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1.  Nitric oxide enhances Th9 cell differentiation and airway inflammation 
Nature communications  2014;5:4575.
Th9 cells protect hosts against helminthic infection but also mediate allergic disease. Here we show that nitric oxide (NO) promotes Th9 cell polarization of murine and human CD4+ T cells. NO de-represses the tumor suppressor gene p53 via nitrosylation of Mdm2. NO also increases p53-mediated IL-2 production, STAT5 phosphorylation and IRF4 expression, all essential for Th9 polarization. NO also increases the expression of TGFβR and IL-4R, pivotal to Th9 polarization. OVA-sensitized mice treated with an NO donor developed more severe airway inflammation. Transferred Th9 cells induced airway inflammation, which was exacerbated by NO and blocked by anti-IL-9 antibody. Nos2−/− mice had less Th9 cells and developed attenuated eosinophilia during OVA-induced airway inflammation compared to wild-type mice. Our data demonstrate that NO is an important endogenous inducer of Th9 cells and provide a hitherto unrecognized mechanism for NO-mediated airway inflammation via the expansion of Th9 cells.
PMCID: PMC4131005  PMID: 25099390
2.  Role of IL-1β in Experimental Cystic Fibrosis upon P. aeruginosa Infection 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114884.
Cystic fibrosis is associated with increased inflammatory responses to pathogen challenge. Here we revisited the role of IL-1β in lung pathology using the experimental F508del-CFTR murine model on C57BL/6 genetic background (Cftrtm1eur or d/d), on double deficient for d/d and type 1 interleukin-1 receptor (d/d X IL-1R1−/−), and antibody neutralization. At steady state, young adult d/d mice did not show any signs of spontaneous lung inflammation. However, IL-1R1 deficiency conferred partial protection to repeated P. aeruginosa endotoxins/LPS lung instillation in d/d mice, as 50% of d/d mice succumbed to inflammation, whereas all d/d x IL-1R1−/− double mutants survived with lower initial weight loss and less pulmonary collagen and mucus production, suggesting that the absence of IL-1R1 signaling is protective in d/d mice in LPS-induced lung damage. Using P. aeruginosa acute lung infection we found heightened neutrophil recruitment in d/d mice with higher epithelial damage, increased bacterial load in BALF, and augmented IL-1β and TNF-α in parenchyma as compared to WT mice. Thus, F508del-CFTR mice show enhanced IL-1β signaling in response to P. aeruginosa. IL-1β antibody neutralization had no effect on lung homeostasis in either d/d or WT mice, however P. aeruginosa induced lung inflammation and bacterial load were diminished by IL-1β antibody neutralization. In conclusion, enhanced susceptibility to P. aeruginosa in d/d mice correlates with an excessive inflammation and with increased IL-1β production and reduced bacterial clearance. Further, we show that neutralization of IL-1β in d/d mice through the double mutation d/d x IL-1R1−/− and in WT via antibody neutralization attenuates inflammation. This supports the notion that intervention in the IL-1R1/IL-1β pathway may be detrimental in CF patients.
PMCID: PMC4264861  PMID: 25500839
3.  Neurons Are Host Cells for Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(5):1880-1890.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of the central nervous system is thought to be initiated once the bacilli have breached the blood brain barrier and are phagocytosed, primarily by microglial cells. In this study, the interactions of M. tuberculosis with neurons in vitro and in vivo were investigated. The data obtained demonstrate that neurons can act as host cells for M. tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis bacilli were internalized by murine neuronal cultured cells in a time-dependent manner after exposure, with superior uptake by HT22 cells compared to Neuro-2a cells (17.7% versus 9.8%). Internalization of M. tuberculosis bacilli by human SK-N-SH cultured neurons suggested the clinical relevance of the findings. Moreover, primary murine hippocampus-derived neuronal cultures could similarly internalize M. tuberculosis. Internalized M. tuberculosis bacilli represented a productive infection with retention of bacterial viability and replicative potential, increasing 2- to 4-fold within 48 h. M. tuberculosis bacillus infection of neurons was confirmed in vivo in the brains of C57BL/6 mice after intracerebral challenge. This study, therefore, demonstrates neurons as potential new target cells for M. tuberculosis within the central nervous system.
PMCID: PMC3993430  PMID: 24566619
4.  The intestinal microbiota modulates the anticancer immune effects of cyclophosphamide 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2013;342(6161):971-976.
Cyclophosphamide is one of several clinically important cancer drugs whose therapeutic efficacy is due in part to their ability to stimulate anti-tumor immune responses. Studying mouse models, we demonstrate that cyclophosphamide alters the composition of microbiota in the small intestine and induces the translocation of selected species of Gram+ bacteria into secondary lymphoid organs. There, these bacteria stimulate the generation of a specific subset of “pathogenic” T helper 17 (pTh17) cells and memory Th1 immune responses. Tumor-bearing mice that were germ-free or that had been treated with antibiotics to kill Gram+ bacteria showed a reduction in pTh17 responses and their tumors were resistant to cyclophosphamide. Adoptive transfer of pTh17 cells partially restored the anti-tumor efficacy of cyclophosphamide. These results suggest that the gut microbiota help shape the anticancer immune response.
PMCID: PMC4048947  PMID: 24264990
5.  The development and function of Follicular helper T cells in immune responses 
Cellular & molecular immunology  2012;9(5):375-379.
Follicular helper T cells (Tfh) have been referred as a lineage that provides a help for B cells to proliferate and undergo antibody affinity maturation in the germinal center. Evidence has supported that Tfh subset development, like other lineages, is dependent on microenvironment where a particular transcriptional program is initiated. It has been shown that Bcl-6 and IL-21 act as master regulators for the development and function of Tfh cells. Tfh dysregulation is involved in the development of autoimmune pathologies, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The present review highlights the recent advances in the field of Tfh cells and focus on their development and function.
PMCID: PMC4000446  PMID: 22659733
autoimmune diseases; follicular helper T cells; systemic lupus erythematousus
6.  Collective nitric oxide production provides tissue-wide immunity during Leishmania infection  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(4):1711-1722.
Nitric oxide (NO) production is critical for the host defense against intracellular pathogens; however, it is unclear whether NO-dependent control of intracellular organisms depends on cell-intrinsic or cell-extrinsic activity of NO. For example, NO production by infected phagocytes may enable these cells to individually control their pathogen burden. Alternatively, the ability of NO to diffuse across cell membranes might be critical for infection control. Here, using a murine ear infection model, we found that, during infection with the intracellular parasite Leishmania major, expression of inducible NO synthase does not confer a cell-intrinsic ability to lower parasite content. We demonstrated that the diffusion of NO promotes equally effective parasite killing in NO-producing and bystander cells. Importantly, the collective production of NO by numerous phagocytes was necessary to reach an effective antimicrobial activity. We propose that, in contrast to a cell-autonomous mode of pathogen control, this cooperative mechanism generates an antimicrobial milieu that provides the basis for pathogen containment at the tissue level.
PMCID: PMC3973105  PMID: 24614106
7.  Soluble TNFRp75 regulates host protective immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(4):1537-1551.
Development of host protective immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection is critically dependent on the inflammatory cytokine TNF. TNF signals through 2 receptors, TNFRp55 and TNFRp75; however, the role of TNFRp75-dependent signaling in immune regulation is poorly defined. Here we found that mice lacking TNFRp75 exhibit greater control of M. tuberculosis infection compared with WT mice. TNFRp75–/– mice developed effective bactericidal granulomas and demonstrated increased pulmonary recruitment of activated DCs. Moreover, IL-12p40–dependent migration of DCs to lung draining LNs of infected TNFRp75–/– mice was substantially higher than that observed in WT M. tuberculosis–infected animals and was associated with enhanced frequencies of activated M. tuberculosis–specific IFN-γ–expressing CD4+ T cells. In WT mice, TNFRp75 shedding correlated with markedly reduced bioactive TNF levels and IL-12p40 expression. Neutralization of TNFRp75 in M. tuberculosis–infected WT BM-derived DCs (BMDCs) increased production of bioactive TNF and IL-12p40 to a level equivalent to that produced by TNFRp75–/– BMDCs. Addition of exogenous TNFRp75 to TNFRp75–/– BMDCs infected with M. tuberculosis decreased IL-12p40 synthesis, demonstrating that TNFRp75 shedding regulates DC activation. These data indicate that TNFRp75 shedding downmodulates protective immune function and reduces host resistance and survival; therefore, targeting TNFRp75 may be beneficial for improving disease outcome.
PMCID: PMC3973106  PMID: 24569452
8.  Interleukin-33 Increases Antibacterial Defense by Activation of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Skin 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(2):e1003918.
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is associated with multiple diseases, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, tissue injuries and infections. Although IL-33 has been indicated to be involved in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) wound infection, little is known about how IL-33 is regulated as a mechanism to increase host defense against skin bacterial infections. To explore the underlying intricate mechanism we first evaluated the expression of IL-33 in skin from S. aureus-infected human patients. Compared to normal controls, IL-33 was abundantly increased in skin of S. aureus-infected patients. We next developed a S. aureus cutaneous infection mouse model and found that IL-33 was significantly increased in dermal macrophages of infected mouse skin. The expression of IL-33 by macrophages was induced by staphylococcal peptidoglycan (PGN) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA) via activation of toll-like receptor 2(TLR2) –mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-AKT-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3(STAT3) signaling pathway as PGN and LTA failed to induce IL-33 in Tlr2-deficient peritoneal macrophages, and MAPK,AKT, STAT3 inhibitors significantly decreased PGN- or LTA-induced IL-33. IL-33, in turn, acted on macrophages to induce microbicidal nitric oxygen (NO) release. This induction was dependent on inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activation, as treatment of macrophages with an inhibitor of iNOS, aminoguanidine, significantly decreased IL-33-induced NO release. Moreover, aminoguanidine significantly blocked the capacity of IL-33 to inhibit the growth of S. aureus, and IL-33 silencing in macrophages significantly increased the survival of S. aureus in macrophages. Furthermore, the administration of IL-33-neutralizing antibody into mouse skin decreased iNOS production but increased the survival of S. aureus in skin. These findings reveal that IL-33 can promote antimicrobial capacity of dermal macrophages, thus enhancing antimicrobial defense against skin bacterial infections.
Author Summary
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is associated with multiple diseases, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, tissue injuries and infections. Although IL-33 has been indicated to be involved in wound infections, little is known about how IL-33 is regulated as a mechanism to increase host defense against skin bacterial infections. Here we have shown that Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) cutaneous infection increases IL-33 expression in dermal macrophages in the skin. The expression of IL-33 by macrophages is induced by staphylococcal peptidoglycan (PGN) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA) via activation of toll-like receptor 2(TLR2) –mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-AKT-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3(STAT3) signaling pathway. IL-33 in turn acts on macrophages to inhibit the growth of S. aureus by binding to its receptor ST2 followed by activation of the AKT-β-catenin pathway, thus inducing and activating inducible nitric oxygen synthase (iNOS) to release microbiocidal nitric oxygen (NO). These findings reveal that IL-33 can promote antimicrobial capacity of dermal macrophages, thus enhancing antimicrobial defense against skin bacterial infections.
PMCID: PMC3930573  PMID: 24586149
9.  Relative contribution of IL-1α, IL-1β and TNF to the host response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and attenuated M. bovis BCG 
TNF and IL-1 are major mediators involved in severe inflammatory diseases against which therapeutic neutralizing antibodies are developed. However, both TNF and IL-1 receptor pathways are essential for the control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, and it is critical to assess the respective role of IL-1α, IL-1β, and TNF. Using gene-targeted mice we show that absence of both IL-1α and IL-1β recapitulates the uncontrolled M. tuberculosis infection with increased bacterial burden, exacerbated lung inflammation, high IFNγ, reduced IL-23 p19 and rapid death seen in IL-1R1-deficient mice. However, presence of either IL-1α or IL-1β in single-deficient mice is sufficient to control acute M. tuberculosis infection, with restrained bacterial burden and lung pathology, in conditions where TNF deficient mice succumbed within 4 weeks with overwhelming infection. Systemic infection by attenuated M. bovis BCG was controlled in the absence of functional IL-1 pathway, but not in the absence of TNF. Therefore, although both IL-1α and IL-1β are required for a full host response to virulent M. tuberculosis, the presence of either IL-1α or IL-1β allows some control of acute M. tuberculosis infection, and IL-1 pathway is dispensable for controlling M. bovis BCG acute infection. This is in sharp contrast with TNF, which is essential for host response to both attenuated and virulent mycobacteria and may have implications for anti-inflammatory therapy with IL-1β neutralizing antibodies.
PMCID: PMC4217540  PMID: 25400917
Host response; IL-1β/IL-1α; M. bovis infection; M. tuberculosis; TNF
10.  The Anti-Pseudomonas aeruginosa Antibody Panobacumab Is Efficacious on Acute Pneumonia in Neutropenic Mice and Has Additive Effects with Meropenem 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73396.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) infections are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients due to antibiotic resistance. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of the anti-P. aeruginosa serotype O11 lipopolysaccharide monoclonal antibody Panobacumab in a clinically relevant murine model of neutropenia induced by cyclophosphamide and in combination with meropenem in susceptible and meropenem resistant P. aeruginosa induced pneumonia. We observed that P. aeruginosa induced pneumonia was dramatically increased in neutropenic mice compared to immunocompetent mice. First, Panobacumab significantly reduced lung inflammation and enhanced bacterial clearance from the lung of neutropenic host. Secondly, combination of Panobacumab and meropenem had an additive effect. Third, Panobacumab retained activity on a meropenem resistant P. aeruginosa strain. In conclusion, the present data established that Panobacumab contributes to the clearance of P. aeruginosa in neutropenic hosts as well as in combination with antibiotics in immunocompetent hosts. This suggests beneficial effects of co-treatment even in immunocompromised individuals, suffering most of the morbidity and mortality of P. aeruginosa infections.
PMCID: PMC3759427  PMID: 24023870
11.  Crucial Role of Gamma Interferon-Producing CD4+ Th1 Cells but Dispensable Function of CD8+ T Cell, B Cell, Th2, and Th17 Responses in the Control of Brucella melitensis Infection in Mice 
Infection and Immunity  2012;80(12):4271-4280.
Brucella spp. are facultative intracellular bacterial pathogens responsible for brucellosis, a worldwide zoonosis that causes abortion in domestic animals and chronic febrile disease associated with serious complications in humans. There is currently no approved vaccine against human brucellosis, and antibiotic therapy is long and costly. Development of a safe protective vaccine requires a better understanding of the roles played by components of adaptive immunity in the control of Brucella infection. The importance of lymphocyte subsets in the control of Brucella growth has been investigated separately by various research groups and remains unclear or controversial. Here, we used a large panel of genetically deficient mice to compare the importance of B cells, transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP-1), and major histocompatibility complex class II-dependent pathways of antigen presentation as well as T helper 1 (Th1), Th2, and Th17-mediated responses on the immune control of Brucella melitensis 16 M infection. We clearly confirmed the key function played by gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-producing Th1 CD4+ T cells in the control of B. melitensis infection, whereas IFN-γ-producing CD8+ T cells or B cell-mediated humoral immunity plays only a modest role in the clearance of bacteria during primary infection. In the presence of a Th1 response, Th2 or Th17 responses do not really develop or play a positive or negative role during the course of B. melitensis infection. On the whole, these results could improve our ability to develop protective vaccines or therapeutic treatments against brucellosis.
PMCID: PMC3497404  PMID: 23006848
12.  Complement C5 Activation during Influenza A Infection in Mice Contributes to Neutrophil Recruitment and Lung Injury 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64443.
Influenza virus A (IAV) causes annual epidemics and intermittent pandemics that affect millions of people worldwide. Potent inflammatory responses are commonly associated with severe cases of IAV infection. The complement system, an important mechanism of innate and humoral immune responses to infections, is activated during primary IAV infection and mediates, in association with natural IgM, viral neutralization by virion aggregation and coating of viral hemmagglutinin. Increased levels of the anaphylatoxin C5a were found in patients fatally infected with the most recent H1N1 pandemic virus. In this study, our aim was to evaluate whether targeting C5 activation alters inflammatory lung injury and viral load in a murine model of IAV infection. To address this question C57Bl/6j mice were infected intranasally with 104 PFU of the mouse adapted Influenza A virus A/WSN/33 (H1N1) or inoculated with PBS (Mock). We demonstrated that C5a is increased in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) upon experimental IAV infection. To evaluate the role of C5, we used OmCI, a potent arthropod-derived inhibitor of C5 activation that binds to C5 and prevents release of C5a by complement. OmCI was given daily by intraperitoneal injection from the day of IAV infection until day 5. Treatment with OmCI only partially reduced C5a levels in BALF. However, there was significant inhibition of neutrophil and macrophage infiltration in the airways, Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) formation, death of leukocytes, lung epithelial injury and overall lung damage induced by the infection. There was no effect on viral load. Taken together, these data suggest that targeting C5 activation with OmCI during IAV infection could be a promising approach to reduce excessive inflammatory reactions associated with the severe forms of IAV infections.
PMCID: PMC3655967  PMID: 23696894
13.  Prominent role for T cell-derived Tumour Necrosis Factor for sustained control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1809.
Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF) is critical for host control of M. tuberculosis, but the relative contribution of TNF from innate and adaptive immune responses during tuberculosis infection is unclear. Myeloid versus T-cell-derived TNF function in tuberculosis was investigated using cell type-specific TNF deletion. Mice deficient for TNF expression in macrophages/neutrophils displayed early, transient susceptibility to M. tuberculosis but recruited activated, TNF-producing CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and controlled chronic infection. Strikingly, deficient TNF expression in T-cells resulted in early control but susceptibility and eventual mortality during chronic infection with increased pulmonary pathology. TNF inactivation in both myeloid and T-cells rendered mice critically susceptible to infection with a phenotype resembling complete TNF deficient mice, indicating that myeloid and T-cells are the primary TNF sources collaborating for host control of tuberculosis. Thus, while TNF from myeloid cells mediates early immune function, T-cell derived TNF is essential to sustain protection during chronic tuberculosis infection.
PMCID: PMC3648802  PMID: 23657146
14.  Antibody-Independent Thrombocytopenia in Lactate Dehydrogenase-Elevating Virus-Infected Mice 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(22):12414-12416.
Previously we demonstrated that antibody-mediated thrombocytopenia is strongly enhanced by lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus (LDV) infection. Here we report that mice infected with LDV develop a moderate thrombocytopenia, even in the absence of immunoglobulins or Fc receptors. A similar decrease of platelet counts was observed after mouse hepatitis virus infection. LDV-induced type I interferon-independent thrombocytopenia was partly suppressed by treatment with clodronate-containing liposomes. Therefore, we conclude that the thrombocytopenia results from increased phagocytosis of nonopsonized platelets by macrophages.
PMCID: PMC3486507  PMID: 22933286
15.  Bifunctional Lipocalin Ameliorates Murine Immune Complex-induced Acute Lung Injury 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;288(26):18789-18802.
Background: OmCI is an ectoparasite-derived anti-inflammatory protein that binds LTB4 and prevents complement C5 activation.
Results: The C5 and LTB4 binding activities of OmCI are functionally and structurally independent, and OmCI potently inhibits immune complex-induced acute lung injury (IC-ALI).
Conclusion: LTB4 and C5 activation by complement contribute equally to the pathology of IC-ALI.
Significance: Dual inhibition of these mediators should be considered for treatment of IC-dependent diseases.
Molecules that simultaneously inhibit independent or co-dependent proinflammatory pathways may have advantages over conventional monotherapeutics. OmCI is a bifunctional protein derived from blood-feeding ticks that specifically prevents complement (C)-mediated C5 activation and also sequesters leukotriene B4 (LTB4) within an internal binding pocket. Here, we examined the effect of LTB4 binding on OmCI structure and function and investigated the relative importance of C-mediated C5 activation and LTB4 in a mouse model of immune complex-induced acute lung injury (IC-ALI). We describe two crystal structures of bacterially expressed OmCI: one binding a C16 fatty acid and the other binding LTB4 (C20). We show that the C5 and LTB4 binding activities of the molecule are independent of each other and that OmCI is a potent inhibitor of experimental IC-ALI, equally dependent on both C5 inhibition and LTB4 binding for full activity. The data highlight the importance of LTB4 in IC-ALI and activation of C5 by the complement pathway C5 convertase rather than by non-C proteases. The findings suggest that dual inhibition of C5 and LTB4 may be useful for treatment of human immune complex-dependent diseases.
PMCID: PMC3696655  PMID: 23625922
Complement; Immunotherapy; Inflammation; Leukotriene; Lung Injury; Parasite; Acute Lung Injury; Immune Complex
17.  Blockade of IL-1R signaling diminishes Paneth cell depletion and Toxoplasma gondii induced ileitis in mice 
Interleukin 1 is a critical inflammatory mediator and involved in host defense to several pathogens. Oral T. gondii infection causes lethal ileitis in C57BL/6 (BL6) mice and serves to investigate the mechanisms of acute intestinal inflammation. Here we show that IL-1 is expressed upon oral T. gondii (76K strain) infection in the small intestine and mediates ileitis as IL-1R1 deficient mice have reduced neutrophil recruitment in the lamina propria, parasite invasion, inflammatory lesions and enhanced survival as compared to BL6 infected control mice. Protection in the absence of IL-1R1 signaling was associated with reduced IFN-γ expression and preserved Paneth cells, while these cells were eliminated in infected BL6 mice. Furthermore, blockade of IL-1 by IL-1β antibody attenuated inflammation in BL6 mice. In conclusion, IL-1 signaling contributes to the inflammatory response with increase IFN-γ expression and Paneth cell depletion upon oral T. gondii infection.
PMCID: PMC3714202  PMID: 23885328
Toxoplasma gondii; IL-1R1 receptor signaling; Paneth neutralizing antibody; inflammation; innate immunity
18.  Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Enhances Th2/Th22 and Reduces IL-17A in Protease-Allergen-Induced Airways Inflammation 
ISRN Allergy  2013;2013:971036.
Background. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is induced in allergic skin and lung inflammation in man and mice. Methods. Allergic lung inflammation induced by two proteases allergens HDM and papain and a classical allergen ovalbumin was evaluated in vivo in mice deficient for TSLPR. Eosinophil recruitment, Th2 and Th17 cytokine and chemokine levels were determined in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, lung homogenates and lung mononuclear cells ex vivo. Results. Here we report that mice challenged with house dust mite extract or papain in the absence of TSLPR have a drastic reduction of allergic inflammation with diminished eosinophil recruitment in BAL and lung and reduced mucus overproduction. TSLPR deficient DCs displayed diminished OVA antigen uptake and reduced capacity to activate antigen specific T cells. TSLPR deficient mice had diminished proinflammatory IL-1β, IL-13, and IL-33 chemokines production, while IL-17A, IL-12p40 and IL-10 were increased. Together with impaired Th2 cytokines, IL-17A expressing TCRβ+ T cells were increased, while IL-22 expressing CD4+ T cells were diminished in the lung. Conclusion. Therefore, TSLPR signaling is required for the development of both Th2 and Th22 responses and may restrain IL-17A. TSLP may mediate its effects in part by increasing allergen uptake and processing by DCs resulting in an exacerbated asthma.
PMCID: PMC3658395  PMID: 23738146
19.  MyD88 is crucial for the development of a protective CNS immune response to Toxoplasma gondii infection 
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic infections in humans. It can establish chronic infection and is characterized by the formation of tissue cysts in the brain. The cysts remain largely quiescent for the life of the host, but can reactivate and cause life-threatening toxoplasmic encephalitis in immunocompromised patients, such as those with AIDS, neoplastic diseases and organ transplants. Toll-like receptor (TLR) adaptor MyD88 activation is required for the innate sensing of Toxoplasma gondii. Mice deficient in MyD88 have defective IL-12 and Th1 effector responses, and are highly susceptible to the acute phase of T. gondii infection. However, the role of this signaling pathway during cerebral infection is poorly understood and requires examination.
MyD88-deficient mice and control mice were orally infected with T. gondii cysts. Cellular and parasite infiltration in the peripheral organs and in the brain were determined by histology and immunohistochemistry. Cytokine levels were determined by ELISA and chemokine mRNA levels were quantified by real-time PCR (qPCR).
Thirteen days after infection, a higher parasite burden was observed but there was no histological change in the liver, heart, lungs and small intestine of MyD88−/− and MyD88+/+ mice. However, MyD88−/− mice compared to MyD88+/+ mice were highly susceptible to cerebral infection, displayed high parasite migration to the brain, severe neuropathological signs of encephalitis and succumbed within 2 weeks of oral infection. Susceptibility was primarily associated with lower expression of Th1 cytokines, especially IL-12, IFN-γ and TNF-α, significant decrease in the expression of CCL3, CCL5, CCL7 and CCL19 chemokines, marked defect of CD8+ T cells, and infiltration of CD11b+ and F4/80+ cells in the brain.
MyD88 is essential for the protection of mice during the cerebral installation of T. gondii infection. These results establish a role for MyD88 in T cell-mediated control of T. gondii in the central nervous system (CNS).
PMCID: PMC3566937  PMID: 23374751
MyD88; innate immunity; Toxoplasma gondii; BALB/c mice; encephalitis
20.  MFGE8 inhibits inflammasome-induced IL-1β production and limits postischemic cerebral injury 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(3):1176-1181.
Milk fat globule-EGF 8 (MFGE8) plays important, nonredundant roles in several biological processes, including apoptotic cell clearance, angiogenesis, and adaptive immunity. Several recent studies have reported a potential role for MFGE8 in regulation of the innate immune response; however, the precise mechanisms underlying this role are poorly understood. Here, we show that MFGE8 is an endogenous inhibitor of inflammasome-induced IL-1β production. MFGE8 inhibited necrotic cell–induced and ATP-dependent IL-1β production by macrophages through mediation of integrin β3 and P2X7 receptor interactions in primed cells. Itgb3 deficiency in macrophages abrogated the inhibitory effect of MFGE8 on ATP-induced IL-1β production. In a setting of postischemic cerebral injury in mice, MFGE8 deficiency was associated with enhanced IL-1β production and larger infarct size; the latter was abolished after treatment with IL-1 receptor antagonist. MFGE8 supplementation significantly dampened caspase-1 activation and IL-1β production and reduced infarct size in wild-type mice, but did not limit cerebral necrosis in Il1b-, Itgb3-, or P2rx7-deficient animals. In conclusion, we demonstrated that MFGE8 regulates innate immunity through inhibition of inflammasome-induced IL-1β production.
PMCID: PMC3582131  PMID: 23454767
21.  NOD2-mediated dysbiosis predisposes mice to transmissible colitis and colorectal cancer 
Instability in the composition of gut bacterial communities (dysbiosis) has been linked to common human intestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and colorectal cancer. Here, we show that dysbiosis caused by Nod2 deficiency gives rise to a reversible, communicable risk of colitis and colitis-associated carcinogenesis in mice. Loss of either Nod2 or RIP2 resulted in a proinflammatory microenvironment that enhanced epithelial dysplasia following chemically induced injury. The condition could be improved by treatment with antibiotics or an anti–interleukin-6 receptor–neutralizing antibody. Genotype-dependent disease risk was communicable via maternally transmitted microbiota in both Nod2-deficient and WT hosts. Furthermore, reciprocal microbiota transplantation reduced disease risk in Nod2-deficient mice and led to long-term changes in intestinal microbial communities. Conversely, disease risk was enhanced in WT hosts that were recolonized with dysbiotic fecal microbiota from Nod2-deficient mice. Thus, we demonstrated that licensing of dysbiotic microbiota is a critical component of disease risk. Our results demonstrate that NOD2 has an unexpected role in shaping a protective assembly of gut bacterial communities and suggest that manipulation of dysbiosis is a potential therapeutic approach in the treatment of human intestinal disorders.
PMCID: PMC3561825  PMID: 23281400
22.  Neutrophil Inhibitory Factor Selectively Inhibits the Endothelium-Driven Transmigration of Eosinophils In Vitro and Airway Eosinophilia in OVA-Induced Allergic Lung Inflammation 
Journal of Allergy  2012;2012:245909.
Leukocyte adhesion molecules are involved in cell recruitment in an allergic airway response and therefore provide a target for pharmaceutical intervention. Neutrophil inhibitory factor (NIF), derived from canine hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum), binds selectively and competes with the A-domain of CD11b for binding to ICAM-1. The effect of recombinant NIF was investigated. Intranasal administration of rNIF reduced pulmonary eosinophilic infiltration, goblet cell hyperplasia, and Th2 cytokine production in OVA-sensitized mice. In vitro, transendothelial migration of human blood eosinophils across IL-4-activated umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) monolayers was inhibited by rNIF (IC50: 4.6 ± 2.6 nM; mean ± SEM), but not across TNF or IL-1-activated HUVEC monolayers. Treatment of eosinophils with rNIF together with mAb 60.1 directed against CD11b or mAb 107 directed against the metal ion-dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) of the CD11b A-domain resulted in no further inhibition of transendothelial migration suggesting shared functional epitopes. In contrast, rNIF increased the inhibitory effect of blocking mAbs against CD18, CD11a, and VLA-4. Together, we show that rNIF, a selective antagonist of the A-domain of CD11b, has a prominent inhibitory effect on eosinophil transendothelial migration in vitro, which is congruent to the in vivo inhibition of OVA-induced allergic lung inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3523160  PMID: 23304174
23.  Polyclonal CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells induce TGFβ-dependent tolerogenic dendritic cells that suppress the murine lupus-like syndrome 
Interplay between Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) and dendritic cells (DCs) maintains immunologic tolerance, but the effects of each cell on the other are not well understood. We report that polyclonal CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells induced ex vivo with transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) (iTreg) suppress a lupus-like chronic graft-versus-host disease by preventing the expansion of immunogenic DCs and inducing protective DCs that generate additional recipient CD4+Foxp3+ cells. The protective effects of the transferred iTreg cells required both interleukin (IL)-10 and TGFβ, but the tolerogenic effects of the iTreg on DCs, and the immunosuppressive effects of these DCs were exclusively TGFβ-dependent. The iTreg were unable to tolerize Tgfbr2-deficient DCs. These results support the essential role of DCs in ‘infectious tolerance’ and emphasize the central role of TGFβ in protective iTreg/DC interactions in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3523557  PMID: 22773728
regulatory T cells; dendritic cells; TGFβ; graft-versus-host disease
24.  The development and function of follicular helper T cells in immune responses 
Follicular helper T cells (Tfh) have been referred as a lineage that provides a help for B cells to proliferate and undergo antibody affinity maturation in the germinal center. Evidence has supported that Tfh subset development, like other lineages, is dependent on microenvironment where a particular transcriptional program is initiated. It has been shown that Bcl-6 and IL-21 act as master regulators for the development and function of Tfh cells. Tfh dysregulation is involved in the development of autoimmune pathologies, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The present review highlights the recent advances in the field of Tfh cells and focus on their development and function.
PMCID: PMC4000446  PMID: 22659733
autoimmune diseases; follicular helper T cells; systemic lupus erythematousus
25.  GM-CSF Priming Drives Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages to a Pro-Inflammatory Pattern and Downmodulates PGE2 in Response to TLR2 Ligands 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40523.
In response to pathogen recognition by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on their cell surface, macrophages release lipid mediators and cytokines that are widely distributed throughout the body and play essential roles in host responses. Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is important for the immune response during infections to improve the clearance of microorganisms. In this study, we examined the release of mediators in response to TLR2 ligands by bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) primed with GM-CSF. We demonstrated that when stimulated with TLR2 ligands, non-primed BMDMs preferentially produced PGE2 in greater amounts than LTB4. However, GM-CSF priming shifted the release of lipid mediators by BMDMs, resulting in a significant decrease of PGE2 production in response to the same stimuli. The decrease of PGE2 production from primed BMDMs was accompanied by a decrease in PGE-synthase mRNA expression and an increase in TNF-α and nitric oxide (NO) production. Moreover, some GM-CSF effects were potentiated by the addition of IFN-γ. Using a variety of TLR2 ligands, we established that PGE2 release by GM-CSF-primed BMDMs was dependent on TLR2 co-receptors (TLR1, TLR6), CD14, MyD88 and the nuclear translocation of NFκB but was not dependent on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) activation. Indeed, GM-CSF priming enhanced TLR2, TLR4 and MyD88 mRNA expression and phospho-IκBα formation. These findings demonstrate that GM-CSF drives BMDMs to present a profile relevant to the host during infections.
PMCID: PMC3396658  PMID: 22808181

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