Alveolar macrophages (AMs) express the class A scavenger receptor macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO), but its role in vivo in lung defense against bacteria and environmental particles has not been studied. We used MARCO-deficient mice to directly test the in vivo role of AM MARCO in innate defense against pneumococcal infection and environmental particles. In a murine model of pneumococcal pneumonia, MARCO−/− mice displayed an impaired ability to clear bacteria from the lungs, increased pulmonary inflammation and cytokine release, and diminished survival. In vitro binding of Streptococcus pneumoniae and in vivo uptake of unopsonized particles by MARCO−/− AMs were dramatically impaired. MARCO−/− mice treated with the “inert” environmental particle TiO2 showed enhanced inflammation and chemokine expression, indicating that MARCO-mediated clearance of inert particles by AMs prevents inflammatory responses otherwise initiated by other lung cells. Our findings point to an important role of MARCO in mounting an efficient and appropriately regulated innate immune response against inhaled particles and airborne pathogens.
macrophage; phagocytosis; environment; innate immunity
Alveolar macrophages (AMs) express the class A scavenger receptors (SRAs) macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) and scavenger receptor AI/II (SRA-I/II), which recognize oxidized lipids and provide innate defense against inhaled pathogens and particles. Increased MARCO expression in lungs of ozone-resistant mice suggested an additional role protecting against inhaled oxidants. After ozone exposure, MARCO–/– mice showed greater lung injury than did MARCO+/+ mice. Ozone is known to generate oxidized, proinflammatory lipids in lung lining fluid, such as 5β,6β-epoxycholesterol (β-epoxide) and 1-palmitoyl-2-(9′-oxo-nonanoyl)-glycerophosphocholine (PON-GPC). Intratracheal instillation of either lipid caused substantial neutrophil influx in MARCO–/– mice, but had no effect in MARCO+/+ mice. Normal AMs showed greater uptake in vitro of β-epoxide compared with MARCO–/– AMs, consistent with SRA function in binding oxidized lipids. SR-AI/II–/– mice showed similar enhanced acute lung inflammation after β-epoxide or another inhaled oxidant (aerosolized leachate of residual oil fly ash). In contrast, subacute ozone exposure did not enhance inflammation in SR-AI/II–/– versus SR-AI/II+/+ mice, reflecting increased AM expression of MARCO. These data identify what we believe to be a novel function for AM SRAs in decreasing pulmonary inflammation after oxidant inhalation by scavenging proinflammatory oxidized lipids from lung lining fluids.
Chronic exposure to crystalline silica can lead to the development of silicosis, an irreversible, inflammatory and fibrotic pulmonary disease. Although, previous studies established the macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) as an important receptor for binding and uptake of crystalline silica particles in vitro, the role of MARCO in regulating the inflammatory response following silica exposure in vivo remains unknown. Therefore, we determined the role of MARCO in crystalline silica–induced pulmonary pathology using C57Bl/6 wild-type (WT) and MARCO−/− mice. Increased numbers of MARCO+ pulmonary macrophages were observed following crystalline silica, but not phosphate-buffered saline and titanium dioxide (TiO2), instillation in WT mice, highlighting a specific role of MARCO in silica-induced pathology. We hypothesized that MARCO−/− mice will exhibit diminished clearance of silica leading to enhanced pulmonary inflammation and exacerbation of silicosis. Alveolar macrophages isolated from crystalline silica–exposed mice showed diminished particle uptake in vivo as compared with WT mice, indicating abnormalities in clearance mechanisms. Furthermore, MARCO−/− mice exposed to crystalline silica showed enhanced acute inflammation and lung injury marked by increases in early response cytokines and inflammatory cells compared with WT mice. Similarly, histological examination of MARCO−/− lungs at 3 months post–crystalline silica exposure showed increased chronic inflammation compared with WT; however, only a small difference was observed with respect to development of fibrosis as measured by hydroxyproline content. Altogether, these results demonstrate that MARCO is important for clearance of crystalline silica in vivo and that the absence of MARCO results in exacerbations in innate pulmonary immune responses.
fibrosis; silicosis; particle clearance; macrophages; scavenger receptors
The two major class A scavenger receptors are scavenger receptor A (SRA), which is constitutively expressed on most macrophage populations, and macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO), which is constitutively expressed on a more restricted subset of macrophages, (e.g. alveolar macrophages) but whose expression increases on most macrophages during the course of infection. Although the primary role of SRA appears to be clearance of modified host proteins and lipids, mice defective in expression of either MARCO or SRA are immunocompromised in multiple models of infection and in vitro assays, the scavenger receptors have been demonstrated to bind bacteria and to enhance pro-inflammatory signalling to many bacterial lung pathogens; however their importance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, is less clear.
To determine whether polymorphisms in either SRA or MARCO were associated with tuberculosis, a case–control study of was performed. DNA samples from newly-detected, smear-positive, pulmonary tuberculosis cases were collected from The Gambia. Controls for this study consisted of DNA from cord bloods obtained from routine births at local Gambian health clinics. Informed written consent was obtained from patients or their parents or guardians. Ethical approval was provided by the joint The Gambian Government/MRC Joint Ethics Committee.
We studied the frequencies of 25 polymorphisms of MSR1 (SRA) and 22 in MARCO in individuals with tuberculosis (n=1284) and matched controls (n=1349). No SNPs within the gene encoding or within 1 kb of the promoter sequence of MSR1 were associated with either susceptibility or resistance to tuberculosis. Three SNPs in MARCO (rs4491733, Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 χ2 = 6.5, p = 0.001, rs12998782, Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 χ2 = 6.59, p = 0.001, rs13389814 Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 χ2 = 6.9, p = 0.0009) were associated with susceptibility to tuberculosis and one (rs7559955, Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 χ2 = 6.9, p = 0.0009) was associated with resistance to tuberculosis.
These findings identify MARCO as a potentially important receptor in the host response to tuberculosis.
Scavenger receptors; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Case control study; MARCO
Recent studies have suggested that the scavenger receptor MARCO (macrophage receptor with collagenous structure) mediates activation of the immune response in bacterial infection of the central nervous system (CNS). The chemotactic G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) formyl-peptide-receptor like-1 (FPRL1) plays an essential role in the inflammatory responses of host defence mechanisms and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Expression of the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin CRAMP/LL-37 is up-regulated in bacterial meningitis, but the mechanisms underlying CRAMP expression are far from clear.
Using a rat meningitis model, we investigated the influence of MARCO and FPRL1 on rCRAMP (rat cathelin-related antimicrobial peptide) expression after infection with bacterial supernatants of Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) and Neisseria meningitides (NM). Expression of FPRL1 and MARCO was analyzed by immunofluorescence and real-time RT-PCR in a rat meningitis model. Furthermore, we examined the receptor involvement by real-time RT-PCR, extracellular-signal regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation and cAMP level measurement in glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) and transfected HEK293 cells using receptor deactivation by antagonists. Receptors were inhibited by small interference RNA and the consequences in NM- and SP-induced Camp (rCRAMP gene) expression and signal transduction were determined.
We show an NM-induced increase of MARCO expression by immunofluorescence and real-time RT-PCR in glial and meningeal cells. Receptor deactivation by antagonists and small interfering RNA (siRNA) verified the importance of FPRL1 and MARCO for NM- and SP-induced Camp and interleukin-1β expression in glial cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated a functional interaction between FPRL1 and MARCO in NM-induced signalling by real-time RT-PCR, ERK1/2 phosphorylation and cAMP level measurement and show differences between NM- or SP-induced signal transduction.
We propose that NM and SP induce glial cell activation and rCRAMP expression also via FPRL1 and MARCO. Thus the receptors contribute an important part to the host defence against infection.
HSV-1 is an important epithelial pathogen and has the potential for significant morbidity in humans. Here we demonstrate that a cell surface scavenger receptor, macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO), previously thought to enhance antiviral defense by enabling nucleic acid recognition, is usurped by HSV-1 and functions together with heparan sulfate proteoglycans to mediate adsorption to epithelial cells. Ligands of MARCO dramatically inhibit HSV-1 adsorption and infection of human keratinocytes and protect mice against infection. HSV-1 glycoprotein C (gC) closely co-localizes with MARCO at the cell surface, and gC binds directly to purified MARCO with high affinity. Increasing MARCO expression enhances HSV-1 infection while MARCO-/- mice have reduced susceptibility to infection by HSV-1. These findings demonstrate that HSV-1 binds to MARCO to enhance its capacity for disease, and suggests a new therapeutic target to alter pathogenicity of HSV-1 in skin infection.
Inadequate clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages is one of the reasons for the breakdown of self-tolerance. Class A scavenger receptors, macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) and scavenger receptor A (SR-A), which are expressed on macrophages, play important roles in the uptake of apoptotic cells. A previous study reported the presence of the anti-MARCO antibody in lupus-prone mice and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of anti-class A scavenger receptor antibodies in patients with various autoimmune diseases, in particular SLE, and the functional implication of those autoantibodies in the phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages.
Purified recombinant scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) polypeptide (ligand-binding domain of MARCO) and recombinant SR-A were used as antigens. By using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the anti-SRCR and anti-SR-A antibodies were detected in the sera of untreated patients with SLE (n = 65), rheumatoid arthritis (n = 65), primary Sjögren syndrome (n = 25), and healthy blood donors (n = 85). The effect of IgG purified from SLE patients or healthy controls on the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages was measured by the flow cytometry assay.
Anti-SRCR antibodies were present in patients with SLE (18.5%) and rheumatoid arthritis (3.1%), but not in those with primary Sjögren syndrome. Anti-SR-A antibodies were present in patients with SLE (33.8%), rheumatoid arthritis (13.8%), and primary Sjögren syndrome (12.0%). IgG from SLE patients positive for anti-SRCR or anti-SR-A antibodies showed a higher inhibition rate on binding of apoptotic cells to macrophages than IgG from healthy controls (both P < 0.05). IgG from SLE patients positive for both anti-SRCR and anti-SR-A antibodies showed a significantly higher inhibition rate on ingestion of apoptotic by macrophages than IgG from healthy controls (P < 0.05).
Our results indicated that autoantibodies to class A scavenger receptors might contribute to the breakdown of self-tolerance by impairing the clearance of apoptotic debris and play a role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, especially in SLE.
Alveolar macrophages (AM) avidly bind and ingest unopsonized inhaled particles and bacteria through class A scavenger receptors (SRAs) MARCO and SR-AI/II. Studies to characterize the function of these SRAs have used AMs from MARCO or SR-AI/II null mice, but this approach is limited by the relatively low yield of AMs. Moreover, studies using both MARCO and SR-AI/II-deficient (MS-/-) mice have not been reported yet. Hence, we sought to develop continuous cell lines from primary alveolar macrophages from MS-/- mice.
We used in vitro infection of the primary AMs with the J2 retrovirus carrying the v-raf and v-myc oncogenes. Following initial isolation in media supplemented with murine macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), we subcloned three AM cell lines, designated ZK-1, ZK-2 and ZK-6. These cell lines grow well in RPMI-1640-10% FBS in the absence of M-CSF. These adherent but trypsin-sensitive cell lines have a doubling time of approximately 14 hours, exhibit typical macrophage morphology, and express macrophage-associated cell surface Mac-1 (CD11b) and F4/80 antigens. The cell lines show robust Fc-receptor dependent phagocytosis of opsonized red blood cells. Similar to freshly isolated AMs from MS-/- mice, the cell lines exhibit decreased phagocytosis of unopsonized titanium dioxide (TiO2), fluorescent latex beads and bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) compared with the primary AMs from wild type (WT) C57BL/6 mice.
Our results indicated that three contiguous murine alveolar macrophage cell lines with MS-/- (ZK1, ZK2 and ZK6) were established successfully. These cell lines demonstrated macrophage morphology and functional activity. Interestingly, similar to freshly isolated AMs from MS-/- mice, the cell lines have a reduced, but not absent, ability to bind and ingest particles, with an altered pattern of blockade by scavenger receptor inhibitors. These cell lines will facilitate in vitro studies to further define MARCO and SR-AI/II function, and may also be useful to identify other novel scavenger-type macrophage receptors and for additional studies of particle toxicology.
Pulmonary accumulation of neutrophils is typical for active smokers who are also predisposed to multiple inflammatory and infectious lung diseases. We show that human neutrophil exposure to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) leads to an atypical cell death sharing features of apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis. Accumulation of tar-like substances in autophagosomes is also apparent. Before detection of established cell death markers, CSE-treated neutrophils are effectively recognized and non-phlogistically phagocytosed by monocyte-derived macrophages. Blockade of LOX-1 and scavenger receptor A, but not MARCO or CD36, as well as pre-incubation with oxLDL, inhibited phagocytosis, suggesting that oxLDL-like structures are major phagocytosis signals. Specific lipid (β-carotene and quercetin), but not aqueous, antioxidants increased the pro-phagocytic effects of CSE. In contrast to non-phlogistic phagocytosis, degranulation of secondary granules, as monitored by lactoferrin release, was apparent on CSE exposure, which is likely to promote pulmonary inflammation and tissue degradation. Furthermore, CSE-exposed neutrophils exhibited a compromised ability to ingest the respiratory pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, which likely contributes to bacterial persistence in the lungs of smokers and is likely to promote further pulmonary recruitment of neutrophils. These data provide mechanistic insight into the lack of accumulation of apoptotic neutrophil populations in the lungs of smokers and their increased susceptibility to degradative pulmonary diseases and bacterial infections.
cell death; monocytes/macrophages; neutrophils; phagocytosis; scavenger receptors; tobacco smoke
We reported that murine tumor lysate-pulsed dendritic cells (TP-DC) could elicit tumor-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in vitro and in vivo. In some limited cases, TP-DC treatments in vivo could also result in regression of established subcutaneous tumors and lung metastases. By gene array analysis, we reported a high level of expression of a novel member of the cell surface class A scavenger receptor family, MARCO, by murine TP-DC compared to unpulsed DC. MARCO is thought to play an important role in the immune response by mediating binding and phagocytosis, but also in the formation of lamellipodia-like structures and dendritic processes. We have now examined the biologic and therapeutic implications of MARCO expressed by TP-DC. In vitro exposure of TP-DC to a monoclonal anti-MARCO antibody resulted in a morphologic change of rounding with disappearance of dendritic-like processes. TP-DC remained viable after anti-MARCO antibody treatment; had little, if any, change in production of IL-10, IL-12p70 and TNF-alpha; but demonstrated enhanced migratory capacity in a microchemotaxis assay. The use of a selective inhibitor showed MARCO expression to be linked to the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. In vivo, anti-MARCO antibody treated TP-DC showed better trafficking from the skin injection site to lymph node, enhanced generation of tumor-reactive IFN-gamma producing T cells, and improved therapeutic efficacy against B16 melanoma. These results, coupled with our finding that human monocyte-derived DC also express MARCO, could have important implications to human clinical DC vaccine trials.
Immunotherapy; Vaccines; Dendritic cells; MARCO expression; Melanoma
Collectins are secreted collagen-like lectins that bind, agglutinate, and neutralize influenza A virus (IAV) in vitro. Surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A and SP-D) are collectins expressed in the airway and alveolar epithelium and could have a role in the regulation of IAV infection in vivo. Previous studies have shown that binding of SP-D to IAV is dependent on the glycosylation of specific sites on the HA1 domain of hemagglutinin on the surface of IAV, while the binding of SP-A to the HA1 domain is dependent on the glycosylation of the carbohydrate recognition domain of SP-A. Here, using SP-A and SP-D gene-targeted mice on a common C57BL6 background, we report that viral replication and the host response as measured by weight loss, neutrophil influx into the lung, and local cytokine release are regulated by SP-D but not SP-A when the IAV is glycosylated at a specific site (N165) on the HA1 domain. SP-D does not protect against IAV infection with a strain lacking glycosylation at N165. With the exception of a small difference on day 2 after infection with X-79, we did not find any significant difference in viral load in SP-A−/− mice with either IAV strain, although small differences in the cytokine responses to IAV were detected in SP-A−/− mice. Mice deficient in both SP-A and SP-D responded to IAV similarly to mice deficient in SP-D alone. Since most strains of IAV currently circulating are glycosylated at N165, SP-D may play a role in protection from IAV infection.
We have reported the upregulation of MARCO, a member of the class A scavenger receptor family, on the surface of murine and human dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with tumor lysates. Exposure of murine tumor lysate-pulsed DCs to an anti-MARCO antibody led to loss of dendritic-like processes and enhanced migratory capacity. In this study, we have further examined the biological and therapeutic implications of MARCO expression by DCs. DCs generated from the bone marrow (bm) of MARCO knockout (MARCO-/-) mice were phenotypically similar to DCs generated from the bm of wild-type mice and produced normal levels of IL-12 and TNF-α when exposed to LPS. MARCO-/- DCs demonstrated enhanced migratory capacity in response to CCL-21 in vitro. After subcutaneous injection into mice, MARCO-/- TP-DCs migrated more efficiently to the draining lymph node leading to enhanced generation of tumor-specific IFN-γ producing T cells and improved tumor regression and survival in B16 melanoma-bearing mice. These results support targeting MARCO on the surface of DCs to improve trafficking and induction of anti-tumor immunity.
Methods: Immunohistochemical staining of lung, nasopharynx, and skin for macrophage markers related to scavenging (macrophage scavenger receptor MARCO, collagenase-1 and gelatinase-B), formation of multinuclear foreign body giant cells (ADAM 9/meltrin-γ and ADAM 12/meltrin-α), and cell debris derived from neutrophils, endothelial cells and mast cells (specific granule protein 28 (SGP28), von Willebrand factor (vWF) and mast cell tryptase, respectively). TechMate staining robot and biotin-streptavidin protocol were used.
Results: Some macrophages were activated and expressed collagenase-1 and gelatinase-B. Approximately 5% of macrophages expressed scavenger receptor, whereas 20–30% were meltrin positive. Interstitial and granuloma associated macrophages and giant cells contained partly undigested, immunoreactive SGP28-, vWF- and tryptase-positive cell rests and collagenous matrix. Lymphocytic follicles with germinal centres were found in the same areas.
Conclusion: In WG tissue lesions macrophage and giant cells seem to be overwhelmed by the bulk to be scavenged. Despite cellular activation and continuing maturation to professional scavenger receptor (MARCO) and meltrin positive multinuclear giant cells combined with an organisation into granulomas, macrophages still contain partially undigested cell and tissue rests. This necrotic and damaged self may be the driving force for the formation of giant cell ("foreign body") granulomas. This, together with the local formation of secondary lymphatic follicles (with germinal centres), indicates active local antigen processing and presentation.
Alveolar macrophages (AM) in the lung have been documented to play pivotal roles in inflammation and fibrosis (silicosis) following inhalation of crystalline silica (CSiO2). In contrast, exposure to either titanium dioxide (TiO2) or amorphous silica (ASiO2) is considered relatively benign. The scavenger receptor macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO), expressed on AM, binds and internalizes environmental particles such as silica and TiO2. Only CSiO2 is toxic to AM, while ASiO2 and TiO2 are not. We hypothesize that differences in induction of pathology between toxic CSiO2 and nontoxic particles ASiO2 and TiO2 may be related to their differential binding to MARCO. In vitro studies with Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with human MARCO and mutants were conducted to better characterize MARCO-particulate (ASiO2, CSiO2, and TiO2) interactions. Results with MARCO-transfected CHO cells and MARCO-specific antibody demonstrated that the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) domain of MARCO was required for particle binding for all the tested particles. Only TiO2 required divalent cations (viz., Ca+2 and/or Mg+2) for binding to MARCO, and results from competitive binding studies supported the notion that TiO2 and both the silica particles bound to different motifs in SRCR domain of MARCO. The results also suggest that particle shape and/or crystal structure may be the determinants linking particle binding to MARCO and cytotoxicity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the SRCR domain of MARCO is required for particle binding and that involvement of different regions of SRCR domain may distinguish downstream events following particle binding.
MARCO; crystalline silica; amorphous silica; TiO2; binding; apoptosis
Scavenger receptors are important components of the innate immune system in the lung, allowing alveolar macrophages to bind and phagocytose numerous unopsonized targets. Mice with genetic deletions of scavenger receptors, such as SR-A and MARCO, are susceptible to infection or inflammation from inhaled pathogens or dusts. However, the signaling pathways required for scavenger receptor-mediated phagocytosis of unopsonized particles have not been characterized.
We developed a scanning cytometry-based high-throughput assay of macrophage phagocytosis that quantitates bound and internalized unopsonized latex beads. This assay allowed the testing of a panel of signaling inhibitors which have previously been shown to target opsonin-dependent phagocytosis for their effect on unopsonized bead uptake by human in vitro-derived alveolar macrophage-like cells. The non-selective scavenger receptor inhibitor poly(I) and the actin destabilizer cytochalasin D were used to validate the assay and caused near complete abrogation of bead binding and internalization, respectively.
Microtubule destabilization using nocodazole dramatically inhibited bead internalization. Internalization was also significantly reduced by inhibitors of tyrosine kinases (genistein and herbimycin A), protein kinase C (staurosporine, chelerythrine chloride and Gö 6976), phosphoinositide-3 kinase (LY294002 and wortmannin), and the JNK and ERK pathways. In contrast, inhibition of phospholipase C by U-73122 had no effect.
These data indicate the utility of scanning cytometry for the analysis of phagocytosis and that phagocytosis of unopsonized particles has both shared and distinct features when compared to opsonin-mediated phagocytosis.
Aberrant T-cell activation underlies many autoimmune disorders, yet most attempts to induce T-cell tolerance have failed. Building on previous strategies for tolerance induction that exploited natural mechanisms for clearing apoptotic debris, we show that antigen-decorated microparticles (500-nm diameter) induce long-term T-cell tolerance in mice with relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Specifically, intravenous infusion of either polystyrene or biodegradable poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microparticles bearing encephalitogenic peptides prevents the onset and modifies the course of the disease. These beneficial effects require microparticle uptake by marginal zone macrophages expressing the scavenger receptor MARCO and are mediated in part by the activity of regulatory T cells, abortive T-cell activation and T-cell anergy. Together these data highlight the potential for using microparticles to target natural apoptotic clearance pathways to inactivate pathogenic T cells and halt the disease process in autoimmunity.
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection markedly up-regulates ectopic trypsins in various organs, viral envelope glycoprotein processing proteases, which are pre-requisites for virus entry and multiplication. We investigated the pathological roles of trypsin up-regulation in the progression of IAV-induced myocarditis, cytokine induction, and viral replication in the hearts, and also investigated the protective effects of trypsin inhibitor on cardiac dysfunction in vivo and selective knockdown of trypsin on IAV-induced cellular damage in cardiomyoblasts.
Methods and results
The relationship of the expression among IAV RNA, trypsins, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, MMP-2, pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and tumour necrosis factor-α was analysed in mice hearts and cardiomyoblasts after IAV infection. The severity of myocarditis was most noticeable during Day 6–9 post-infection, along with peak expression of viral RNA, trypsins, particularly trypsin2, MMPs, and cytokines. Cardiac ATP levels were the lowest at Day 9. Up-regulated trypsins, viral protein, and tissue-injured loci in the myocardium were closely localized. Trypsin inhibitor aprotinin treatment in vivo and selective trypsin1- and trypsin2-knockdown, particularly the latter, in H9c2 cardiomyoblasts significantly suppressed viral replication, up-regulation of MMPs, and production of active MMP-9 and cytokines, resulting in marked protection against cellular damage, ATP depletion, and apoptosis. IAV infection-induced cardiac dysfunction monitored by echocardiography was improved significantly by aprotinin treatment.
IAV-induced trypsins, particularly trypsin2, in the myocardium trigger acute viral myocarditis through stimulation of IAV replication, proMMP-9 activation, and cytokine induction. These results suggest that up-regulation of trypsins is one of the key host pathological findings in IAV-induced myocarditis.
Myocarditis; trypsin; Influenza virus; Cytokines; Matrix metalloproteases
Influenza pneumonia causes high mortality every year, and pandemic episodes kill millions of people. Influenza-related mortality has been variously ascribed to an ineffective host response that fails to limit viral replication, an excessive host inflammatory response that results in lung injury and impairment of gas exchange, or to bacterial superinfection. We sought to determine whether lung inflammation promoted or impaired host survival in influenza pneumonia.
Methods and Findings
To distinguish among these possible causes of influenza-related death, we induced robust lung inflammation by exposing mice to an aerosolized bacterial lysate prior to challenge with live virus. The treatment induced expression of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 8- and 40-fold greater, respectively, than that caused by lethal influenza infection. Yet, this augmented inflammation was associated with striking resistance to host mortality (0% vs 90% survival, p = 0.0001) and reduced viral titers (p = 0.004). Bacterial superinfection of virus infected lungs was not observed. When mice were repeatedly exposed to the bacterial lysate, as would be clinically desirable during an influenza epidemic, there was no tachyphylaxis of the induced viral resistance. When the bacterial lysate was administered after the viral challenge, there was still some mortality benefit, and when ribavirin was added to the aerosolized bacterial lysate, host survival was synergistically improved (0% vs 93.3% survival, p<0.0001).
Together, these data indicate that innate immune resistance to influenza can be effectively stimulated, and suggest that ineffective rather than excessive inflammation is the major cause of mortality in influenza pneumonia.
Influenza virus is a common cause of respiratory infection and morbidity, which is often due to deleterious host immune responses directed against the pathogen. We investigated the role of IL-1 receptor-associated kinase-M (IRAK-M), an inhibitor of MyD88-dependent TLR signaling, in modulating the innate inflammatory response during influenza pneumonia using a murine model. The intranasal administration of influenza resulted in the upregulation of IRAK-M mRNA and protein levels in the lungs within 2 d after infectious challenge. Pulmonary influenza infection in mice deficient in IRAK-M (IRAK-M−/−) resulted in substantially increased mortality compared with similarly treated wild-type animals. Increased mortality in IRAK-M−/− mice was associated with enhanced early influx of neutrophils, high permeability edema, apoptosis of lung epithelial cells, markedly increased expression of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines, and release of neutrophil-derived enzymes, including myeloperoxidase and neutrophil elastase. Early viral clearance was not different in mutant mice, whereas viral titers in lungs and blood were significantly higher in IRAK-M−/− mice compared with wild-type animals. Increased lethality observed in IRAK-M−/− mice after influenza challenge was abrogated by Ab-mediated blockade of CXCR2. Collectively, our findings indicate that IRAK-M is critical to preventing deleterious neutrophil-dependent lung injury during influenza infection of the respiratory tract.
Influenza A virus (IAV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract disease worldwide. Anti-viral CD8+ T lymphocytes responding to IAV infection are believed to eliminate virally infected cells by direct cytolysis but may also contribute to pulmonary inflammation and tissue damage via the release of pro-inflammatory mediators following recognition of viral antigen displaying cells. We have previously demonstrated that IAV antigen expressing inflammatory cells of hematopoietic origin within the infected lung interstitium serve as antigen presenting cells (APC) for infiltrating effector CD8+ T lymphocytes; however, the spectrum of inflammatory cell types capable of serving as APC was not determined. Here, we demonstrate that viral antigen displaying neutrophils infiltrating the IAV infected lungs are an important cell type capable of acting as APC for effector CD8+ T lymphocytes in the infected lungs and that neutrophils expressing viral antigen as a result of direct infection by IAV exhibit the most potent APC activity. Our findings suggest that in addition to their suggested role in induction of the innate immune responses to IAV, virus clearance, and the development of pulmonary injury, neutrophils can serve as APCs to anti-viral effector CD8+ T cells within the infected lung interstitium.
We investigated the effect of anti-macrophage inflammatory protein 2 immunoglobulin G (aMIP-2 IgG) on the progression of influenza virus-induced pneumonia in mice. When mice were infected with a mouse lung-adapted strain of influenza A/PR/8/34 virus by intranasal inoculation, neutrophil counts in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) increased in parallel with the kinetics of MIP-2 production, which peaked 2 days after infection. After intracutaneous injection of a dose of 10 or 100 μg of aMIP-2 IgG once a day on days 0 and 1, neutrophil counts in BALF on day 2 were reduced to 49 or 37%, respectively, of the value in the control infected mice administered anti-protein A IgG. The antibody administration also improved lung pathology without affecting virus replication. Furthermore, by prolonged administration with a higher or lower dose for up to 5 days, body weight loss became slower and finally 40% of mice in both treatment groups survived potentially lethal pneumonia. These findings suggest that MIP-2-mediated neutrophil infiltration during the early phase of infection might play an important role in lung pathology. Thus, MIP-2 was considered to be a novel target for intervention therapy in potentially lethal influenza virus pneumonia in mice.
Influenza A virus (IAV) is the etiological agent of a highly contagious acute respiratory disease that causes epidemics and considerable mortality annually. Recently, we demonstrated, using an in vitro approach, that the pattern recognition Toll-like receptor (TLR)3 plays a key role in the immune response of lung epithelial cells to IAV. In view of these data and the fact that the functional role of TLR3 in vivo is still debated, we designed an investigation to better understand the role of TLR3 in the mechanisms of IAV pathogenesis and host immune response using an experimental murine model. The time-course of several dynamic parameters, including animal survival, respiratory suffering, viral clearance, leukocyte recruitment into the airspaces and secretion of critical inflammatory mediators, was compared in infected wild-type and TLR3−/− mice. First, we found that the pulmonary expression of TLR3 is constitutive and markedly upregulated following influenza infection in control mice. Notably, when compared to wild-type mice, infected TLR3−/− animals displayed significantly reduced inflammatory mediators, including RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted), interleukin-6, and interleukin-12p40/p70 as well as a lower number of CD8+ T lymphocytes in the bronchoalveolar airspace. More important, despite a higher viral production in the lungs, mice deficient in TLR3 had an unexpected survival advantage. Hence, to our knowledge, our findings show for the first time that TLR3-IAV interaction critically contributes to the debilitating effects of a detrimental host inflammatory response.
Influenza A virus (IAV) is responsible for highly contagious acute respiratory disease. Recent concerns have risen concerning a possible influenza pandemic in the near future. Thus, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of IAV pathogenesis and host immune responses is required for the development of more efficient means of prevention and treatment of influenza. The Toll-like receptor (TLR)3 is a member of a family of receptors that detects microbes and triggers host defenses. We previously demonstrated using an in vitro approach, that the TLR3 plays a key role in the response of lung epithelial cells to IAV. Here, we used a mouse model to dissect the in vivo importance of TLR3-dependent responses during influenza. The time-course of several parameters, including animal survival, respiratory distress, viral clearance, and inflammation, was compared in infected control wild-type and TLR3-deficient mice. Our findings reveal that TLR3−/− mice have an unexpected advantage against IAV challenge as we show for the first time that a reduction of TLR3-mediated inflammatory response reduces the clinical manifestations of IAV-induced pneumonia.
Inhalation of ambient ozone alters populations of lung macrophages. However, the impact of altered lung macrophage populations on the pathobiology of ozone is poorly understood. We hypothesized that sub-populations of macrophages modulate the response to ozone. We exposed C57BL/6 mice to ozone (2 ppm × 3h) or filtered air. 24 h after the exposure, the lungs were harvested and digested and the cells underwent flow cytometry. Analysis revealed a novel macrophage subset present in ozone exposed mice, which were distinct from resident alveolar macrophages (AM) and identified by enhanced Gr-1+ expression (Gr-1 Macs). Further analysis identified that Gr-1+ Macs exhibited high expression of MARCO, CX3CR1, and NQO1. Gr-1+ Macs were present in the absence of CCR2, suggesting that they were not derived from a CCR2-dependent circulating intermediate. Using PKH26-PCL to label resident phagocytic cells, we demonstrated that Gr-1 Macs were derived from resident lung cells. This new subset was diminished in the absence of CX3CR1. Interestingly, CX3CR1-null mice exhibited enhanced responses to ozone, including increased airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), exacerbated neutrophil influx, accumulation of 8-isoprostanes and protein carbonyls, and increased expression of cytokines (CXCL2, IL-1β, IL-6, CCL2, and TNF-α). Our results identify a novel subset of lung macrophages, which are derived from a resident intermediate, dependent upon CX3CR1, and appear to protect the host from the biological response to ozone.
Ureaplasma respiratory tract colonization stimulates prolonged, dysregulated inflammation in the lungs of preterm infants, contributing to bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) pathogenesis. Surfactant protein-A (SP-A), a lung collectin critical for bacterial clearance and regulating inflammation, is deficient in the preterm lung. To analyze the role of SP-A in modulating Ureaplasma-mediated lung inflammation, SP-A deficient (SP-A−/−) and WT mice were inoculated intratracheally with a mouse-adapted U. parvum isolate and indices of inflammation were sequentially assessed up to 28d post-inoculation. Compared to infected WT and non-infected controls, Ureaplasma-infected SP-A−/− mice exhibited an exaggerated inflammatory response evidenced by rapid influx of neutrophils and macrophages into the lung, and higher bronchoalveolar lavage TNF-α, mouse analogue of human growth-related protein alpha (KC), and monocyte chemotactic factor (MCP-1) concentrations. However, nitrite generation in response to Ureaplasma infection was blunted at 24h and Ureaplasma clearance was delayed in SP-A−/− mice compared to WT mice. Co-administration of human SP-A with the Ureaplasma inoculum to SP-A−/− mice reduced the inflammatory response, but did not improve the bacterial clearance rate. SP-A deficiency may contribute to the prolonged inflammatory response in the Ureaplasma-infected preterm lung, but other factors may contribute to the impaired Ureaplasma clearance.
Pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus is a growing concern in the health care community. We hypothesized that characterization of the early innate immune response to bacteria in the lungs would provide insight into the mechanisms used by the host to protect itself from infection. An adult mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia was utilized to define the early events in the innate immune response and to assess the changes in the airway proteome during the first 6 h of pneumonia. S. aureus actively replicated in the lungs of mice inoculated intranasally under anesthesia to cause significant morbidity and mortality. By 6 h postinoculation, the release of proinflammatory cytokines caused effective recruitment of neutrophils to the airway. Neutrophil influx, loss of alveolar architecture, and consolidated pneumonia were observed histologically 6 h postinoculation. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from mice inoculated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or S. aureus were depleted of overabundant proteins and subjected to strong cation exchange fractionation followed by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry to identify the proteins present in the airway. No significant changes in response to PBS inoculation or 30 min following S. aureus inoculation were observed. However, a dramatic increase in extracellular proteins was observed 6 h postinoculation with S. aureus, with the increase dominated by inflammatory and coagulation proteins. The data presented here provide a comprehensive evaluation of the rapid and vigorous innate immune response mounted in the host airway during the earliest stages of S. aureus pneumonia.