patients with ALI/ARDS showed increased neutrophil activation and adhesion molecule expression compared with at risk‐patients and ventilated controls. There were associations between alveolar–capillary permeability and BAL myeloperoxidase (r = 0.4, p = 0.038) and BAL interleukin 8 (r = 0.38, p = 0.033). In patients with ALI/ARDS, salbutamol increased numbers of circulating neutrophils but had no effect on alveolar neutrophils.
At the onset of ALI/ARDS, there is increased neutrophil recruitment and activation. Physiological concentrations of salbutamol did not alter neutrophil chemotaxis, viability or apoptosis in vitro. In vivo, salbutamol increased circulating neutrophils, but had no effect on alveolar neutrophils or on neutrophil activation. These data suggest that the beneficial effects of salbutamol in reducing lung water are unrelated to modulation of neutrophil‐dependent inflammatory pathways.
BACKGROUND--Pulmonary neutrophilia characterises both the relatively transient inflammation associated with infant respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS) and the persistent inflammation of chronic lung disease. The possibility that persistently raised markers of inflammation indicate the development of chronic lung disease in low birth weight (< 1730 g) preterm (< 31 weeks) infants was therefore investigated. METHODS--Soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) levels in plasma, and interleukin (IL)-8 and myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels in bronchial lavage fluid (BLF) obtained from 17 infants on days 1, 5, and 14 following birth were measured and correlations with the number of neutrophils in BLF sought. Peripheral neutrophils were isolated on Polymorphoprep and chemotactic responsiveness to IL-8 was assessed using micro Boyden chambers. RESULTS--Sixteen infants developed IRDS and, of these, 10 infants subsequently developed chronic lung disease. Levels of IL-8 in BLF at 14 days of age correlated with the long term requirement for intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV). Interleukin 8 levels in BLF correlated with neutrophil numbers and MPO concentration, suggesting both recruitment and activation in response to this cytokine. Antibody depletion studies showed that approximately 50% of total neutrophil chemotactic activity in BLF was due to IL-8. No difference in peripheral neutrophil chemotactic responsiveness at any age was observed for infants with IRDS or chronic lung disease. Plasma soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM-1) was higher at 14 days of age in infants who developed chronic lung disease than in those with resolving IRDS, and correlated with severity of disease, as indicated by duration of IPPV. CONCLUSIONS--The results indicate that high levels of plasma sICAM-1 and IL-8 in BLF at day 14 correlate with the development of chronic lung disease and indicate the severity of disease.
Ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) is associated with inhibition of the fibrinolytic system secondary to increased production of plasminogen activator inhibitor- (PAI-)1. To determine the role of PAI-1 on pulmonary coagulopathy and inflammation during mechanical ventilation, PAI-1 gene-deficient mice and their wild-type littermates were anesthetized (control), or anesthetized, tracheotomized and subsequently ventilated for 5 hours with either low tidal volumes (LVT) or high tidal volumes (HVT). VILI was assessed by pulmonary coagulopathy, lung wet-to-dry ratios, total protein level in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, neutrophil influx, histopathology, and pulmonary and plasma cytokine levels. Ventilation resulted in pulmonary coagulopathy and inflammation, with more injury following ventilation with HVT as compared to LVT. In PAI-1 gene-deficient mice, the influx of neutrophils in the pulmonary compartment was attenuated, while increased levels of pulmonary cytokines were found. Other endpoints of VILI were not different between PAI-1 gene-deficient and wild-type mice. These data indicate that a defect fibrinolytic response attenuates recruitment of neutrophils in VILI.
Lung contusion (LC) induces inflammation with high local concentrations of proinflammatory mediators stimulating chemotaxis and activation of neutrophils. LC is also a risk factor for development of pneumonia; however, the reason for this increased susceptibility is not clearly identified. We hypothesize that LC creates acute changes in the host pulmonary innate immune system that leads to vulnerability from a “second” hit bacterial infection.
Female C57Bl/6 mice underwent LC injury at time −6 hours. At 0 hours, these mice were inoculated intratracheally with 1,000 colony forming unit (CFU) of Klebsiella pneumoniae (LC+Pneu) or vehicle (LC). Control animals underwent a sham LC injury followed by pneumonia (Sham+Pneu). Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and lung tissue specimens were collected. Lung bacteria levels were quantified by serial dilution, plating, and counting CFUs. Cytokine levels were assayed by ELISA. Cell type identification and quantification was performed using flow cytometry.
Survival at 72 hours was markedly different for the LC, Sham+Pneu, and LC+Pneu groups (100%, 80%, 20%, p < 0.05 Sham+Pneu vs. LC+Pneu). LC+Pneu animals had decreased pulmonary bacterial clearance at 24 hours compared with the Sham+Pneu group (4 × 107 vs. 8 × 106 CFUs, p < 0.05). BAL levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and keratinocyte chemoattractant were all significantly elevated in LC+Pneu mice compared with the Sham+Pneu group at 24 hours. Conversely, the Sham+Pneu mice had increased levels of macrophage inflammatory protein-2, total cells, macrophages, and neutrophils in BAL compared with the LC+Pneu group at 24 hours. LC+Pneu animals demonstrated changes in macrophage apoptosis and necrosis in BAL samples obtained 2 hours after induction of pneumonia when compared with the Sham+Pneu group. Both Sham+Pneu and LC+Pneu animals demonstrated an increase in the level of IL-10 in BAL fluid compared with LC animals.
Acute inflammation after LC acts to modulate the presence of inflammatory cells necessary to combat gram-negative bacteria. This results in decreased bacterial clearance and increased mortality from pneumonia.
Chest trauma; lung contusion; inflammation; pneumonia
During a lipopolysaccharide-induced lung inflammation, a massive accumulation of neutrophils occurs, which is normally cleared by macrophage phagocytosis following neutrophil apoptosis. However, in cases of extensive apoptosis the normal clearance system may fail, resulting in extensive neutrophil secondary necrosis. The aim of this study was to explore the hypothesis that neutrophils, in areas of the lung with extensive cellular infiltration, contribute to clearance by phagocytosing apoptotic cells and/or cell debris derived from secondary necrosis.
Intranasal lipopolysaccharide administration was used to induce lung inflammation in mice. The animals were sacrificed at seven time points following administration, bronchoalveolar lavage was performed and tissue samples obtained. Electron microscopy and histochemistry was used to assess neutrophil phagocytosis.
Electron microscopic studies revealed that phagocytosing neutrophils was common, at 24 h after LPS administration almost 50% of the total number of neutrophils contained phagosomes, and the engulfed material was mainly derived from other neutrophils. Histochemistry on bronchoalvolar lavage cells further showed phagocytosing neutrophils to be frequently occurring.
Neutrophils are previously known to phagocytose invading pathogens and harmful particles. However, this study demonstrates that neutrophils are also able to engulf apoptotic neutrophils or cell debris resulting from secondary necrosis of neutrophils. Neutrophils may thereby contribute to clearance and resolution of inflammation, thus acting as a back up system in situations when the macrophage clearance system is insufficient and/or overwhelmed.
Clinical and laboratory evidence suggests that alcohol consumption prior to burn injury leads to dysregulated immune function and subsequent higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Our laboratory previously observed higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and leukocyte infiltration in the lungs of mice following ethanol and burn injury. To understand the mechanism of the increased inflammatory response, we looked at different signaling initiators of inflammation including toll-like receptors 2 and 4 (TLR2 and 4) pathways.
Wild-type, TLR2, and TLR4 knockout mice were treated with vehicle or a single binge dose of ethanol (1.11 g/kg) and subsequently given a sham or burn injury. Twenty-four hours postinjury, systemic and pulmonary levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were quantified, and differences in neutrophil infiltration were determined by histological examination.
Higher numbers of neutrophils were observed in the lungs of wild-type mice following the combined insult of ethanol and burn injury relative to either injury alone. This increase in leukocyte accumulation was absent in the TLR4 knockout mice. Circulating levels of IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α were also elevated in wild-type mice but not in TLR4 knockout mice. Consistent with these findings, pulmonary levels of KC and IL-6 were increased in wild-type mice following burn and ethanol compared to burn injury alone as well as to their TLR4 knockout counterparts. In contrast, TLR2 knockout mice displayed similar levels, to wild-type mice, of neutrophil infiltration as well as IL-6 and KC in the lung.
These data suggest that TLR4 signaling is a crucial contributory component in the exuberant inflammation after ethanol and burn injury. However, TLR2 does not appear to play a vital role in the aberrant pulmonary inflammation.
Lungs; Toll-Like Receptor; Inflammation; Ethanol; Burn
Acute lung injury (ALI) is characterized by alveolar edema and uncontrolled neutrophil migration to the lung, and no specific therapy is still available. Ellagic acid, a compound present in several fruits and medicinal plants, has shown anti-inflammatory activity in several experimental disease models. We used the nonlethal acid aspiration model of ALI in mice to determine whether preventive or therapeutic administration of ellagic acid (10 mg/kg; oral route) could interfere with the development or establishment of ALI inflammation. Dexamethasone (1 mg/kg; subcutaneous route) was used as a positive control. In both preventive and therapeutic treatments, ellagic acid reduced the vascular permeability changes and neutrophil recruitment to the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and to lung compared to the vehicle. In addition, the ellagic acid accelerated the resolution for lung neutrophilia. Moreover, ellagic acid reduced the COX-2-induced exacerbation of inflammation. These results were similar to the dexamethasone. However, while the anti-inflammatory effects of dexamethasone treatment were due to the reduced activation of NF-κB and AP-1, the ellagic acid treatment led to reduced BALF levels of IL-6 and increased levels of IL-10. In addition, dexamethasone treatment reduced IL-1β. Together, these findings identify ellagic acid as a potential therapeutic agent for ALI-associated inflammation.
Post-ischemic reperfusion of the lung triggers pro-inflammatory responses that stimulate injurious neutrophil chemotaxis. We hypothesized that T lymphocytes are recruited and activated during reperfusion and mediate subsequent neutrophil-induced lung ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI).
An in vivo mouse model of lung IRI was employed. C57BL/6 mice were assigned to either sham group (left thoracotomy) or 7 study groups which underwent one hour left hilar occlusion followed by 1-24 hours reperfusion. Following in vivo reperfusion, the lungs were perfused ex vivo with buffer whereby pulmonary function was assessed. Lung vascular permeability, edema, neutrophil accumulation and cytokine/chemokine production (TNF-α, IL-17, CCL3, and CXCL1) were assessed by Evans blue dye leak, wet/dry weight ratio, myeloperoxidase, and ELISA, respectively.
A preliminary study showed that 2-hr reperfusion resulted in greater pulmonary dysfunction than 1-hr or 24-hr reperfusion. The 2-hr reperfusion period was thus used for the remaining experiments. Comparable and significant protection from IR-induced lung dysfunction and injury occurred after antibody-depletion of neutrophils or CD4+ T cells, but not CD8+ T cells (p<0.05 vs. IgG control). Lung IRI was proportional to the infiltration of neutrophils but not T cells. Moreover, pulmonary neutrophil infiltration and the production of CXCL1 (KC) were significantly diminished by CD4+ T cell depletion, but not vice versa.
Both CD4+ T lymphocytes and neutrophils accumulate during reperfusion and contribute sequentially to lung IRI. The data suggest that neutrophils mediate IRI; however, CD4+ T cells play a critical role in stimulating chemokine production and neutrophil chemotaxis during IRI.
We previously reported that ultraviolet light B (UVB)-treated human platelets (hPLTs) can cause acute lung injury (ALI) in a two-event SCID mouse model in which the predisposing event was Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection and the second event was infusion of UVB-treated hPLTs. To delineate contributions of host mouse platelets (mPLTs) and neutrophils in the pathogenesis of ALI in this mouse model, we depleted mPLTs or neutrophils and measured hPLT accumulation in the lung. We also assessed lung injury by protein content in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). LPS injection followed by infusion of UVB-treated hPLTs resulted in sequestration of both mPLTs and hPLTs in the lungs of SCID mice, although the numbers of neutrophils in the lung were not significantly different from the control group. Depletion of mouse neutrophils caused only a mild reduction in UVB-hPLTs accumulation in the lungs and a mild reduction in protein content in BALF. In comparison, depletion of mPLTs almost completely abolished hPLTs accumulation in the lung and significantly reduced protein content in BALF. UVB-treated hPLTs bound to host mPLTs, but did not bind to neutrophils in the lung. Aspirin treatment of hPLTs in vitro abolished hPLT accumulation in the lung and protected mice from lung injury. Our data indicate that host mPLTs accumulated in the lungs in response to an inflammatory challenge and subsequently mediated the attachment of transfused UVB-hPLTs. Neutrophils also recruited a small percentage of platelets to the lung. These findings may help develop therapeutic strategies for ALI which could potentially result from transfusion of UV illuminated platelets.
Blunt chest trauma resulting in pulmonary contusion is a common but poorly understood injury. We previously demonstrated that lung contusion activates localized and systemic innate immune mechanisms and recruits neutrophils to the injured lung. We hypothesized that the innate immune and inflammatory activation of neutrophils may figure prominently in the response to lung injury. To investigate this, we used a model of pulmonary contusion in the mouse that is similar to that observed clinically in humans and evaluated postinjury lung function and pulmonary neutrophil recruitment. Comparisons were made between injured mice with and without neutrophil depletion. We further examined the role of chemokines and adhesion receptors in neutrophil recruitment to the injured lung. We found that lung injury and resultant physiological dysfunction after contusion was dependent upon the presence of neutrophils in the alveolar space. We show that CXCL1, CXCL2/3, and CXCR2 are involved in neutrophil recruitment to the lung after injury, and that ICAM-1 is locally expressed and actively participates in this process. Injured gp91phox deficient mice showed improved lung function, indicating that oxidant production by neutrophil NADPH oxidase mediates lung dysfunction after contusion. These data suggest that both neutrophil presence and function are required for lung injury after lung contusion.
Neutrophil; pulmonary contusion; inflammation; chemokine; cytokine; mouse model
Mice lacking matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3; stromelysin-1) demonstrated significantly less injury than their normal counterparts following formation of IgG-containing immune complexes in the alveolar wall or in the wall of the peritoneum. Likewise, mice lacking MMP-3 demonstrated less lung injury following intra-tracheal instillation of the chemotactic cytokine macrophage inhibitory protein-2 (MIP-2) than did mice with MMP-3. There was a relationship between tissue injury (evidenced histologically) and accumulation of anti-laminin 111 immuno-reactive material in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) or peritoneal lavage (PL) fluid. There was also a relationship between tissue injury and influx of neutrophils into the BAL or PL fluid. Taken together, these data demonstrate an important role for MMP-3 in acute inflammatory tissue injury.
Pulmonary emphysema is characterized by alveolar destruction and persistent inflammation of the airways. Although IL-17A contributes to many chronic inflammatory diseases, it’s role in the inflammatory response of elastase-induced emphysema remains unclear.
In a model of elastase-induced pulmonary emphysema we examined the response of IL-17A-deficient mice, monitoring airway inflammation, static compliance, lung histology and levels of neutrophil-related chemokine and pro-inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid.
Wild-type mice developed emphysematous changes in the lung tissue on day 21 after elastase treatment, whereas emphysematous changes were decreased in IL-17A-deficient mice compared to wild-type mice. Neutrophilia in BAL fluid, seen in elastase-treated wild-type mice, was reduced in elastase-treated IL-17A-deficient mice on day 4, associated with decreased levels of KC, MIP-2 and IL-1 beta. Elastase-treated wild-type mice showed increased IL-17A levels as well as increased numbers of IL-17A+ CD4 T cells in the lung in the initial period following elastase treatment.
These data identify the important contribution of IL-17A in the development of elastase-induced pulmonary inflammation and emphysema. Targeting IL-17A in emphysema may be a potential therapeutic strategy for delaying disease progression.
IL-17; Elastase; Emphysema; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
In pulmonary inflammation, recruitment of circulating polymorphonuclear leukocytes is essential for host defense and initiates the following specific immune response. One pathological hallmark of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome is the uncontrolled transmigration of neutrophils into the lung interstitium and alveolar space. Thereby, the extravasation of leukocytes from the vascular system into the tissue is induced by chemokines that are released from the site of inflammation. The most relevant chemokine receptors of neutrophils are CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR) 1 and CXCR2. CXCR2 is of particular interest since several studies implicate a pivotal role of this receptor in development and promotion of numerous inflammatory disorders. CXCR2 gets activated by ELR+ chemokines, including MIP-2, KC (rodents) and IL-8 (human). Since multiple ELR+ CXC chemokines act on both receptors—CXCR1 and CXCR2—a pharmacologic agent blocking both receptors seems to be advantageous. So far, several CXCR1/2 antagonists have been developed and have been tested successfully in experimental studies. A newly designed CXCR1 and CXCR2 antagonist can be orally administered and was for the first time found efficient in humans. This review highlights the role of CXCR2 in acute lung injury and discusses its potential as a therapeutic target.
Neutrophils and non-muscle myosin light chain kinase (nmMLCK) have been implicated in intestinal microvascular leakage and mucosal hyperpermeability in inflammation and trauma. The aim of this study was to characterize the role of nmMLCK in neutrophil-dependent gut barrier dysfunction following thermal injury, a common form of trauma that typically induces inflammation in multiple organs. Histopathological examination of the small intestine in mice after a full-thickness burn revealed morphological evidence of mucosa inflammation characterized by neutrophil infiltration into the lamina propria, epithelial contraction, and narrow villi with blunt brush borders and loss of goblet cells. Compared to their wild-type counterparts, nmMLCK-/- mice displayed diminished morphological abnormalities. Likewise, intravital microscopic studies showed significant leukocyte adhesion in intestinal microvessels post-burn, a response that was blunted in the absence of nmMLCK. Functionally, thermal injury significantly increased the gut lumen-to-blood transport of FITC-dextran (4 kD), and this hyperpermeability was attenuated by either neutrophil depletion or nmMLCK deficiency. Consistent with the in vivo observations, in vitro assays with Caco-2 epithelial cell monolayers revealed a decrease in transcellular electric resistance coupled with myosin light chain phosphorylation, actomyosin ring condensation, and claudin-1 internalization upon stimulation with fMLP-activated neutrophils. Pretreatment of the cells with the MLCK inhibitor ML-7 prevented the tight junction responses. Taken together, the results suggest that nmMLCK plays an important role in neutrophil-dependent intestinal barrier dysfunction during inflammatory injury.
Myosin light chain kinase; neutrophil; intestinal barrier dysfunction; signal transduction
Pulmonary infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and neutrophilic lung inflammation significantly contribute to morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF). High-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), a ubiquitous DNA binding protein that promotes inflammatory tissue injury, is significantly elevated in CF sputum. However, its mechanistic and potential therapeutic implications in CF were previously unknown. We found that HMGB1 levels were significantly elevated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALs) of CF patients and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR )−/− mice. Neutralizing anti-HMGB1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) conferred significant protection against P. aeruginosa–induced neutrophil recruitment, lung injury and bacterial infection in both CFTR−/− and wild-type mice. Alveolar macrophages isolated from mice treated with anti-HMGB1 mAb had improved phagocytic activity, which was suppressed by direct exposure to HMGB1. In addition, BAL from CF patients significantly impaired macrophage phagocytotic function, and this impairment was attenuated by HMGB1-neutralizing antibodies. The HMGB1-mediated suppression of bacterial phagocytosis was attenuated in macrophages lacking toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, suggesting a critical role for TLR4 in signaling HMGB1-mediated macrophage dysfunction. These studies demonstrate that the elevated levels of HMGB1 in CF airways are critical for neutrophil recruitment and persistent presence of P. aeruginosa in the lung. Thus, HMGB1 may provide a therapeutic target for reducing bacterial infection and lung inflammation in CF.
Rationale: Most models of acute lung injury in mice have yet to be fully characterized. Objectives: To directly compare and contrast endotoxin and oleic acid models of acute lung injury in mice in terms of their physiologic, biochemical, histopathologic, and imaging manifestations. Methods: Survival studies, lung weights, x-ray computed tomographic scanning, light and electron microscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage, lung uptake of (18F)fluorodeoxyglucose, tissue myeloperoxidase, arterial blood gases, mean arterial pressure, and lung tissue prostanoids were measured in separate groups of C57Bl/6 mice (normal animals, endotoxin only [20 μg/g], oleic acid only [0.15 μl/g], or endotoxin + oleic acid). Results: Endotoxin alone caused only mild pulmonary neutrophilic inflammation with little functional or structural damage to the alveolar architecture. In contrast, oleic acid caused severe alveolar damage with the development of alveolar edema of the increased-permeability type with associated abnormalities in gas exchange. When given together, endotoxin and oleic acid acted synergistically to increase pulmonary edema and to worsen gas exchange and hemodynamics, thereby increasing mortality. This synergism was significantly attenuated by the prior administration of the endotoxin antagonist E5564 (eritoran). Conclusions: Under the conditions of these studies, only mice exposed to oleic acid showed both structural and functional characteristics of acute lung injury. Nevertheless, endotoxin had potent synergistic physiologic effects that increased mortality. Overall, these models, which can be translated to genetically altered mice, are amenable to study with state-of-the-art imaging techniques, and with experimental interventions that can probe the underlying mechanisms of injury.
fluorodeoxyglucose F18; mice; positron-emission tomography; respiratory distress syndrome (adult)
Although obesity is implicated in numerous health complications leading to increased mortality, the relationship between obesity and outcomes for critically ill patients appears paradoxical. Recent studies have reported better outcomes and lower levels of inflammatory cytokines in obese patients with acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome, suggesting that obesity may ameliorate the effects of this disease. We investigated the effects of obesity in leptin-resistant db/db obese and diet-induced obese mice using an inhaled LPS model of ALI. Obesity-associated effects on neutrophil chemoattractant response were examined in bone marrow neutrophils using chemotaxis and adoptive transfer; neutrophil surface levels of chemokine receptor CXCR2 were determined by flow cytometry. Airspace neutrophilia, capillary leak, and plasma IL-6 were all decreased in obese relative to lean mice in established lung injury (24 h). No difference in airspace inflammatory cytokine levels was found between obese and lean mice in both obesity models during the early phase of neutrophil recruitment (2–6 h), but early airspace neutrophilia was reduced in db/db obese mice. Neutrophils from uninjured obese mice demonstrated diminished chemotaxis to the chemokine keratinocyte cytokine compared with lean control mice, and adoptive transfer of obese mouse neutrophils into injured lean mice revealed a defect in airspace migration of these cells. Possibly contributing to this defect, neutrophil CXCR2 expression was significantly lower in obese db/db mice, and a similar but nonsignificant decrease was seen in diet-induced obese mice. ALI is attenuated in obese mice, and this blunted response is in part attributable to an obesity-associated abnormal neutrophil chemoattractant response.
adult respiratory distress syndrome; chemotaxis; cytokines; innate immunity
The effectiveness of lung radiotherapy is limited by radiation tolerance of normal tissues and by the intrinsic radiosensitivity of lung cancer cells. The chemopreventive agent curcumin has known antioxidant and tumor cell radiosensitizing properties. Its usefulness in preventing radiation-induced pneumonopathy has not been tested previously. We evaluated dietary curcumin in radiation-induced pneumonopathy and lung tumor regression in a murine model. Mice were given 1%or 5%(w/w) dietary curcumin or control diet prior to irradiation and for the duration of the experiment. Lungs were evaluated at 3 weeks after irradiation for acute lung injury and inflammation by evaluating bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid content for proteins, neutrophils and at 4 months for pulmonary fibrosis. In a separate series of experiments, an orthotopic model of lung cancer using intravenously injected Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells was used to exclude possible tumor radioprotection by dietary curcumin. In vitro, curcumin boosted antioxidant defenses by increasing heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) levels in primary lung endothelial and fibroblast cells and blocked radiation-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Dietary curcumin significantly increased HO-1 in lungs as early as after 1 week of feeding, coinciding with a steady-state level of curcumin in plasma. Although both 1% and 5% w/w dietary curcumin exerted physiological changes in lung tissues by significantly decreasing LPS-induced TNF-α production in lungs, only 5%dietary curcumin significantly improved survival of mice after irradiation and decreased radiation-induced lung fibrosis. Importantly, dietary curcumin did not protect LLC pulmonary metastases from radiation killing. Thus dietary curcumin ameliorates radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis and increases mouse survival while not impairing tumor cell killing by radiation.
Serine proteases released from neutrophils are central to the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease and considered obvious therapeutic targets. Neutrophil elastase digests key opsonins present in the lung and disrupts phagocytosis, allowing bacteria to persist despite established pulmonary inflammation. We have found that cathepsin G, an abundant serine protease found in human and murine neutrophils, has other roles in development of suppurative lung diseases. Murine models of endobronchial inflammation indicate cathepsin G inhibits airway defenses and interferes with the host’s ability to clear Pseudomonas aeruginosa from the lung with effects distinct from neutrophil elastase. We hypothesize that differences in bacterial killing are due to defects in innate defenses created by proteolysis.
Protein profiles of bronchoalveolar lavage of infected wild-type and cathepsin G-deficient mice were compared using 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry.
Four proteins in bronchoalveolar lavage were cleaved by cathepsin G. Serum amyloid P component leaked into the lung during acute infection and was digested by cathepsin G. Its cleavage products had greater binding to lipopolysaccharide and interfered with phagocytosis.
These results indicate that cleaved serum amyloid P component acts as an anti-opsonin and interferes with bacterial clearance from the lung.
bacteria; cystic fibrosis; infection; protease; serum amyloid P
The CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBPs), particularly C/EBPβ and C/EBPδ, are known to participate in the regulation of many genes associated with inflammation. However, very little is known regarding the activation and functions of C/EBPβ and C/EBPδ in acute lung inflammation and injury. Here we show that both C/EBPβ and C/EBPδ activation are triggered in lungs and in alveolar macrophages following intrapulmonary deposition of IgG immune complexes. We further show that mice carrying a targeted deletion of the C/EBPβ gene displayed significant attenuation of the permeability index (lung vascular leak of albumin), lung neutrophil accumulation (MPO activity), total number of white blood cells, and neutrophils in bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) fluids compared to wild-type mice. Moreover, the mutant mice expressed considerably less TNF-α, IL-6, and CXC/CC chemokine and sICAM-1 proteins in BAL fluids, and corresponding mRNAs in the IgG immune complex-injured lung, compared to wild-type mice. These phenotypes were associated with a significant reduction in morphological lung injury. In contrast, C/EBPδ deficiency had no effect on IgG immune complex-induced lung injury. IgG immune complex-stimulated C/EBPβ-deficient alveolar macrophages released significantly less TNF-α, IL-6, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2, keratinocyte cell-derived chemokine (KC), and MIP-1α compared to wild-type cells. Similar decreases in IgG immune complex-induced inflammatory mediator production were observed following siRNA ablation of C/EBPβ in a murine alveolar macrophage cell line. These findings implicate C/EBPβ as a critical regulator of IgG immune complex-induced inflammatory responses and injury in the lung.
C/EBPs; lung; immune complex
Mechanical ventilation (MV) is used as therapy to support critically ill patients, however the mechanisms by which MV induces lung injury and inflammation remain unclear. EGFR mediated signaling plays a key role in various physiologic and pathologic processes, including those modulated by mechanical and shear forces, in various cell types. We hypothesized that EGFR-activated signaling plays a key role in ventilator induced lung injury and inflammation (VILI). To test this hypothesis, we assessed lung vascular and alveolar permeability, as well as inflammation, which are cardinal features of VILI, in mice treated with the EGFR inhibitor, AG1478. Inhibition of EGFR activity greatly diminished MV-induced lung alveolar permeability and neutrophil accumulation in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, as compared to vehicle-treated controls. Similarly, AG1478 inhibition diminished lung vascular leak (as assessed by Evans blue extravasation), but did not affect interstitial neutrophil accumulation. Inhibition of the EGFR pathway also blocked expression of genes induced by MV. However, intratracheal instillation of EGF alone failed to induce lung injury. Collectively, our findings suggest that EGFR-activated signaling is necessary but not sufficient to produce ALI in mice.