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1.  FMS-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 Ligand Treatment of Mice Aggravates Acute Lung Injury in Response to Streptococcus pneumoniae: Role of Pneumolysin 
Infection and Immunity  2012;80(12):4281-4290.
FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand (Flt3L) is a dendritic cell (DC) growth and differentiation factor with potential in antitumor therapies and antibacterial immunization strategies. However, the effect of systemic Flt3L treatment on lung-protective immunity against bacterial infection is incompletely defined. Here, we examined the impact of deficient (in Flt3L knockout [KO] mice), normal (in wild-type [WT] mice), or increased Flt3L availability (in WT mice pretreated with Flt3L for 3, 5, or 7 days) on lung DC subset profiles and lung-protective immunity against the major lung-tropic pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae. Although in Flt3L-deficient mice the numbers of DCs positive for CD11b (CD11bpos DCs) and for CD103 (CD103pos DCs) were diminished, lung permeability, a marker of injury, was unaltered in response to S. pneumoniae. In contrast, WT mice pretreated with Flt3L particularly responded with increased numbers of CD11bpos DCs and with less pronounced numbers of CD103pos DCs and impaired bacterial clearance and with increased lung permeability following S. pneumoniae challenge. Notably, infection of Flt3L-pretreated mice with S. pneumoniae lacking the pore-forming toxin, pneumolysin (PLY), resulted in substantially less lung CD11bpos DCs activation and reduced lung permeability. Collectively, this study establishes that Flt3L treatment enhances the accumulation of proinflammatory activated lung CD11bpos DCs which contribute to acute lung injury in response to PLY released by S. pneumoniae.
PMCID: PMC3497444  PMID: 23006850
2.  TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) exerts therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of pneumococcal pneumonia in mice 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2012;209(11):1937-1952.
Neutrophil-derived TRAIL induces apoptosis of alveolar macrophages, limiting the spread of S. pneumoniae infection.
Apoptotic death of alveolar macrophages observed during lung infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae is thought to limit overwhelming lung inflammation in response to bacterial challenge. However, the underlying apoptotic death mechanism has not been defined. Here, we examined the role of the TNF superfamily member TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in S. pneumoniae–induced macrophage apoptosis, and investigated the potential benefit of TRAIL-based therapy during pneumococcal pneumonia in mice. Compared with WT mice, Trail−/− mice demonstrated significantly decreased lung bacterial clearance and survival in response to S. pneumoniae, which was accompanied by significantly reduced apoptosis and caspase 3 cleavage but rather increased necrosis in alveolar macrophages. In WT mice, neutrophils were identified as a major source of intraalveolar released TRAIL, and their depletion led to a shift from apoptosis toward necrosis as the dominant mechanism of alveolar macrophage cell death in pneumococcal pneumonia. Therapeutic application of TRAIL or agonistic anti-DR5 mAb (MD5-1) dramatically improved survival of S. pneumoniae–infected WT mice. Most importantly, neutropenic mice lacking neutrophil-derived TRAIL were protected from lethal pneumonia by MD5-1 therapy. We have identified a previously unrecognized mechanism by which neutrophil-derived TRAIL induces apoptosis of DR5-expressing macrophages, thus promoting early bacterial killing in pneumococcal pneumonia. TRAIL-based therapy in neutropenic hosts may represent a novel antibacterial treatment option.
PMCID: PMC3478925  PMID: 23071253
3.  Local delivery of Granulocyte/Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor protects mice from lethal pneumococcal pneumonia1 
The growth factor granulocyte/macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has an important role in pulmonary surfactant metabolism and the regulation of antibacterial activities of lung sentinel cells. However, the potential of intra-alveolar GM-CSF to augment lung protective immunity against inhaled bacterial pathogens has not been defined in preclinical infection models. We hypothesized that transient overexpression of GM-CSF in the lungs of mice by adenoviral gene transfer (Ad-GM-CSF) would protect mice from subsequent lethal pneumococcal pneumonia. Our data show that intra-alveolar delivery of Ad-GM-CSF led to sustained increased pSTAT5 expression and PU.1 protein expression in alveolar macrophages during a 28 day observation period. Pulmonary Ad-GM-CSF delivery two or four weeks prior to infection of mice with S. pneumoniae significantly reduced mortality rates relative to control vector treated mice. This increased survival was accompanied by increased iNOS expression, antibacterial activity and a significant reduction in caspase 3 dependent apoptosis and secondary necrosis of lung sentinel cells. Importantly, therapeutic treatment of mice with recombinant GM-CSF improved lung protective immunity and accelerated bacterial clearance after pneumococcal challenge. We conclude that prophylactic delivery of GM-CSF triggers long-lasting immunostimulatory effects in the lung in vivo and rescues mice from lethal pneumococcal pneumonia by improving antibacterial immunity. These data support use of novel antibiotic-independent immunostimulatory therapies to protect patients against bacterial pneumonias.
PMCID: PMC3595102  PMID: 22003204
GM-CSF; S. pneumoniae; PU.1; pneumonia; therapy; infection
4.  Dendritic Cell Depletion and Repopulation in the Lung after Irradiation and Bone Marrow Transplantation in Mice 
Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential for innate and adaptive immunity, but are purported to exhibit variable radiosensitivity in response to irradiation in various bone marrow transplantation (BMT) protocols. To address this controversy, we analyzed the magnitude of depletion and repopulation of both lung CD11bpos DC and CD103pos DC subsets in response to irradiation and BMT in a murine model. In our study, CD45.2pos donor bone marrow cells were transplanted into irradiated CD45.1pos recipient mice to examine the depletion of recipient DC subsets and the repopulation of donor DC subsets. We observed an apoptosis-mediated and necrosis-mediated depletion (> 90%) of the recipient CD103pos DC subset, and only a 50–60% depletion of recipient CD11bpos DCs from lung parenchymal tissue on Days 3 and 5, whereas recipient alveolar and lung macrophages were much less radiosensitive, showing an approximately 50% depletion by Days 14–21 after treatment. A repopulation of lung tissue with donor DC subsets had occurred by Days 10 and 28 for CD11bpos DCs and CD103pos DCs, whereas alveolar and lung macrophages were repopulated by 6 and 10 weeks after treatment. Furthermore, the infection of mice with Streptococcus pneumoniae further accelerated the turnover of lung DCs and lung macrophage subsets. Our data illustrate the vulnerability of lung CD103pos DCs and CD11bpos DCs to irradiation, and indicate that an accelerated turnover of lung DC subsets occurs, relative to pulmonary and lung macrophages. Our findings may have important implications in the development of adjuvant immune-stimulatory protocols that could reduce the risk of opportunistic infections in patients undergoing BMT.
PMCID: PMC3361352  PMID: 21177980
dendritic cell; macrophage; pneumonia; Streptococcus pneumoniae; CD103
5.  Micro-computed tomography of pulmonary fibrosis in mice induced by adenoviral gene transfer of biologically active transforming growth factor-β1 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):181.
Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) is a novel tool for monitoring acute and chronic disease states in small laboratory animals. Its value for assessing progressive lung fibrosis in mice has not been reported so far. Here we examined the importance of in vivo micro-CT as non-invasive tool to assess progression of pulmonary fibrosis in mice over time.
Pulmonary fibrosis was induced in mice by intratracheal delivery of an adenoviral gene vector encoding biologically active TGF-ß1 (AdTGF-ß1). Respiratory gated and ungated micro-CT scans were performed at 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks post pulmonary adenoviral gene or control vector delivery, and were then correlated with respective histopathology-based Ashcroft scoring of pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Visual assessment of image quality and consolidation was performed by 3 observers and a semi-automated quantification algorithm was applied to quantify aerated pulmonary volume as an inverse surrogate marker for pulmonary fibrosis.
We found a significant correlation between classical Ashcroft scoring and micro-CT assessment using both visual assessment and the semi-automated quantification algorithm. Pulmonary fibrosis could be clearly detected in micro-CT, image quality values were higher for respiratory gated exams, although differences were not significant. For assessment of fibrosis no significant difference between respiratory gated and ungated exams was observed.
Together, we show that micro-CT is a powerful tool to assess pulmonary fibrosis in mice, using both visual assessment and semi-automated quantification algorithms. These data may be important in view of pre-clinical pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of lung fibrosis in small laboratory animals.
PMCID: PMC3022722  PMID: 21176193
6.  Importance of CXC Chemokine Receptor 2 in Alveolar Neutrophil and Exudate Macrophage Recruitment in Response to Pneumococcal Lung Infection▿  
Infection and Immunity  2010;78(6):2620-2630.
Sustained neutrophilic infiltration is known to contribute to organ damage, such as acute lung injury. CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) is the major receptor regulating inflammatory neutrophil recruitment in acute and chronic inflamed tissues. Whether or not the abundant neutrophil recruitment observed in severe pneumonia is essential for protective immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae infections is incompletely defined. Here we show that CXCR2 deficiency severely perturbs the recruitment of both neutrophils and exudate macrophages associated with a massive bacterial outgrowth in distal airspaces after infection with S. pneumoniae, resulting in 100% mortality in knockout (KO) mice within 3 days. Moreover, irradiated wild-type mice reconstituted with increasing amounts of CXCR2 KO bone marrow (10, 25, 50, and 75% KO) have correspondingly decreased numbers of both neutrophils and exudate macrophages, which is associated with a stepwise increase in bacterial burden and a reciprocal stepwise decrease in survival in S. pneumoniae-induced pulmonary infection. Finally, application of the CXCR2 antagonist SB-225002 resulted in decreased alveolar neutrophil and exudate macrophage recruitment in mice along with increased lung bacterial loads after infection with S. pneumoniae. Together, these data show that CXC chemokine receptor 2 serves a previously unrecognized nonredundant role in the regulation of both neutrophil and exudate macrophage recruitment to the lung in response to S. pneumoniae infection. In addition, we demonstrate that a threshold level of 10 to 25% of reduced neutrophil recruitment is sufficient to cause increased mortality in mice infected with S. pneumoniae.
PMCID: PMC2876546  PMID: 20368349

Results 1-6 (6)