The heat shock (HS) response is a phylogenetically ancient cellular response to stress, including heat, that shifts gene expression to a set of conserved HS protein (HSP) genes. In our earlier studies, febrile-range hyperthermia (FRH) not only activated HSP gene expression, but also increased expression of CXC chemokines in mice, leading us to hypothesize that the CXC chemokine family of genes might be HS-responsive. To address this hypothesis we analyzed the effect of HS on the expression of IL-8/CXCL-8, a member of the human CXC family of ELR+ chemokines. HS markedly enhanced TNF-α–induced IL-8 secretion in human A549 respiratory epithelial-like cells and in primary human small airway epithelial cells. IL-8 mRNA was also up-regulated by HS, but the stability of IL-8 mRNA was not affected. TNF-α–induced reporter activity of an IL-8 promoter construct IL8−1471/+44-luc stably transfected in A549 cells was also enhanced by HS. Electrophoretic mobility and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that the stress-activated transcription factor heat shock factor-1 (HSF-1) binds to at least two putative heat shock response elements (HSE) present in the IL-8 promoter. Deletional reporter constructs lacking either one or both of these sites showed reduced HS responsiveness. Furthermore, depletion of HSF-1 using siRNA also reduced the effects HS on TNF-α–induced IL-8 expression, demonstrating that HSF-1 could also act to regulate IL-8 gene transcription. We speculate that during evolution the CXC chemokine genes may have co-opted elements of the HS response to amplify their expression and enhance neutrophil delivery during febrile illnesses.
neutrophil; hyperthermia; IL-8; chemokine; heat shock factor-1
Cells constituting the placental barrier secrete soluble factors that may participate in controlling human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission from the mother to the fetus. In this study, we asked whether placental soluble factors (PSF) could limit cell-cell contact inducing HIV-1 production that occurs after inoculation of HIV-1-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (HIV-1+ PBMCs) onto trophoblast-derived BeWo cells grown as tight and polarized barriers in a two-chamber system. The activity of recombinant chemokines and cytokines expressed by placental tissue and of factors secreted by either early or term placentae of HIV-1-negative women, was analyzed. We identified chemokines (RANTES and MIP-1β) and cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-8) that decreased and increased, respectively, viral production in trophoblast barrier cells inoculated with HIV-1+ PBMCs. Unexpectedly, factors secreted by either early or term placentae of HIV-1-negative women enhanced viral production. Nevertheless, the same PSF did not favor infection of trophoblastic barriers with cell-free HIV-1 and strongly reduced viral production in PBMCs infected with cell-free HIV-1. Moreover, PSF contained chemokines (RANTES and MIP-1β) and a cytokine, leukemia inhibitory factor, exhibiting a strong anti-HIV-1 activity in our model of cell-to-cell infection. Together these data suggested that at the maternal interface the global activity of PSF is related to the synergistic action of several soluble factors with a balance in favor of an enhancing activity on the passage of viruses across the trophoblast barrier. This could explain the presence of viral sequences in trophoblasts in all placentae of HIV-1-infected women.
Mast cells are involved in many disorders where the triggering mechanism that leads to degranulation and/or cytokine secretion has not been defined. Several chronic inflammatory diseases are associated with increased mast cell numbers and upregulation of the TNF receptor family member CD30, but the role of elevated CD30 expression is poorly understood. Here we report what we believe to be a novel way to activate mast cells with CD30 that leads to degranulation-independent secretion of chemokines. CD30 induced a de novo synthesis and secretion of the chemokines IL-8, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α), and MIP-1β, a process involving the MAPK/ERK pathway. Mast cells were found to be the predominant CD30 ligand–positive (CD30L-positive) cell in the chronic inflammatory skin diseases psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, and both CD30 and CD30L expression were upregulated in lesional skin in these conditions. Furthermore, the number of IL-8–positive mast cells was elevated both in psoriatic and atopic dermatitis lesional skin as well as in ex vivo CD30-treated healthy skin organ cultures. In summary, characterization of CD30 activation of mast cells has uncovered an IgE-independent pathway that is of importance in understanding the entirety of the role of mast cells in diseases associated with mast cells and CD30 expression. These diseases include Hodgkin lymphoma, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), produced by Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant S. aureus), is a superantigenic toxin responsible for toxic shock syndrome as well as neonatal TSS-like exanthematous disease. TSST-1 exhibits its deleterious effects by leading to the abnormal proliferation of, e.g., Vβ2+ T cells and overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines. In the present study we examined the inhibitory effect of a Chinese herbal extract, anisodamine, on TSST-1 using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Anisodamine inhibited the production of proinflammatory cytokines better than interleukin-10 (an anti-inflammatory cytokine). The inhibitory effect of anisodamine was greater than that of any tropane alkaloid examined. Anisodamine acted directly on both monocytes and T cells in human PBMCs, and the effect was confirmed at the transcriptional level. Inhibition of NF-κB activation was also demonstrated. In contrast, no significant inhibition of Vβ2+ T-cell proliferation was observed. In mice injected with TSST-1, anisodamine treatment significantly decreased serum proinflammatory cytokine levels and prevented TSST-1-induced death. These results suggest that anisodamine specifically acts against the production of cytokines (inflammatory cytokines in particular) and not against Vβ2+ T-cell proliferation and that anisodamine may have a beneficial effect on TSST-1-associated disease.
Mycobacterium avium (MAV) and M. abscessus (MAB) are ubiquitous environmental organisms increasingly recognized to cause chronic lung disease in patients with apparently normal immune function. Little is yet known about their human pathophysiology. Our objective was to examine cytokine and chemokine responses (protein and gene expression) and signaling pathways triggered by reference and clinical isolates of MAB and MAV in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, monocytes, and murine bone marrow–derived macrophages in vitro. MAB-induced TNF-α production was higher than that induced by MAV. IFN-γ, IL-1β, and the chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein-1α and regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted were equally up-regulated. Differences between MAB and MAV do not require replication and are heat stable. We found no differential effect due to rough or smooth colonies within the same species. Similar to MAV, MAB triggered mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and nuclear factor-κB translocation. Induction of TNF-α was dependent on MAPK pathways, since pre-incubation of cells with signaling inhibitors led to more than 85% reduction in cytokine secretion. MAB also triggered a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-mediated response that led to TNF-α production by human monocytes. Accordingly, stimulation of murine TLR2- or myeloid differentiation factor 88–deficient bone marrow–derived macrophages did not elicit TNF-α, reinforcing a critical role for TLR2 in MAB-induced cell activation. We concluded that MAB signals human cells through MAPK and TLR2 pathways and triggers more pronounced pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines than MAV.
tumor necrosis factor-α; M. abscessus; M. avium; chemokines; Toll-like receptor 2
Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal bacterium that causes human Lyme disease, encodes numerous lipoproteins which have the capacity to trigger the release of proinflammatory cytokines from a variety of host cell types, and it is generally believed that these cytokines contribute to the disease process in vivo. We previously reported that low-passage-number infectious B. burgdorferi spirochetes express a novel lipidation-independent activity which induces secretion of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) by the mouse MC/9 mast cell line. Using RNase protection assays, we determined that mast cells exposed in vitro to low-passage-number, but not high-passage-number, B. burgdorferi spirochetes show increased expression of additional mRNAs representing several chemokines, including macrophage-inflammatory protein 1α (MIP-1α), MIP-1β, and TCA3, as well as the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6. Furthermore, mast cell TNF-α secretion can be inhibited by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin and also by preincubation with purified mouse immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2a, but not mouse IgG3, and by a mouse Fc gamma receptor II and III (FcγRII/III)-specific rat monoclonal antibody, suggesting the likely involvement of host FcγRIII in B. burgdorferi-mediated signaling. A role for passively adsorbed rabbit or bovine IgG or serum components in B. burgdorferi-mediated FcγR signaling was excluded in control experiments. These studies confirm that low-passage-number B. burgdorferi spirochetes express a novel activity which upregulates the expression of a variety of host cell chemokine and cytokine genes, and they also establish a novel antibody-independent role for FcγRs in transduction of activation signals by bacterial products.
Neurotensin (NT), a gut tridecapeptide, acts as a potent cellular mitogen for various colorectal and pancreatic cancers which possess high-affinity NT receptors (NTR). Cytokine/chemokine proteins are increasingly recognized as important local factors which play a role in the metastasis and invasion of multiple cancers. The purpose of this study was to: (i) determine the effect of NT on cytokine/chemokine gene expression and cell migration in human cancer cells and, (ii) assess the effect of curcumin, a natural dietary product, on NT-mediated processes.
The human colorectal cancer, HCT116, was treated with NT, with or without curcumin, and IL-8 expression and protein secretion was measured. Signaling pathways, which contribute to the effects of NT, were assessed. Finally, the effect of curcumin on NT-mediated HCT116 cell migration was analyzed.
We show that NT, acting through the native high-affinity NTR, induced IL-8 expression in human colorectal cancer cells in a time- and dose-dependent fashion. This stimulation involves Ca2+-dependent PKC, ERK-dependent AP-1 and ERK-independent NF-κB pathways. Curcumin inhibited NT-mediated AP-1 and NF-κB activation and Ca2+ mobilization. Moreover curcumin blocked NT-stimulated IL-8 gene induction and protein secretion and, at a low concentration (ie, 10 μM), blocked NT-stimulated colon cancer cell migration.
NT-mediated induction of tumor cell IL-8 expression and secretion may contribute to the procarcinogenic effects of NT on GI cancers. Furthermore a potential mechanism for the chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effects of curcumin on colon cancers may be through the inhibition of GI hormone (eg, NT)-induced chemokine expression and cell migration.
Neurotensin; IL-8; Curcumin; Signal transduction; GI cancers
mRNA expression signatures are frequently used as surrogate measures of cellular function and pathway changes. Few studies have directly compared results obtained using gene expression and multiplex protein assays for corresponding gene products.
We utilized data available from a clinical trial of an HPV-16 vaccine that tracked gene expression and cytokine/chemokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated in culture with various antigens to evaluate the degree to which gene expression levels reflect observed levels of cytokines/chemokines. Twenty-six women enrolled in a phase II clinical trial of an HPV-16 vaccine were evaluated for gene expression (using the Affymetrix Human Genome Focus Array) and cytokine/chemokine levels (using a bead-based 22-plex cytokine assay developed by Linco Research, Inc.) before and after vaccination.
Our results suggest the presence of a wide range of correlations between mRNA expression and secreted protein levels. The strongest correlation was observed for IFN-γ (R=0.90 overall levels; 0.69 when vaccine induced changes were evaluated). More modest overall correlations ranging from 0.40 to 0.80 were observed for MIP1A, IP10, TNF-α, MCP1, IL2, GM-CSF, IL5, RANTES, and IL-8. Weaker or no correlation was observed between gene expression and protein levels for the remaining cytokines/chemokines evaluated.
The degree of correlation between gene expression and protein levels varied among different cytokines/chemokines.
Researchers should be cautious when using mRNA expression array results as a proxy for protein levels using existing technologies.
cytokines; mRNA expression; protein levels; affymetrix gene expression microarray; multiplex protein assays
The HIV-1 (HIV) transgenic (Tg) rat develops several immune abnormalities in association with clinical impairments that are similar to what are seen with HIV infection in humans. In HIV infection, retinoids and opioids can have separate and potentially combined effects on the clinical course of HIV disease. In these studies, the effects of a vitamin A deficient diet on T cell proinflammatory cytokine and mu opioid receptor (MOR) expression were examined in the Tg and in wild-type (WT) rats. The effects of the diet on HIV gene expression were also analyzed in the Tg rats. Phytohemagglutinin-stimulated T cells from WT rats on the vitamin A diet and from Tg rats on either diet were more likely to either produce increased percentages of T cells expressing intracytoplasmic IFN-γ, secrete higher levels of TNF-α, and express higher levels of MOR mRNA and surface MOR. Mitogen stimulation also increased Tg rat HIV env, tat, and nef mRNA expression with even higher env and nef mRNA produced in association with the vitamin A deficient diet. All together, these data suggest that a vitamin A deficient diet can result in cellular effects that increase T cell proinflammatory responses and HIV expression, which may alter the course of disease in the HIV Tg rat model.
HIV-1; vitamin A; retinoids; transgenic rat; opioid receptor; cytokines; proinflammatory
Ambient particulate matter (PM) is an environmental factor that has been associated with increased respiratory morbidity and mortality. The major effect of ambient PM on the pulmonary system is the exacerbation of inflammation, especially in susceptible people. One of the mechanisms by which ambient PM exerts its proinflammatory effects is the generation of oxidative stress by its chemical compounds and metals. Cellular responses to PM-induced oxidative stress include activation of antioxidant defense, inflammation, and toxicity. The pro-inflammatory effect of PM in the lung is characterized by increased cytokine/chemokine production and adhesion molecule expression. Moreover, there is evidence that ambient PM can act as an adjuvant for allergic sensitization, which raises the possibility that long-term PM exposure may lead to increased prevalence of asthma. In addition to ambient PM, rapid expansion of nanotechnology has introduced the potential that engineered NP may also become airborne and may contribute to pulmonary diseases by novel mechanisms that could include oxidant injury. Currently, little is known about the potential adverse health effect of these particles. In this communication, the mechanisms by which particulate pollutants, including ambient PM and engineered NP, exert their adverse effects through the generation of oxidative stress and the impacts of oxidant injury in the respiratory tract will be reviewed. The importance of cellular antioxidant and detoxification pathways in protecting against particle-induced lung damage will also be discussed.
Particulate matter; Oxidative stress; Asthma; Dendritic cells; Adjuvant effect; Nanotoxicology
Proinflammatory cytokines secreted from microglia are known to induce a secondary immune response in astrocytes leading to an inflammatory loop. Cytokines also interfere with neurogenesis during aging and in neurodegenerative diseases. The present study examined the mechanism of induction of inflammatory mediators at the transcriptional level in human differentiated neuroprogenitor cells (NPCs). Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) induced the expression of cytokines and chemokines in differentiated human NPCs as shown by an immune pathway-specific array. Network motif (NM) analysis of these genes revealed 118 three-node NMs, suggesting complex interactions between inflammatory mediators and transcription factors. Immunofluorescent staining showed increases in the levels of IL-8 and CXCL10 proteins in neurons and glial cells. Findings from Taqman low density array suggested the synergistic actions of IL-1β and TNF-α in the induction of a majority of inflammatory genes by a mechanism involving NF-kB and STAT-1. Nuclear localization of these transcription factors in differentiated NPCs was observed following exposure to IL-1α and TNF-α. Further studies on CXCL10, a chemokine known to be elevated in the Alzheimer's brain, showed that TNF-α is a stronger inducer of CXCL10 promoter when compared to IL-1β. The synergy between these cytokines was lost when ISRE or kB elements in CXCL10 promoter were mutated. Our findings suggest that the activation of inflammatory pathways in neurons and astrocytes through transcription factors including NF-kB and STAT-1 play important roles in neuroglial interactions and in sustaining the vicious cycle of inflammatory response.
Campylobacter jejuni is a leading worldwide bacterial cause of human diarrheal disease. Although the specific molecular mechanisms of C. jejuni pathogenesis have not been characterized in detail, host inflammatory responses are thought to be major contributing factors to the resulting typical acute colitis. The intestinal mucosal chemokine response is particularly important in the initial stages of bacterium-induced gut inflammation. Chemokines attract blood phagocytes and lymphocytes to the site of infection and regulate immune cell maturation and the development of localized lymphoid tissues. The production of chemokines by dendritic cells (DCs) following Campylobacter infection has not yet been analyzed. In the current study, we infected human monocyte-derived DCs with C. jejuni to examine the production of key proinflammatory chemokines and chemokine receptors. The chemokines, including CC families (macrophage inflammatory protein 1α [MIP-1α], MIP-1β, RANTES) and CXC families (growth-related oncogene α [GRO-α], IP-10, and monokine induced by gamma interferon [MIG]), were upregulated in Campylobacter-infected DCs. Chemokine receptors CCR6 and CCR7, with roles in DC trafficking, were also induced in Campylobacter-infected DCs. Further, Campylobacter infection stimulated the phosphorylation of P38, P44/42, and stress-activated protein kinase/Jun N-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in DCs. NF-κB activation was specifically involved in chemokine induction in DCs infected with C. jejuni. Additionally, STAT3 was significantly increased in Campylobacter-infected DCs compared to that in uninfected DCs. These results suggest that DCs play a significant role in the initiation and modulation of the inflammatory response by enlisting monocytes, neutrophils, and T lymphocytes during human intestinal infection with Campylobacter.
A key function of monocytes/macrophages (Mφ) is to present antigens to T cells. However, upon interaction with bacteria, Mφ lose their ability to effectively present soluble antigens. This functional loss was associated with alterations in the expression of adhesion molecules and CD14 and a reduction in the uptake of soluble antigen. Recently, we have demonstrated that Salmonella typhi flagella (STF) markedly decrease CD14 expression and are potent inducers of proinflammatory cytokine production by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMC). In order to determine whether S. typhi and soluble STF also alter the ability of Mφ to activate T cells to proliferate to antigens and mitogens, hPBMC were cultured in the presence of tetanus toxoid (TT) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and either killed whole-cell S. typhi or purified STF protein. Both whole-cell S. typhi and STF suppressed proliferation to PHA and TT. This decreased proliferation was not a result of increased Mφ production of nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2, or oxygen radicals or the release of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, or interleukin-10 following exposure to STF. However, the ability to take up soluble antigen, as determined by fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled dextran uptake, was reduced in cells cultured with STF. Moreover, there was a dramatic reduction in the expression of CD54 on Mφ after exposure to STF. These results indicate that whole-cell S. typhi and STF have the ability to alter in vitro proliferation to soluble antigens and mitogens by affecting Mφ function.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of cystic fibrosis patients causes lung damage that is substantially orchestrated by cytokines. In this study, multi-gene probe analysis was used to characterize the ability of the P. aeruginosa mitogen, exoenzyme S, to induce proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines and chemokines. Exoenzyme S strongly induced transcription of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1α [IL-1α], IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, MCP-1, RANTES, and I-309), modest transcription of immunoregulatory cytokines (IL-10 and IL-12p40), and weak transcription of Th1 cytokines (IL-2 and gamma interferon). The response occurred early and subsided without evolving over time. These data suggest that cells responding to exoenzyme S would rapidly express proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines that may contribute to pulmonary inflammation in cystic fibrosis.
Proinflammatory cytokines in degenerative diseases can lead to the loss of normal physiology and the destruction of surrounding tissues. In the present study, the physiological responses of human fetal retinal pigment epithelia (hfRPE) were examined in vitro after polarized activation of proinflammatory cytokine receptors.
Primary cultures of hfRPE were stimulated with an inflammatory cytokine mixture (ICM): interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interferon (IFN)-γ. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence were used to determine the expression/localization of the cytokine receptors on hfRPE. Polarized secretion of cytokines was measured. A capacitance probe technique was used to measure transepithelial fluid flow (JV) and resistance (RT).
IL-1R1 was mainly localized to the apical membrane and TNFR1 to the basal membrane, whereas IFN-γR1 was detected on both membranes. Activation by apical ICM induced a significant secretion of angiogenic and angiostatic chemokines, mainly across the hfRPE apical membrane. Addition of the ICM to the basal but not the apical bath significantly increased net fluid absorption (JV) across the hfRPE within 20 minutes. Similar increases in JV were produced by a 24-hour exposure to ICM, which significantly decreased total RT.
Chemokine gradients across the RPE can be altered (1) through an ICM-induced change in polarized chemokine secretion and (2) through an increase in ICM-induced net fluid absorption. In vivo, both of these factors could contribute to the development of chemokine gradients that help mediate the progression of inflammation/angiogenesis at the retina/RPE/choroid complex.
TLR6 forms a heterodimer with TLR2 and TLR4. While proinflammatory roles of TLR2 and TLR4 are well documented, the role of TLR6 in inflammation is poorly understood. In order to understand mechanisms of action of TLR6 in inflammatory responses, we investigated the effects of FSL-1, the TLR6 ligand, on expression of chemokine CCL2 and cytokine IL-1β and determined cellular factors involved in FSL-1-mediated expression of CCL2 and IL-1β in mononuclear cells. Exposure of human monocytic leukemia THP-1 cells to FSL-1 resulted not only in enhanced secretion of CCL2 and IL-1β, but also profound induction of their gene transcripts. Expression of CCL2 was abrogated by treatment with OxPAPC, a TLR-2/4 inhibitor, while treatment with OxPAPC resulted in partially inhibited expression of IL-1β. Treatment with FSL-1 resulted in enhanced phosphorylation of Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinases and activation of protein kinase C. Treatment with pharmacological inhibitors, including SB202190, SP6001250, U0126, Akt inhibitor IV, LY294002, GF109203X, and RO318220 resulted in significantly attenuated FSL-1-mediated upregulation of CCL2 and IL-1β. Our results indicate that activation of TLR6 will trigger inflammatory responses by upregulating expression of CCL2 and IL-1β via TLR-2/4, protein kinase C, PI3K-Akt, and mitogen-activated protein kinases.
Chemokine; FSL-1; Monocytes/macrophages; TLR6
RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T expressed and secreted) is a member of the chemotactic cytokine (chemokine) beta subfamily. High affinity receptors for RANTES have been identified on a human monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1, which responded to RANTES in chemotaxis and calcium mobilization assays. Steady-state binding data analyses revealed approximately 700 binding sites/cell on THP-1 cells with a Kd value of 400 pM, comparable to that expressed on human peripheral blood monocytes. The RANTES binding to monocytic cells was competed for by monocyte chemotactic and activating factor (MCAF) and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 (MIP-1) alpha, two other chemokine beta cytokines. Although MCAF and MIP-1 alpha competed for RANTES binding to monocytes with apparent lower affinity (with estimated Kd of 6 and 1.6, nM respectively) both of these cytokines effectively desensitized the calcium mobilization induced by RANTES. The chemotactic response of THP- 1 cells to RANTES was also markedly inhibited by preincubation with MCAF or MIP-1 alpha. In contrast, RANTES did not desensitize the THP-1 calcium mobilization and chemotaxis in response to MCAF or MIP-1 alpha. These results, together with our previous observations that RANTES did not compete for MCAF or MIP-1 alpha binding on monocytic cells, indicate the expression of promiscuous receptors on monocytes that recognize one or more cytokines within the chemokine beta family.
A characteristic of human pathogenic Neisseriae is the production and secretion of an immunoglobulin (Ig)A1-specific serine protease (IgA1 protease) that cleaves preferentially human IgA1 and other target proteins. Here we show a novel function for native IgA1 protease, i.e., the induction of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The capacity of IgA1 protease to elicit such cytokine responses in monocytes was enhanced in the presence of T lymphocytes. IgA1 protease did not induce the regulatory cytokine IL-10, which was, however, found in response to lipopolysaccharide and phytohemagglutinin. The immunomodulatory effects caused by IgA1 protease require a native form of the enzyme, and denaturation abolished cytokine induction. However, the proteolytic activity is not required for the cytokine induction by IgA1 protease. Our results indicate that IgA1 protease exhibits important immunostimulatory properties and may contribute substantially to the pathogenesis of neisserial infections by inducing large amounts of TNF-α and other proinflammatory cytokines. In particular, IgA1 protease may represent a key virulence determinant of bacterial meningitis.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Neisseria meningitidis; inflammation; tumor necrosis; factor α; virulence factor
The effect of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) gene expression on cytokine (beta interferon) and chemokine (RANTES, MIG, MCP-2, MIP-1α, and interleukin-8) expression was examined. We demonstrate that HCMV gene expression is required to suppress the transcriptional induction of these cytokines and that the HCMV immediate-early 2 gene product IE86 can effectively block the expression of cytokines and proinflammatory chemokines during HCMV and Sendai virus infection. Additionally, we present data on viral mutants and ectopic protein expression which demonstrate that pp65, another identified HCMV cytokine antagonist, is not involved in regulating these proinflammatory cytokines. This is the first report to demonstrate that IE86 can act to suppress virus-induced proinflammatory cytokine transcript expression, extending the antiviral properties of this multifunctional viral protein.
Chlamydia trachomatis is a leading cause of sexually transmitted infection worldwide and responsible for myriad of immunopathological changes associated with reproductive health. Delayed secretion of proinflammatory chemokine interleukin (IL)-8 is a hallmark of chlamydial infection and is dependent on chlamydial growth. We examined the effect of iron chelators on IL-8 production in HeLa 229 (cervix epitheloid cell, CCL2) cells infected with C. trachomatis. IL-8 production was induced by Iron chelator DFO and Mimosine, however, synergy with chlamydial infection was obtained with DFO only. Temporal expression of proinflammatory secreted cytokines IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IL-8 did not show synchrony in Chlamydia trachomatis infected cells. Secretion of IL-8 from Hela cells infected with C. trachomatis was not dependent on IL-1 beta and TNF- alpha induction. These results indicate towards involvement of iron in chlamydia induced IL-8 production.
Helicobacter pylori persistently infects the human stomach and can cause gastritis, gastric ulceration, and gastric cancer. The type IV secretion system (TFSS) of virulent H. pylori strains translocates the CagA protein, inducing the dephosphorylation of host cell proteins and leading to changes in the morphology or shape of AGS gastric epithelial cells. Furthermore, the TFSS is involved in the induction of proinflammatory cytokines. While the H. pylori genes required for TFSS function have been investigated systematically, little is known about possible host cell factors involved. We infected 19 different mammalian cell lines individually with H. pylori and analyzed CagA translocation, dephosphorylation of host cell proteins, chemokine secretion (interleukin-8 and macrophage inflammatory protein 2), and changes in cellular phenotypes. Our results demonstrate that not only bacterial but also host cell factors determine the cellular response to infection. The identification of such unknown host cell factors will add to our understanding of host-pathogen interactions and might help in the development of new therapeutic strategies.
The marked tropism of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) for natural killer (NK) cells and T lymphocytes has led us to investigate the effect of HHV-6 on cellular cytotoxicity. We describe here how HHV-6 infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) leads to upregulation of their NK cell cytotoxicity. The induction of NK cell activity by HHV-6 was abrogated by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to IL-15 but not by mAbs to other cytokines (IFN-alpha, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, TNF-beta, IL-2, IL-12) suggesting that IL-15 secreted in response to viral infection was responsible for the observed effect. Furthermore, NK activation by HHV-6 was blocked with mAb to CD122, as well as by human anti-HHV-6 neutralizing antibodies. Using RT-PCR, we were able to detect IL-15 mRNA upregulation in purified monocyte and NK cell preparations. IL-15 protein synthesis was increased in response to HHV-6. Finally, addition of IL-15 to PBMC cultures was found to severely curtail HHV-6 expression. Taken together, our data suggest that enhanced NK activity in response to viral infection represent a natural anti-viral defense mechanism aimed at rapidly eliminating virus-infected cells.
The local production of proinflammatory cytokines mediates the host response to inflammation, infection, and injury, whereas an overexpression of these mediators can injure or kill the host. Recently, we identified a class of multivalent guanylhydrazone compounds that are effective inhibitors of proinflammatory cytokine synthesis in monocytes/macrophages. The structure of one such cationic molecule suggested a molecular mimicry with spermine, a ubiquitous endogenous biogenic amine that increases significantly at sites of inflammation and infection. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that spermine might counterregulate the innate immune response by downregulating the synthesis of potentially injurious cytokines. When spermine was added to cultures of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), it effectively inhibited the synthesis of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, MIP-1α, and MIP-1β. The inhibition of cytokine synthesis was specific and reversible, with significant inhibition of TNF synthesis occurring even when spermine was added after LPS. The mechanism of spermine-mediated cytokine suppression was posttranscriptional and independent of polyamine oxidase activity. Local administration of spermine in vivo protected mice against the development of acute footpad inflammation induced by carrageenan. These results identify a distinct molecular counterregulatory role for spermine in downregulating the monocyte proinflammatory cytokine response.
Adenoviruses (Ad) have a variety of immunoregulatory genes, many of which are clustered in a 3.5-kb segment of DNA known as early region 3 (E3). Ad E3 codes for proteins that downregulate surface expression of class I major histocompatibility antigens and also inhibit tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)- and Fas-induced cytolysis. We were interested in determining whether chemokine production or activity might also be inhibited by Ad E3 and we have studied this function in a human astrocytoma cell line, U373. Astrocytes constitute a part of the blood-brain barrier, and chemokines (IP-10, IL-8, MCP-1-4, and MIPs) expressed by them may contribute to leukocyte infiltration within the brain during inflammation. When U373 cells are activated by the proinflammatory molecule TNF-α, the increase in chemokine MCP-1, IL-8, and IP-10 transcripts is blocked by a recombinant Ad expressing the E3 genes under cytomegalovirus promoter control. Comparable Ads expressing green fluorescent protein in place of E3 have no effect on these chemokines. Ads also have been extensively studied as gene therapy vectors and most have a deletion of the E3 region to permit the insertion of larger fragments of foreign DNA. Our results suggest that construction of Ad vectors to include E3 expression cassettes will improve the efficacy and safety of such viral-based gene therapy protocols.
The number of dendritic cells is increased in advanced atherosclerotic lesions. In addition, plasmin, which might stimulate dendritic cells, is generated in atherosclerotic lesions. Here, we investigated cytokine and chemokine induction by plasmin in human dendritic cells. In human atherosclerotic vessel sections, plasmin colocalized with dendritic cells and the CC-chemokine ligand 20 (CCL20, MIP-3α), which is important for homing of lymphocytes and dendritic cells to sites of inflammation. Stimulation of human dendritic cells with plasmin, but not with catalytically inactivated plasmin, induced transcriptional regulation of CCL20. By contrast, proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1α, and IL-1β were not induced. The plasmin-mediated CCL20 expression was preceded by activation of Akt and MAP kinases followed by activation of the transcription factor NF-κB as shown by phosphorylation of its inhibitor IκBα, by nuclear localization of p65, its phosphorylation, and binding to NF-κB consensus sequences. The plasmin-induced CCL20 expression was dependent on Akt- and ERK1/2-mediated phosphorylation of IκBα on Ser32/36 and of p65 on Ser276, whereas p38 MAPK appeared to be dispensable. Thus, plasmin triggers release of the chemokine CCL20 from dendritic cells, which might facilitate accumulation of CCR6+ immune cells in areas of plasmin generation such as inflamed tissues including atherosclerotic lesions.