Despite its direct connection to the nasopharynx which harbors otitis media pathogens as part of its normal flora, the middle ear cavity is kept free of these bacteria by as yet unknown mechanisms. Respiratory mucosal epithelia, including those of the middle ear and eustachian tube, secrete antimicrobial effectors including lysozyme, lactoferrin and β defensins-1 and -2. To elucidate the role of these innate immune molecules in the normal defense and maintenance of sterility of respiratory mucosa such as that of the middle ear, we assessed their effect on the respiratory pathogens nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) 12, Moraxella catarrhalis 035E, and Streptococcus pneumoniae 3, and 6B.
Two assay methods, the radial assay and the liquid broth assay, were employed for testing the antimicrobial activity of the molecules. This was done in order to minimize the possibility that the observed effects were artifacts of any single assay system employed. Also, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was employed to evaluate the effect of antimicrobial innate immune molecules on OM pathogens. For the statistical analysis of the data, Student's t-test was performed.
Results of the radial diffusion assay showed that β defensin-2 was active against all four OM pathogens tested, while treatment with β defensin-1 appeared to only affect M. catarrhalis. The radial assay results also showed that lysozyme was quite effective against S. pneumoniae 3 and 6B and was partially bacteriostatic/bactericidal against M. catarrhalis. Lysozyme however, appeared not to affect the growth of NTHi. Thus, lysozyme seems to have a more pronounced impact on the growth of the Gram-positive S. pneumoniae as compared to that of Gram-negative pathogens. Lactoferrin on the other hand, enhanced the growth of the bacteria tested. The results of the radial assays were confirmed using liquid broth assays for antimicrobial activity, and showed that lysozyme and β defensin-2 could act synergistically against S. pneumoniae 6B. Moreover, in the liquid broth assay, β defensin-1 showed a modest inhibitory effect on the growth of S. pneumoniae 6B. As assessed by ultrastructural analysis, lysozyme and β defensin-2, and to a much lesser extent, β defensin-1, appeared to be able to cause damage to the bacterial membranes.
Here we report that lysozyme and the β defensins can inhibit the growth of clinical isolates of otitis media pathogens – namely NTHi strain 12, S. pneumoniae strains 3 and 6B and M. catarrhalis strain 035E – and cause ultrastructural damage to these pathogens. Moreover, we demonstrate that lysozyme and β defensin-2 can act synergistically against S. pneumoniae. These findings are consistent with the concept that secreted antimicrobial peptides and other components of innate immunity constitute the first line of defense protecting host mucosal surfaces, including the tubotympanal (eustachian tube and middle ear cavity) mucosa, against pathogens.
Acute otitis media (AOM) is an inflammatory reaction in the middle ear, most often occurring in young children. Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are the most common bacteria isolated. Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) is involved in the innate immune response to infection by microorganisms, in effective antigen presentation, and in subsequent T-cell activation. Here we prospectively studied levels of serum soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) before, at the time of, and after antimicrobial treatment of AOM in a group of 138 children ages 6 to 30 months. Middle ear fluids were collected by tympanocentesis to identify otopathogens. We found that (i) serum levels of sICAM-1 were significantly higher in S. pneumoniae-, nontypeable H. influenzae-, and M. catarrhalis-infected children than in well children (P < 0.001), confirming that a systemic inflammatory response occurs during AOM; (ii) sICAM-1 levels varied from no elevation (110 ng/ml) to elevation to high levels (maximum, 1,470 ng/ml) among children with AOM; (iii) in paired samples, sICAM-1 levels increased 4- to 20-fold when children developed AOM compared to their sICAM-1 levels before infection; and (iv) the level of sICAM-1 returned to the pre-AOM level at the convalescent stage of AOM after successful antimicrobial therapy. We conclude that AOM often causes a systemic inflammatory reaction, as measured by elevation of the serum sICAM-1 level, and that a high variability in sICAM-1 responses occurs with the presence of otopathogens during AOM.
Rats exposed to the odor of a predator or to the elevated plus maze express fear behaviors without a prior exposure to either stimulus. The expression of innate fear provides for an ideal model of anxiety which can aid in the elucidation of brain circuits involved in anxiety-related behaviors. The current experiments compared activation of neuropeptide-containing neuronal populations in the amygdala of rats exposed to either the elevated plus maze (EPM; 5 minutes) versus home cage controls, or predator ferret odor versus butyric acid, or no odor (30 minutes). Sections of the brains were prepared for dual-labeled immunohistochemistry and counts of c-Fos co-localized with somatostatin (SOM) or neuropeptide Y (NPY) were made in the basolateral (BLA), central (CEA), medial (MEA) nucleus of the amygdala. Ferret odor and butyric acid exposure significantly decreased the percentage of SOM–positive neurons also immunoreactive for c-Fos in the anterior BLA compared to controls, whereas EPM exposure yielded a significant increase in the activation of SOM-positive neurons versus home cage controls. In the CEA, ferret odor and butyric exposure significantly decreased the percentage of SOM-positive neurons also immunoreactive for c-Fos compared to no-odor controls whereas EPM exposure yielded no change versus controls. In the MEA, both ferret odor exposure and EPM exposure resulted in increased SOM co-localized with c-Fos compared to control groups whereas NPY co-localized with c-Fos occurred following ferret odor exposure, but not EPM exposure. These results indicate that phenotypically distinct neuronal populations of the amygdala are differentially activated following exposure to different anxiogenic stimuli. These studies further elucidate the fundamental neurocircuitry of anxiety and could possibly explain the differential behavioral effects of predator versus novelty-induced stress.
Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common infectious diseases in humans. The pathogenesis of OM involves nasopharyngeal colonization (NP) and retrograde ascension of the pathogen up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear (ME). Due to increasing rates of antibiotic resistance, there is an urgent need for vaccines to prevent infections caused by the most common causes of bacterial OM, including nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Current vaccine strategies aim to diminish bacterial NP carriage, thereby reducing the likelihood of developing acute OM. To be effective, vaccination should induce local mucosal mmunity both in the ME and in the NP. Studies in animal models have demonstrated that the intranasal route of vaccination is particularly effective at inducing immune responses in the nasal passage and ME for protection against OM. The mouse is increasingly used in these models, because of the availability of murine reagents and the existence of technology to manipulate murine models of disease immunologically and genetically. Previous studies confirmed the suitability of the mouse as a model for inflammatory processes in acute OM. Here, we discuss various murine models of OM and review the applicability of these models to assess the efficacy of mucosal vaccination and the mechanisms responsible for protection. In addition, we discuss various mucosal vaccine antigens, mucosal adjuvants and mucosal delivery systems.
Multiplex PCR analyses for both bacterial and viral pathogens were conducted in a blinded manner on 33 archival specimens, of known culture status, procured from chinchilla models of both single- and mixed-pathogen-induced otitis media and from a pediatric patient. These specimens had been maintained at −70°C for up to 6 years. Experimental specimens evaluated included middle-ear effusions, nasopharyngeal lavage fluids and middle-ear lavage fluids from animals which were immunologically naive, sham-immunized or actively immunized with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae antigens. Sampling times used ranged from the day of bacterial or viral challenge to 42 days after challenge. Initial PCR analyses of the 33 specimens matched the traditional culture data in 24 instances (73%), correctly identifying nontypeable H. influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or adenovirus as the causative agent. A PCR-positive signal for the microbe(s) inoculated was also obtained in four animal model specimens (12%) which were culture negative. One of two culture-negative human effusions was also PCR positive. Thus, overall, results obtained by blinded PCR were 85% concordant with traditional culture methods or correctly indicated the specific pathogen introduced in four specimens that were sterile. In no instance was a false-positive signal obtained for any of the five etiologic agents being evaluated. We conclude that the multiplex PCR analyses are rapid and accurate methodologies when they are used to retrospectively evaluate diverse archival specimens of limited volume from experimental models of otitis media.
data indicate that alterations in brain neuropeptides may play a
pathogenic role in dementia. Neuropeptide Y (NPY), somastostatin (SOM),
and corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) are neuropeptides involved in
cognitive performance. Decreased SOM and NPY concentrations have been
found in patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus and are probably
the result of neuronal dysfunction, which could potentially be restored
by shunting. The effects of shunt surgery on preoperative SOM, NPY, and
CRF concentrations were studied. Any improvements in neuropeptide concentrations that could lead to clinically significant
neuropsychological and functional changes were also investigated.
prospective study was performed in 14 patients with
normal pressure hydrocephalus syndrome with a
duration of symptoms between 3 months and 12 years. Diagnosis was based
on intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and CSF dynamics.
Concentrations of SOM, NPY, and CRF in lumbar CSF were determined
before shunting and again 6-9 months after surgery. A battery of
neuropsychological tests and several rating functional scales
were also given to patients before and after shunting.
shunting, SOM and CRF concentrations were significantly increased in
all patients. Concentrations of NPY were increased in 12 of the 14 patients studied. The clinical condition of 13of the 14 patients was
significantly improved 6 months after surgery. This improvement was
more pronounced in gait disturbances and sphincter dysfunction than in
cognitive impairment. No significant differences in any of the
neuropsychological tests were seen for the group of patients as a
whole despite the increased neuropeptide concentrations.
can restore SOM, NPY, and CRF concentrations even in patients with
longstanding normal pressure hydrocephalus.
However, despite the biochemical and clinical improvement in some areas such as ambulation and daily life activities, cognitive performance did
not significantly improve. The role of neuropeptides in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with
normal pressure hydrocephalus syndrome is discussed.
Moraxella catarrhalis causes significant health problems, including 15–20% of otitis media cases in children and ∼10% of respiratory infections in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The lack of an efficacious vaccine, the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance in clinical isolates, and high carriage rates reported in children are cause for concern. In addition, the effectiveness of conjugate vaccines at reducing the incidence of otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae suggest that M. catarrhalis infections may become even more prevalent. Hence, M. catarrhalis is an important and emerging cause of infectious disease for which the development of a vaccine is highly desirable. Studying the pathogenesis of M. catarrhalis and the testing of vaccine candidates have both been hindered by the lack of an animal model that mimics human colonization and infection. To address this, we intranasally infected chinchilla with M. catarrhalis to investigate colonization and examine the efficacy of a protein-based vaccine. The data reveal that infected chinchillas produce antibodies against antigens known to be major targets of the immune response in humans, thus establishing immune parallels between chinchillas and humans during M. catarrhalis infection. Our data also demonstrate that a mutant lacking expression of the adherence proteins MhaB1 and MhaB2 is impaired in its ability to colonize the chinchilla nasopharynx, and that immunization with a polypeptide shared by MhaB1 and MhaB2 elicits antibodies interfering with colonization. These findings underscore the importance of adherence proteins in colonization and emphasize the relevance of the chinchilla model to study M. catarrhalis–host interactions.
Moraxella catarrhalis is a Gram negative bacterium and a leading causative agent of otitis media (OM) in children. Several recent reports have provided strong evidence for an association between toll like receptors and OM. It has been found that both Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae activate host protective immune responses through toll like receptors (TLRs), however, the precise mechanism by which Moraxella catarrhalis initiates the host immune response is currently unknown. In this report, using murine macrophages generated from a series of knock-out mice, we have demonstrated that M. catarrhalis lipooligosaccharide (LOS) and either heat killed or live bacteria are recognized by one or more TLRs. LOS activates the host immune response through a membrane bound CD14-TLR4 complex, while both heat killed and live M.cat require recognition by multiple toll like receptors such as TLR2, TLR4 and TLR9 without the requirement of CD14. We have also shown that M.cat stimuli are capable of triggering the host innate immune response by both MyD88- and TRIF- dependent signaling pathways. We further showed that M.cat induced activation of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) is essential in order to achieve optimal secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. We finally showed that TLR4 mutant C3H/HeJ mice produce significantly lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 in vivo, An increased bacterial loads at 12 and 24 hours (P<0.001) in their lungs upon challenge with live M.cat in an aerosol chamber compared to wild-type (WT) control mice. These data suggest that TLRs are crucial for an effective innate immune response induced by M.cat. The results of these studies contribute to an increased understanding of molecular mechanism and possible novel treatment strategies for diseases caused by M.cat by specifically targeting TLRs and their signaling pathways.
The neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) has long been postulated to play an integral role in the pathophysiology of migraine. While clinical findings are consistent with such a role, the specific pathogenic mechanisms of CGRP in migraine have remained speculative until recently. Through advances in molecular neuroscience, the pathogenic mechanisms of CGRP in migraine have begun to be elucidated. This paper discusses the hypothesized role of CGRP in migraine and reviews recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of this neuropeptide in migraine pathophysiology. Studies in cultured trigeminal neurons demonstrate that CGRP is released from trigeminal ganglia cells, that CGRP transcription is increased under conditions mimicking neurogenic inflammation, that migraine pharmacotherapies can both reduce CGRP release and inhibit CGRP transcription, and that tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), an endogenous inflammatory mediator implicated in migraine, can stimulate CGRP transcription. Together, the results suggest that, in migraine, activation of trigeminal nerves release CGRP and other peptides that cause the release of proinflammatory mediators. These mediators further increase CGRP synthesis and release over hours to days in correspondence with the 4- to 72-hour duration of a typical migraine episode. The increased CGRP synthesis and release might be mediated by activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, which, in turn, can be modulated by endogenous inflammatory substances such as TNF-α and affected by drugs such as sumatriptan.
inflammation; mitogen activated protein kinase; trigeminal; tumor necrosis factor alpha
OBJECTIVE--To study the pattern of innervation of the conduction system of the neonatal heart in humans. DESIGN--A prospective analysis based on immunohistochemical and enzyme histochemical examination of newborn human hearts. SETTING--A general district hospital. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Fresh necropsy tissue. MATERIAL--Hearts of three neonatal humans with no cardiac anomaly, freshly taken at necropsy. METHODS--Serial sectioning to obtain a three dimensional reconstruction of the cardiac conduction system, followed by identification of the pattern of innervation by immunohistochemical and enzyme histochemical techniques; with a panel of antisera against protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 as a general neural indicator; dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as indicators for sympathetic neural tissue; and selected neuropeptides--namely, neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), and substance P (SP). Gomori's technique was used for locating cholinesterase activity. RESULTS--PGP immunoreactive (PGP-IR) nerves were present in large numbers in the sinus node, atrioventricular (AV) node, and penetrating atrioventricular bundle; in moderate numbers in the branching bundle; and occasionally in the bundle branches. Small numbers of DBH-IR and TH-IR nerves were seen in the sinus and AV nodes, mainly perivascularly; there were few in the penetrating and branching bundles and none in the bundle branches. A few perivascular NPY-IR nerves were seen only in the sinus node. VIP-IR, CGRP-IR, and SP-IR nerves were not seen. Pseudocholinesterase activity was found in the conduction tissue, whereas occasional acetylcholinesterase positive nerves were found only in the sinus and AV nodes. CONCLUSION--A considerable innervation of the human cardiac conduction system is present at birth, although, by comparison with the results of other studies on adult tissue, the mature pattern has not yet been established. Thus it is still in the process of maturation, especially with regard to the acquisition of various neurotransmitters, including the more recently described neuropeptides.
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neuropeptide released from trigeminal nerves, is implicated in the underlying pathology of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Elevated levels of CGRP in the joint capsule correlate with inflammation and pain. CGRP mediates neurogenic inflammation in peripheral tissues by increasing blood flow, recruiting immune cells, and activating sensory neurons. The goal of this study was to investigate the capability of CGRP to promote peripheral and central sensitization in a model of TMD.
Temporal changes in protein expression in trigeminal ganglia and spinal trigeminal nucleus were determined by immunohistochemistry following injection of CGRP in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) capsule of male Sprague-Dawley rats. CGRP stimulated expression of the active forms of the MAP kinases p38 and ERK, and PKA in trigeminal ganglia at 2 and 24 hours. CGRP also caused a sustained increase in the expression of c-Fos neurons in the spinal trigeminal nucleus. In contrast, levels of P2X3 in spinal neurons were only significantly elevated at 2 hours in response to CGRP. In addition, CGRP stimulated expression of GFAP in astrocytes and OX-42 in microglia at 2 and 24 hours post injection.
Our results demonstrate that an elevated level of CGRP in the joint, which is associated with TMD, stimulate neuronal and glial expression of proteins implicated in the development of peripheral and central sensitization. Based on our findings, we propose that inhibition of CGRP-mediated activation of trigeminal neurons and glial cells with selective non-peptide CGRP receptor antagonists would be beneficial in the treatment of TMD.
It is increasingly evident that there is a close connection between the generation of cutaneous inflammatory cytokines and elevated neuropeptide signaling in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) patients. Previously we observed in the rat tibia fracture model of CRPS that activation of caspase-1 containing NALP1 inflammasomes was required for interleukin (IL)-1β production in keratinocytes, and that administration of an IL-1 receptor antagonist (anakinra) reduced the fracture-induced hindpaw mechanical allodynia. We therefore hypothesized that neuropeptides lead to nociceptive sensitization through activation of the skin’s innate immune system by enhancing inflammasome expression and caspase-1 activity.
We determined whether the neuropeptides substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) require IL-1β in order to support nociceptive sensitization when injected into mouse hindpaw skin by testing mechanical allodynia. We then investigated whether these neuropeptides could stimulate production of IL-1β in a keratinocyte cell line (REKs), and could increase the expression of inflammasome component proteins including NALP1 and caspase-1. Finally, we determined if neuropeptide-stimulated IL-1β production required activation of caspase-1 and cathepsin B.
Intraplantar injections of SP and CGRP lead to allodynia in mouse hindpaws but CGRP was approximately 10-fold less potent in causing this response. Moreover, systemic administration of the IL-1 receptor (IL-1R) antagonist anakinra prevented sensitization after neuropeptide injection. Also, mouse skin keratinocytes express IL-1R which is up-regulated after local neuropeptide application. In vitro data demonstrated that both SP and CGRP increased IL-1β gene and protein expression in REKs in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, SP time- and dose-dependently up-regulated NALP1 and caspase-1 mRNA and protein levels in REKs. In contrast, CGRP time- and dose-dependently enhanced NALP1 and caspase-1 mRNA levels without causing a significant change in NALP1 or caspase-1 protein expression in REKs. Inhibition of caspase-1 activity using the selective inhibitor Ac-YVAD-CHO reduced SP and, less effectively, CGRP induced increases in IL-1β production in REK cells. The selective cathepsin B inhibitor CA-74Me inhibited neuropeptide induced IL-1β production in REKs as well.
Collectively, these results demonstrate that neuropeptides induce nociceptive sensitization by enhancing IL-1 β production in keratinocytes. Neuropeptides rely on both caspase-1 and cathepsin B for this enhanced production. Neuro-cutaneous signaling involving neuropeptide activation of the innate immunity may contribute to pain in CRPS patients.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is emerging as a modulator of communication between the brain and the immune system. However, in spite of increasing evidence that supports a role for NPY in the modulation of microglial cell responses to inflammatory conditions, there is no consistent information regarding the action of NPY on microglial phagocytic activity, a vital component of the inflammatory response in brain injury. Taking this into consideration, we sought to assess a potential new role for NPY as a modulator of phagocytosis by microglial cells.
The N9 murine microglial cell line was used to evaluate the role of NPY in phagocytosis. For that purpose, an IgG-opsonized latex bead assay was performed in the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and an interleukin-1β (IL-1β) challenge, and upon NPY treatment. A pharmacological approach using NPY receptor agonists and antagonists followed to uncover which NPY receptor was involved. Moreover, western blotting and immunocytochemical studies were performed to evaluate expression of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), in an inflammatory context, upon NPY treatment.
Here, we show that NPY inhibits phagocytosis of opsonized latex beads and inhibits actin cytoskeleton reorganization triggered by LPS stimulation. Co-stimulation of microglia with LPS and adenosine triphosphate also resulted in increased phagocytosis, an effect inhibited by an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, suggesting involvement of IL-1β signaling. Furthermore, direct application of LPS or IL-1β activated downstream signaling molecules, including p38 MAPK and HSP27, and these effects were inhibited by NPY. Moreover, we also observed that the inhibitory effect of NPY on phagocytosis was mediated via Y1 receptor activation.
Altogether, we have identified a novel role for NPY in the regulation of microglial phagocytic properties, in an inflammatory context.
microglia; neuropeptide Y; HSP27; p38; inflammation; phagocytic cups
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is an important modulatory neuropeptide that regulates several physiological systems, including the activity of sensory neurons. We evaluated whether activation of the NPY Y1 receptor could modulate the activity of capsaicin-sensitive nociceptors in trigeminal ganglia and dental pulp. We tested this hypothesis by measuring capsaicin-stimulated calcitonin gene-related peptide release (CGRP) as a measure of nociceptor activity. Capsaicin-evoked CGRP release was inhibited by 50% (p < 0.05) in trigeminal ganglia and by 26% (p < 0.05) in dental pulp when tissues were pre-treated with [Leu31,Pro34]NPY. The Y1 receptor was found to co-localize with the capsaicin receptor TRPV1 in trigeminal ganglia. These results demonstrate that activation of the Y1 receptor results in the inhibition of the activity of capsaicin-sensitive nociceptors in the trigeminal ganglia and dental pulp. These findings are relevant to the physiological modulation of dental nociceptors by endogenous NPY and demonstrate an important novel analgesic target for the treatment of dental pain.
pain; inflammation; sympathetic; NPY; Y1; capsaicin
To detect neuropeptides in human skeletal muscle at rest and after eccentric exercise.
Eight healthy subjects participated in the study. Microdialysis of the distal part of the vastus lateralis of the quadriceps muscle and pain evaluation were performed immediately after eccentric exercise, after two days, and at rest. Calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY), representatives of the sensory and autonomic nervous system, were analysed by radioimmunoassay.
Overall, the measured concentrations were low, some even below the limit of detection. At rest, CGRP was detected in two of seven samples, but after eccentric exercise it was detected in 27 of 30 samples. At rest, all NPY concentrations were below the limit of detection, but after exercise it was found in six of 30 samples.
The significant increase in detectability of CGRP after eccentric exercise may be related to the increased experience of pain. Therefore the occurrence of CGRP after heavy eccentric exercise may be associated with the regulation of delayed onset muscle soreness and possibly also the stimulation of tissue regeneration.
microdialysis; neuropeptides; calcitonin gene related peptide; neuropeptide Y; delayed onset muscle soreness
The global emergence of antibacterial resistance among common and atypical respiratory pathogens in the last decade necessitates the strategic application of antibacterial agents. The use of bactericidal rather than bacteriostatic agents as first-line therapy is recommended because the eradication of microorganisms serves to curtail, although not avoid, the development of bacterial resistance. Bactericidal activity is achieved with specific classes of antimicrobial agents as well as by combination therapy. Newer classes of antibacterial agents, such as the fluoroquinolones and certain members of the macrolide/lincosamine/streptogramin class have increased bactericidal activity compared with traditional agents. More recently, the ketolides (novel, semisynthetic, erythromycin-A derivatives) have demonstrated potent bactericidal activity against key respiratory pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Moreover, the ketolides are associated with a low potential for inducing resistance, making them promising first-line agents for respiratory tract infections.
Drug resistance, microbial; respiratory tract infections; pathogenicity; ketolide; therapeutic use
Antimicrobial therapy is considered an important component in the medical management of most patients with acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (AECB). The three predominant bacterial species isolated are nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Staphylococcus aureus is also frequently isolated while atypical bacteria are thought to cause up to 10% of exacerbations. Antibacterial resistance is increasing worldwide and little surveillance data exist concerning pathogens isolated from patients with AECB.
This study examines the prevalence of antibacterial resistance in isolates obtained from patients with clinically diagnosed AECB. A total of 3043 isolates were obtained from 85 centres in 29 countries, between 1999–2003, and were tested against the new ketolide telithromycin and a panel of commonly used antibiotics.
Results and Discussion
Of the S. pneumoniae isolates, 99.9% were susceptible to telithromycin, but only 71% were susceptible to erythromycin and 75.3% to penicillin. Of the H. influenzae isolates, 99.6% were susceptible to telithromycin. 11.7% of these isolates produced β-lactamase. Almost 10% of S. pneumoniae were multidrug-resistant; 99.0% of these isolates were susceptible to telithromycin. Telithromycin also demonstrated good in vitro activity against M. catarrhalis (MIC90 = 0.12 mg/L) and was the most active compound against methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (98.9% susceptible).
Telithromycin demonstrated similar or better activity against the bacterial species investigated than the other agents, with the most complete coverage overall. These species are the predominant causative bacterial pathogens in AECB and thus the spectrum of activity of telithromycin makes it a potential alternative for the empirical treatment of AECB.
Moraxella catarrhalis is a common pathogen found in children with upper respiratory tract infections and in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease during exacerbations. The bacterial species is often isolated together with Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are released by M. catarrhalis and contain phospholipids, adhesins, and immunomodulatory compounds such as lipooligosaccharide. We have recently shown that M. catarrhalis OMVs exist in patients upon nasopharyngeal colonization. As virtually all M. catarrhalis isolates are β-lactamase positive, the goal of this study was to investigate whether M. catarrhalis OMVs carry β-lactamase and to analyze if OMV consequently can prevent amoxicillin-induced killing. Recombinant β-lactamase was produced and antibodies were raised in rabbits. Transmission electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and Western blotting verified that OMVs carried β-lactamase. Moreover, enzyme assays revealed that M. catarrhalis OMVs contained active β-lactamase. OMVs (25 μg/ml) incubated with amoxicillin for 1 h completely hydrolyzed amoxicillin at concentrations up to 2.5 μg/ml. In functional experiments, preincubation of amoxicillin (10× MIC) with M. catarrhalis OMVs fully rescued amoxicillin-susceptible M. catarrhalis, S. pneumoniae, and type b or nontypeable H. influenzae from β-lactam-induced killing. Our results suggest that the presence of amoxicillin-resistant M. catarrhalis originating from β-lactamase-containing OMVs may pave the way for respiratory pathogens that by definition are susceptible to β-lactam antibiotics.
The antibacterial activity of OPC-17116, a new fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent, against important pathogens that cause respiratory tract infections was evaluated in vitro and in vivo and compared with those of ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and norfloxacin. The pharmacokinetic profiles of OPC-17116 were studied in both mice and rats given the drug orally at doses of 50 and 40 mg/kg of body weight, respectively. OPC-17116 showed a high degree of distribution in the lung tissues of both species, with maximum concentrations of 29.6 and 32.0 micrograms/g, respectively. Furthermore, the drug concentrations in lung tissue were about 10 to 15 times greater than the concentrations in plasma. OPC-17116 showed potent antibacterial activity against such pathogens as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. The MICs of this compound for 90% of these organisms except methicillin-resistant S. aureus and P. aeruginosa ranged from < or = 0.006 to 0.78 microgram/ml. The in vitro antibacterial activity of OPC-17116 was reflected by the efficacy of a single oral dose against systemic bacterial infections in mice. OPC-17116 showed a superior effect against gram-positive bacteria, H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis. In comparison with the other reference compounds, the efficacy of OPC-17116 was less than that of ciprofloxacin against K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa. OPC-17116 showed a greater therapeutic effect than the other drugs against experimental acute pneumonia caused by these organisms in mice or rats. This excellent therapeutic effect against respiratory tract infections may be a result of its high level of distribution in lung tissue.
Surveillance studies conducted in the United States over the last decade have revealed increasing resistance among community-acquired respiratory pathogens, especially Streptococcus pneumoniae, that may limit future options for empirical therapy. The objective of this study was to assess the scope and magnitude of the problem at the national and regional levels during the 2005-2006 respiratory season (the season when community-acquired respiratory pathogens are prevalent) in the United States. Also, since faropenem is an oral penem being developed for the treatment of community-acquired respiratory tract infections, another study objective was to provide baseline data to benchmark changes in the susceptibility of U.S. respiratory pathogens to the drug in the future. The in vitro activities of faropenem and other agents were determined against 1,543 S. pneumoniae isolates, 978 Haemophilus influenzae isolates, and 489 Moraxella catarrhalis isolates collected from 104 U.S. laboratories across six geographic regions during the 2005-2006 respiratory season. Among S. pneumoniae isolates, the rates of resistance to penicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, and cefdinir were 16, 6.4, and 19.2%, respectively. The least effective agents were trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT) and azithromycin, with resistance rates of 23.5 and 34%, respectively. Penicillin resistance rates for S. pneumoniae varied by region (from 8.7 to 22.5%), as did multidrug resistance rates for S. pneumoniae (from 8.8 to 24.9%). Resistance to β-lactams, azithromycin, and SXT was higher among S. pneumoniae isolates from children than those from adults. β-Lactamase production rates among H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis isolates were 27.4 and 91.6%, respectively. Faropenem MICs at which 90% of isolates are inhibited were 0.5 μg/ml for S. pneumoniae, 1 μg/ml for H. influenzae, and 0.5 μg/ml for M. catarrhalis, suggesting that faropenem shows promise as a treatment option for respiratory infections caused by contemporary resistant phenotypes.
The in vitro antibacterial activities of LB 10827, a new oral cephalosporin, against common respiratory tract pathogens were compared with those of six β-lactams (cefdinir, cefuroxime, cefprozil, penicillin G, amoxicillin-clavulanate, and ampicillin), two quinolones (trovafloxacin and ciprofloxacin), and one macrolide (clarithromycin). The MIC of LB 10827 at which 90% of the penicillin-resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae tested were inhibited was 0.5 μg/ml, and the drug was 4- to 32-fold more active than the compared β-lactams. The potent activity of LB 10827 against Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis was retained, and the presence of β-lactamase in both strains had little effect on the in vitro activity of the compound. Time-kill studies revealed that LB 10827 had bactericidal activity against these respiratory pathogens. This agent reduced original counts of all pathogens tested by ≥3 log10 CFU/ml at the MIC, and the regrowth was completely prevented for 12 h. The potent in vitro antibacterial activity of LB 10827 against respiratory pathogens has been proved in both mouse pneumonia and neutropenic rat models. These results strongly suggest that this agent has potential for the treatment of respiratory tract infections.
The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-related cell adhesion molecules CEACAM1 (BGP, CD66a), CEACAM5 (CEA, CD66e) and CEACAM6 (NCA, CD66c) are expressed in human lung. They play a role in innate and adaptive immunity and are targets for various bacterial and viral adhesins. Two pathogens that colonize the normally sterile lower respiratory tract in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) and Moraxella catarrhalis. Both pathogens bind to CEACAMs and elicit a variety of cellular reactions, including bacterial internalization, cell adhesion and apoptosis.
To analyze the (co-) expression of CEACAM1, CEACAM5 and CEACAM6 in different lung tissues with respect to COPD, smoking status and granulocyte infiltration, immunohistochemically stained paraffin sections of 19 donors were studied. To address short-term effects of cigarette smoke and acute inflammation, transcriptional regulation of CEACAM5, CEACAM6 and different CEACAM1 isoforms by cigarette smoke extract, interferons, Toll-like receptor agonists, and bacteria was tested in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells by quantitative PCR. Corresponding CEACAM protein levels were determined by flow cytometry.
Immunohistochemical analysis of lung sections showed the most frequent and intense staining for CEACAM1, CEACAM5 and CEACAM6 in bronchial and alveolar epithelium, but revealed no significant differences in connection with COPD, smoking status and granulocyte infiltration. In NHBE cells, mRNA expression of CEACAM1 isoforms CEACAM1-4L, CEACAM1-4S, CEACAM1-3L and CEACAM1-3S were up-regulated by interferons alpha, beta and gamma, as well as the TLR3 agonist polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C). Interferon-gamma also increased CEACAM5 expression. These results were confirmed on protein level by FACS analysis. Importantly, also NTHI and M. catarrhalis increased CEACAM1 mRNA levels. This effect was independent of the ability to bind to CEACAM1. The expression of CEACAM6 was not affected by any treatment or bacterial infection.
While we did not find a direct correlation between CEACAM1 expression and COPD, the COPD-associated bacteria NTHi and M. catarrhalis were able to increase the expression of their own receptor on host cells. Further, the data suggest a role for CEACAM1 and CEACAM5 in the phenomenon of increased host susceptibility to bacterial infection upon viral challenge in the human respiratory tract.
CEACAM1; CEACAM5 (CEA); CEACAM6; Lung; Normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells; Interferon; Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C); Non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI); Moraxella catarrhalis
Moraxella catarrhalis strain 25238 detoxified lipooligosaccharide (dLOS)-protein conjugates induced a significant rise of bactericidal anti-LOS antibodies in animals. This study reports the effect of active or passive immunization with the conjugates or their antiserum on pulmonary clearance of M. catarrhalis in an aerosol challenge mouse model. Mice were injected subcutaneously with dLOS-tetanus toxoid (dLOS-TT), dLOS–high-molecular-weight proteins (dLOS-HMP) from nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), or nonconjugated materials in Ribi adjuvant and then challenged with M. catarrhalis strain 25238 or O35E or NTHi strain 12. Immunization with dLOS-TT or dLOS-HMP generated a significant rise of serum anti-LOS immunoglobulin G and 68% and 35 to 41% reductions of bacteria in lungs compared with the control (P < 0.01) following challenge with homologous strain 25238 and heterologous strain O35E, respectively. Serum anti-LOS antibody levels correlated with its bactericidal titers against M. catarrhalis and bacterial CFU in lungs. Additionally, immunization with dLOS-HMP generated a 54% reduction of NTHi strain 12 compared with the control (P < 0.01). Passive immunization with a rabbit antiserum against dLOS-TT conferred a significant reduction of strain 25238 CFU in lungs in a dose- and time-dependent pattern compared with preimmune serum-treated mice. Kinetic examination of lung tissue sections demonstrated that antiserum-treated mice initiated and offset inflammatory responses more rapidly than preimmune serum-treated mice. These data indicate that LOS antibodies (whether active or passive) play a major role in the enhancement of pulmonary clearance of different test strains of M. catarrhalis in mice. In addition, dLOS-HMP is a potential candidate for a bivalent vaccine against M. catarrhalis and NTHi infections.
Neuropeptides function as peptide neurotransmitters and hormones to mediate cell-cell communication. The goal of this study was to understand how different neuropeptides may be similarly or differentially regulated by protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) intracellular signaling mechanisms. Therefore, this study compared the differential effects of treating neuroendocrine chromaffin cells with stimulators of PKA and PKC on the production of the neuropeptides (Met)enkephalin, galanin, somatostatin, NPY, and VIP. Significantly, selective increases in production of these neuropeptides was observed by forskolin or PMA (phorbol myristate acetate) which stimulate PKA and PKC mechanisms, respectively. (Met)enkephalin production was stimulated by up to 2-fold by forskolin treatment, but not by PMA. In contrast, PMA treatment (but not forskolin) resulted in a 2-fold increase in production of galanin and somatostatin, and a 3-fold increase in NPY production. Notably, VIP production was highly stimulated by forskolin and PMA, with increases of 3-fold and 10–15-fold, respectively. Differences in elevated neuropeptides occurred in cell extracts compared to secretion media, which consisted of (i) increased NPY primarily in cell extracts, (ii) increased (Met)enkephalin and somatostatin in secretion media (not cell extracts), and (iii) increased galanin and VIP in both cell extracts and secretion media. Involvement of PKA or PKC for forskolin or PMA regulation of neuropeptide biosynthesis, respectively, was confirmed with direct inhibitors of PKA and PKC. The selective activation of neuropeptide production by forskolin and PMA demonstrates that PKA and PKC pathways are involved in the differential regulation of neuropeptide production.
neuropeptide biosynthesis; enkephalin; galanin; somatostatin; NPY; VIP; forskolin; PMA; protein kinase; regulation; chromaffin cells
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a neuropeptide secreted by the central and peripheral nervous system nerves that has important physiological functions such as vasodilation, cardiotonic actions, metabolic and pro-inflammatory effects. The CGRP receptor is unique among G-protein coupled receptors in that a functional CGRP receptor consists of at least three proteins: Calcitonin Like Receptor (CLR), Receptor Activity Modifying Protein (RAMP1) and Receptor Component Protein (RCP). RCP is a required factor in CGRP-mediated signal transduction and it couples the CGRP receptor to the signal transduction pathway. Here we describe methods to overexpress and purify RCP for structure-function studies. Human RCP was cloned and overexpressed with a poly-histidine tag and as a Maltose Binding Protein (MBP) fusion in Escherichia coli using commercially available expression vectors. While his-tagged RCP is prone to aggregation, solubility is improved when RCP is expressed as a MBP fusion. Expression and purification procedures for these constructs are described. Results from these studies will facilitate structural analysis of human RCP, and allow further understanding of RCP function.
Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide Receptor Component Protein (CGRP RCP); Maltose Binding Protein Fusion; Recombinant Protein; Expression; Purification; Solubility