In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (49)

Articles by Tobias M. Hohl in JoVE

Other articles by Tobias M. Hohl on PubMed

Video-rate Nonlinear Microscopy of Neuronal Membrane Dynamics with Genetically Encoded Probes

Journal of Neurophysiology. Jul, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14999051

Biological membranes decorated with suitable contrast agents give rise to nonlinear optical signals such as two-photon fluorescence and harmonic up-conversion when illuminated with ultra-short, high-intensity pulses of infrared laser light. Microscopic images based on these nonlinear contrasts were acquired at video or higher frame rates by scanning a focused illuminating spot rapidly across neural tissues. The scan engine relied on an acousto-optic deflector (AOD) to produce a fast horizontal raster and on corrective prisms to offset the AOD-induced dispersion of the ultra-short excitation light pulses in space and time. Two membrane-bound derivatives of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) were tested as nonlinear contrast agents. Synapto-pHluorin, a pH-sensitive GFP variant fused to a synaptic vesicle membrane protein, provided a time-resolved fluorescent read-out of neurotransmitter release at genetically specified synaptic terminals in the intact brain. Arrays of dually lipidated GFP molecules at the plasma membrane generated intense two-photon fluorescence but no detectable second-harmonic power. Comparison with second-harmonic generation by membranes stained with a synthetic styryl dye suggested that the genetically encoded chromophore arrangement lacked the orientational anisotropy and/or dipole density required for efficient coherent scattering of the incident optical field.

Distinct CD4+-T-cell Responses to Live and Heat-inactivated Aspergillus Fumigatus Conidia

Infection and Immunity. Nov, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16239511

Aspergillus fumigatus is an important fungal pathogen that causes invasive pulmonary disease in immunocompromised hosts. Respiratory exposure to A. fumigatus spores also causes allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, a Th2 CD4+-T-cell-mediated disease that accompanies asthma. The microbial factors that influence the differentiation of A. fumigatus-specific CD4+ T lymphocytes into Th1 versus Th2 cells remain incompletely defined. We therefore examined CD4+-T-cell responses of immunologically intact mice to intratracheal challenge with live or heat-inactivated A. fumigatus spores. Live but not heat-inactivated fungal spores resulted in recruitment of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-producing, fungus-specific CD4+ T cells to lung airways, achieving A. fumigatus-specific frequencies exceeding 5% of total CD4+ T cells. While heat-inactivated spores did not induce detectable levels of IFN-gamma-producing, A. fumigatus-specific CD4+ T cells in the airways, they did prime CD4+ T-cell responses in draining lymph nodes that produced greater amounts of interleukin 4 (IL-4) and IL-13 than T cells responding to live conidia. While immunization with live fungal spores induced antibody responses, we found a marked decrease in isotype-switched, A. fumigatus-specific antibodies in sera of mice following immunization with heat-inactivated spores. Our studies demonstrate that robust Th1 T-cell and humoral responses are restricted to challenge with fungal spores that have the potential to germinate and cause invasive infection. How the adaptive immune system distinguishes between metabolically active and inactive fungal spores remains an important question.

Aspergillus Fumigatus Triggers Inflammatory Responses by Stage-specific Beta-glucan Display

PLoS Pathogens. Nov, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16304610

Inhalation of fungal spores (conidia) occurs commonly and, in specific circumstances, can result in invasive disease. We investigated the murine inflammatory response to conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus, the most common invasive mold in immunocompromised hosts. In contrast to dormant spores, germinating conidia induce neutrophil recruitment to the airways and TNF-alpha/MIP-2 secretion by alveolar macrophages. Fungal beta-glucans act as a trigger for the induction of these inflammatory responses through their time-dependent exposure on the surface of germinating conidia. Dectin-1, an innate immune receptor that recognizes fungal beta-glucans, is recruited in vivo to alveolar macrophage phagosomes that have internalized conidia with exposed beta-glucans. Antibody-mediated blockade of Dectin-1 partially inhibits TNF-alpha/MIP-2 induction by metabolically active conidia. TLR-2- and MyD88-mediated signals provide an additive contribution to macrophage activation by germinating conidia. Selective responsiveness to germinating conidia provides the innate immune system with a mechanism to restrict inflammatory responses to metabolically active, potentially invasive fungal spores.

Immunity to Fungi

Current Opinion in Immunology. Aug, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16765580

Innate and adaptive immune responses target pathogenic fungi and provide defense against fungal infections. Recent studies demonstrate that specific host receptors recognize ligands that are unique to fungi and activate signaling cascades that lead to phagocytosis of fungi, generation of pro-inflammatory mediators, formation of reactive oxygen species, trafficking of inflammatory cells to sites of infection, and initiation of adaptive immune responses. Greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie antifungal defense has provided a framework for the investigation of protective vaccines and strategies for therapeutic adoptive cell transfer.

Cracking the Fungal Armor

Nature Medicine. Jul, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16829914

Aspergillus Fumigatus: Principles of Pathogenesis and Host Defense

Eukaryotic Cell. Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17890370

Monocyte-mediated Defense Against Microbial Pathogens

Annual Review of Immunology. 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18303997

Circulating blood monocytes supply peripheral tissues with macrophage and dendritic cell (DC) precursors and, in the setting of infection, also contribute directly to immune defense against microbial pathogens. In humans and mice, monocytes are divided into two major subsets that either specifically traffic into inflamed tissues or, in the absence of overt inflammation, constitutively maintain tissue macrophage/DC populations. Inflammatory monocytes respond rapidly to microbial stimuli by secreting cytokines and antimicrobial factors, express the CCR2 chemokine receptor, and traffic to sites of microbial infection in response to monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 (CCL2) secretion. In murine models, CCR2-mediated monocyte recruitment is essential for defense against Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Toxoplasma gondii, and Cryptococcus neoformans infection, implicating inflammatory monocytes in defense against bacterial, protozoal, and fungal pathogens. Recent studies indicate that inflammatory monocyte recruitment to sites of infection is complex, involving CCR2-mediated emigration of monocytes from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, followed by trafficking into infected tissues. The in vivo mechanisms that promote chemokine secretion, monocyte differentiation and trafficking, and finally monocyte-mediated microbial killing remain active and important areas of investigation.

Stage-specific Innate Immune Recognition of Aspergillus Fumigatus and Modulation by Echinocandin Drugs

Medical Mycology. 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 18608931

The pulmonary innate immune system clears inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus conidia (spores) from terminal airways. Failure to control conidial germination in immune compromised hosts can result in hyphal tissue invasion and fatal disease. Insight into the molecular recognition of A. fumigatus by host leukocytes indicates that the innate immune system exploits obligate changes in fungal cell wall composition that occur at the first stage of germination, conidial swelling. Germinating spores activate at least two host signal transduction pathways. Surface exposure of fungal beta-(1,3) glucan, a polysaccharide constituent of the fungal cell wall, triggers dectin-1 signaling by host phagocytes. Spore germination leads to the induction of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling as well. This stage-specific recognition mechanism focuses host antifungal responses on cells with the potential for tissue invasion and may serve to limit potentially deleterious effects of inflammation in space and time. Fungal beta-(1,3) glucan not only activates host innate immune responses but also represents the target of echinocandin drugs. The activity of echinocandin drugs has largely been understood on the basis of pharmacologic growth inhibition of yeast and moulds, resulting in lysis of yeast cells and stunting of dysmorphic hyphae. The recognition that fungal beta-1,3 glucan activates dectin-1 signaling suggests that echinocandin drugs may exert immune modulatory effects by altering innate immune responses to drug-treated fungal cells, a view supported by recent data from studies on C. albicans, A. fumigatus, and non-Aspergillus moulds.

Essential Role for Neutrophils but Not Alveolar Macrophages at Early Time Points Following Aspergillus Fumigatus Infection

The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Aug, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19591573

Alveolar macrophages and neutrophils mediate innate immune defense against the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and are believed to be essential for host survival following inhalation of fungal spores (conidia). Although alveolar macrophages are postulated to kill inhaled conidia and neutrophils are believed to act against hyphae, the relative contribution of alveolar macrophages and neutrophils to early defense against A. fumigatus remain incompletely defined. To more precisely characterize the contributions of alveolar macrophages and neutrophils in antifungal host defense, we selectively depleted each cell population at different times following pulmonary challenge with conidia. Mice depleted of alveolar macrophages prior to pulmonary A. fumigatus infection recruited neutrophils normally and restricted hyphal tissue invasion. In contrast, neutrophil depletion prior to or within 3 h after infection was associated with high mortality. Neutrophil depletion at later time points, however, was associated with nearly normal survival rates. Our studies suggest that neutrophils, but not alveolar macrophages, provide essential anticonidial defense and that a brief period of influx into the respiratory tree is sufficient to prevent conidial germination and invasive disease.

Selective Expansion of the Monocytic Lineage Directed by Bacterial Infection

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Aug, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19596996

CCR2-mediated recruitment of Ly6C(high) monocytes is essential for defense against a range of microbial pathogens. Although our understanding of monocyte trafficking to inflammatory sites is increasing, how innate immune inflammation influences monocyte development and maturation during microbial infection remains undefined. Herein, we demonstrate that infection with the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes specifically and selectively promotes monopoiesis. Systemic infection with virulent L. monocytogenes induces marked proliferation of bone marrow monocyte precursors and results in depletion of myeloid progenitors. Proliferation of monocyte precursors correlates with the intensity of systemic infection and is unaffected by the density of monocytes in the bone marrow. Although MyD88/Trif-mediated signaling is not required for early emigration of the mature monocyte population from the bone marrow, replenishment of monocyte populations depends on MyD88/Trif. Our studies demonstrate that TLR-mediated signals play an essential role in the maintenance of monocyte homeostasis during systemic bacterial infection.

Inflammatory Monocytes Facilitate Adaptive CD4 T Cell Responses During Respiratory Fungal Infection

Cell Host & Microbe. Nov, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19917501

Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous fungus, causes invasive disease in immunocompromised humans. Although monocytes and antigen-specific CD4 T cells contribute to defense against inhaled fungal spores, how these cells interact during infection remains undefined. Investigating the role of inflammatory monocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells during fungal infection, we find that A. fumigatus infection induces an influx of chemokine receptor CCR2- and Ly6C-expressing inflammatory monocytes into lungs and draining lymph nodes. Depletion of CCR2(+) cells reduced A. fumigatus conidial transport from lungs to draining lymph nodes, abolished CD4 T cell priming following respiratory challenge, and impaired pulmonary fungal clearance. In contrast, depletion of CCR2(+)Ly6C(hi) monocytes during systemic fungal infection did not prevent CD4 T cell priming in the spleen. Our findings demonstrate that pulmonary CD4 T cell responses to inhaled spores require CCR2(+)Ly6C(hi) monocytes and their derivatives, revealing a compartmentally restricted function for these cells in adaptive respiratory immune responses.

In Vivo Bioluminescence Imaging and Histopathopathologic Analysis Reveal Distinct Roles for Resident and Recruited Immune Effector Cells in Defense Against Invasive Aspergillosis

BMC Microbiology. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20377900

Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a major cause of infectious morbidity and mortality in immune compromised patients. Studies on the pathogenesis of IA have been limited by the difficulty to monitor disease progression in real-time. For real-time monitoring of the infection, we recently engineered a bioluminescent A. fumigatus strain.

Monocyte Trafficking to Hepatic Sites of Bacterial Infection is Chemokine Independent and Directed by Focal Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 Expression

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Jun, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20435926

Recruitment of CCR2(+)Ly6C(high) monocytes to sites of infection is essential for efficient clearance of microbial pathogens. Although CCR2-mediated signals promote monocyte emigration from bone marrow, the contribution of CCR2 to later stages of monocyte recruitment remains unresolved. In this article, we show that CCR2 deficiency markedly worsens hepatic Listeria monocytogenes infection because Ly6C(high) monocytes are retained in the bone marrow. Intravenously transferred, CCR2-deficient Ly6C(high) monocytes traffic normally to hepatic foci of infection and contribute to bacterial clearance. Pertussis toxin treatment of adoptively transferred monocytes does not impair their intrahepatic trafficking, suggesting that chemokine signaling, once CCR2(+)Ly6C(high) monocytes emigrate from the bone marrow, is not required for monocyte localization to sites of bacterial infection in the liver. Expression of ICAM-1 is induced in close proximity to foci of bacterial infection in the liver, including on CD31(+) endothelial cells, and blockade of CD11b and CD44 diminishes monocyte localization to these hepatic foci. Our studies demonstrated that Ly6C(high) monocyte recruitment from the bloodstream to the L. monocytogenes-infected liver does not require chemokine receptor-mediated signals but instead is principally dependent on integrin- and extracellular matrix-mediated monocyte adhesion.

Dectin-1 Diversifies Aspergillus Fumigatus-specific T Cell Responses by Inhibiting T Helper Type 1 CD4 T Cell Differentiation

The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21242294

Pulmonary infection of mice with Aspergillus fumigatus induces concurrent T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th17 responses that depend on Toll-like receptor/MyD88 and Dectin-1, respectively. However, the mechanisms balancing Th1 and Th17 CD4 T cell populations during infection remain incompletely defined. In this study, we show that Dectin-1 deficiency disproportionally increases Th1 responses and decreases Th17 differentiation after A. fumigatus infection. Dectin-1 signaling in A. fumigatus-infected wild-type mice reduces IFN-γ and IL-12p40 expression in the lung, thereby decreasing T-bet expression in responding CD4 T cells and enhancing Th17 responses. Absence of IFN-γ or IL-12p35 in infected mice or T-bet in responding CD4 T cells enhances Th17 differentiation, independent of Dectin-1 expression, in A. fumigatus-infected mice. Transient deletion of monocyte-derived dendritic cells also reduces Th1 and boosts Th17 differentiation of A. fumigatus-specific CD4 T cells. Our findings indicate that Dectin-1-mediated signals alter CD4 T cell responses to fungal infection by decreasing the production of IL-12 and IFN-γ in innate cells, thereby decreasing T-bet expression in A. fumigatus-specific CD4 T cells and enabling Th17 differentiation.

Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem and Progenitor Cells Induce Monocyte Emigration in Response to Circulating Toll-like Receptor Ligands

Immunity. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21458307

Inflammatory (Ly6C(hi) CCR2+) monocytes provide defense against infections but also contribute to autoimmune diseases and atherosclerosis. Monocytes originate from bone marrow and their entry into the bloodstream requires stimulation of CCR2 chemokine receptor by monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP1). How monocyte emigration from bone marrow is triggered by remote infections remains unclear. We demonstrated that low concentrations of Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands in the bloodstream drive CCR2-dependent emigration of monocytes from bone marrow. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their progeny, including CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)12-abundant reticular (CAR) cells, rapidly expressed MCP1 in response to circulating TLR ligands or bacterial infection and induced monocyte trafficking into the bloodstream. Targeted deletion of MCP1 from MSCs impaired monocyte emigration from bone marrow. Our findings suggest that bone marrow MSCs and CAR cells respond to circulating microbial molecules and regulate bloodstream monocyte frequencies by secreting MCP1 in proximity to bone marrow vascular sinuses.

Immune Responses Against Aspergillus Fumigatus: What Have We Learned?

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21666456

Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive and allergenic disease. Host defense relies on the ability of the respiratory immune system to restrict spore germination into invasive hyphae and to limit fungus-induced or inflammation-induced damage in infected tissues. This review covers the molecular and cellular events that mediate innate and CD4 T-cell responses to A. fumigatus and fungal attributes that counter hostile microenvironments and, in turn, affect host responses.

In Vivo Hypoxia and a Fungal Alcohol Dehydrogenase Influence the Pathogenesis of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis

PLoS Pathogens. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21811407

Currently, our knowledge of how pathogenic fungi grow in mammalian host environments is limited. Using a chemotherapeutic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) and (1)H-NMR metabolomics, we detected ethanol in the lungs of mice infected with Aspergillus fumigatus. This result suggests that A. fumigatus is exposed to oxygen depleted microenvironments during infection. To test this hypothesis, we utilized a chemical hypoxia detection agent, pimonidazole hydrochloride, in three immunologically distinct murine models of IPA (chemotherapeutic, X-CGD, and corticosteroid). In all three IPA murine models, hypoxia was observed during the course of infection. We next tested the hypothesis that production of ethanol in vivo by the fungus is involved in hypoxia adaptation and fungal pathogenesis. Ethanol deficient A. fumigatus strains showed no growth defects in hypoxia and were able to cause wild type levels of mortality in all 3 murine models. However, lung immunohistopathology and flow cytometry analyses revealed an increase in the inflammatory response in mice infected with an alcohol dehydrogenase null mutant strain that corresponded with a reduction in fungal burden. Consequently, in this study we present the first in vivo observations that hypoxic microenvironments occur during a pulmonary invasive fungal infection and observe that a fungal alcohol dehydrogenase influences fungal pathogenesis in the lung. Thus, environmental conditions encountered by invading pathogenic fungi may result in substantial fungal metabolism changes that influence subsequent host immune responses.

Ly6G+ Neutrophils Are Dispensable for Defense Against Systemic Listeria Monocytogenes Infection

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21976773

Listeria monocytogenes is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes systemic infections in immunocompromised hosts. Early recruitment of myeloid cells, including inflammatory monocytes and neutrophils, to sites of L. monocytogenes infection is essential for the control of infection and host survival. Because previous experimental studies used depleting or blocking Abs that affected both inflammatory monocytes and neutrophils, the relative contributions of these cell populations to defense against L. monocytogenes infection remain incompletely defined. In this article, we used highly selective depletion strategies to either deplete inflammatory monocytes or neutrophils from L. monocytogenes-infected mice and demonstrate that neutrophils are dispensable for early and late control of infection. In contrast, inflammatory monocytes are essential for bacterial clearance during the innate and adaptive phases of the immune response to L. monocytogenes infection.

INKTs Foil Fungi

Cell Host & Microbe. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22100157

Fungal cell wall polysaccharides are potent inducers of immune responses. Cohen et al. (2011) demonstrate that innate recognition of fungal β-(1,3) glucan triggers effector functions of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells through indirect, cytokine-driven activation, a process that mediates optimal protection against the opportunistic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

Monocytic CCR2(+) Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells Promote Immune Escape by Limiting Activated CD8 T-cell Infiltration into the Tumor Microenvironment

Cancer Research. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22174368

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a heterogeneous population of cells that accumulate during tumor formation, facilitate immune escape, and enable tumor progression. MDSCs are important contributors to the development of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that blocks the action of cytotoxic antitumor T effector cells. Heterogeneity in these cells poses a significant barrier to studying the in vivo contributions of individual MDSC subtypes. Herein, we show that granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, a cytokine critical for the numeric and functional development of MDSC populations, promotes expansion of a monocyte-derived MDSC population characterized by expression of CD11b and the chemokine receptor CCR2. Using a toxin-mediated ablation strategy to target CCR2-expressing cells, we show that these monocytic MDSCs regulate entry of activated CD8 T cells into the tumor site, thereby limiting the efficacy of immunotherapy. Our results argue that therapeutic targeting of monocytic MDSCs would enhance outcomes in immunotherapy.

Interleukin 23 Production by Intestinal CD103(+)CD11b(+) Dendritic Cells in Response to Bacterial Flagellin Enhances Mucosal Innate Immune Defense

Immunity. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22306017

Microbial penetration of the intestinal epithelial barrier triggers inflammatory responses that include induction of the bactericidal C-type lectin RegIIIγ. Systemic administration of flagellin, a bacterial protein that stimulates Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), induces epithelial expression of RegIIIγ and protects mice from intestinal colonization with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Flagellin-induced RegIIIγ expression is IL-22 dependent, but how TLR signaling leads to IL-22 expression is incompletely defined. By using conditional depletion of lamina propria dendritic cell (LPDC) subsets, we demonstrated that CD103(+)CD11b(+) LPDCs, but not monocyte-derived CD103(-)CD11b(+) LPDCs, expressed high amounts of IL-23 after bacterial flagellin administration and drove IL-22-dependent RegIIIγ production. Maximal expression of IL-23 subunits IL-23p19 and IL-12p40 occurred within 60 min of exposure to flagellin. IL-23 subsequently induced a burst of IL-22 followed by sustained RegIIIγ expression. Thus, CD103(+)CD11b(+) LPDCs, in addition to promoting long-term tolerance to ingested antigens, also rapidly produce IL-23 in response to detection of flagellin in the lamina propria.

Immunity to Fungi

Current Opinion in Immunology. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22613091

The global increase in fungal disease burden, the emergence of novel pathogenic fungi, and the lack of fungal vaccines have focused intense interest in elucidating immune defense mechanisms against fungi. Recent studies in animal models and in humans identify an integrated role for C-type lectin and Toll-like receptor signaling in activating innate and adaptive responses that control medically relevant fungi. Beyond the critical role of phagocytes in host defense, the generation and balance of specific T helper subsets contributes to sterilizing immunity. These advances form a basis for the development of fungal vaccines and immune-based therapeutic adjuncts.

Tracing Conidial Fate and Measuring Host Cell Antifungal Activity Using a Reporter of Microbial Viability in the Lung

Cell Reports. Dec, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23200858

Fluorescence can be harnessed to monitor microbial fate and to investigate functional outcomes of individual microbial cell-host cell encounters at portals of entry in native tissue environments. We illustrate this concept by introducing fluorescent Aspergillus reporter (FLARE) conidia that simultaneously report phagocytic uptake and fungal viability during cellular interactions with the murine respiratory innate immune system. Our studies using FLARE conidia reveal stepwise and cell-type-specific requirements for CARD9 and Syk, transducers of C-type lectin receptor and integrin signals, in neutrophil recruitment, conidial uptake, and conidial killing in the lung. By achieving single-event resolution in defined leukocyte populations, the FLARE method enables host cell profiling on the basis of pathogen uptake and killing and may be extended to other pathogens in diverse model host organisms to query molecular, cellular, and pharmacologic mechanisms that shape host-microbe interactions.

Hypoxia Enhances Innate Immune Activation to Aspergillus Fumigatus Through Cell Wall Modulation

Microbes and Infection. Apr, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23220005

Infection by the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus induces hypoxic microenvironments within the lung that can alter the course of fungal pathogenesis. How hypoxic microenvironments shape the composition and immune activating potential of the fungal cell wall remains undefined. Herein we demonstrate that hypoxic conditions increase the hyphal cell wall thickness and alter its composition particularly by augmenting total and surface-exposed β-glucan content. In addition, hypoxia-induced cell wall alterations increase macrophage and neutrophil responsiveness and antifungal activity as judged by inflammatory cytokine production and ability to induce hyphal damage. We observe that these effects are largely dependent on the mammalian β-glucan receptor dectin-1. In a corticosteroid model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, A. fumigatus β-glucan exposure correlates with the presence of hypoxia in situ. Our data suggest that hypoxia-induced fungal cell wall changes influence the activation of innate effector cells at sites of hyphal tissue invasion, which has potential implications for therapeutic outcomes of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

Genetic and Pharmacological Targeting of CSF-1/CSF-1R Inhibits Tumor-associated Macrophages and Impairs BRAF-induced Thyroid Cancer Progression

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23372702

Advanced human thyroid cancers are densely infiltrated with tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and this correlates with a poor prognosis. We used BRAF-induced papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) mouse models to examine the role of TAMs in PTC progression. Following conditional activation of BRAF(V600E) in murine thyroids there is an increased expression of the TAM chemoattractants Csf-1 and Ccl-2. This is followed by the development of PTCs that are densely infiltrated with TAMs that express Csf-1r and Ccr2. Targeting CCR2-expressing cells during BRAF-induction reduced TAM density and impaired PTC development. This strategy also induced smaller tumors, decreased proliferation and restored a thyroid follicular architecture in established PTCs. In PTCs from mice that lacked CSF-1 or that received a c-FMS/CSF-1R kinase inhibitor, TAM recruitment and PTC progression was impaired, recapitulating the effects of targeting CCR2-expressing cells. Our data demonstrate that TAMs are pro-tumorigenic in advanced PTCs and that they can be targeted pharmacologically, which may be potentially useful for patients with advanced thyroid cancers.

Some Fungi in the Air. Interview by Sophia Häfner

Microbes and Infection. Apr, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23376622

Monocyte- and Macrophage-targeted NADPH Oxidase Mediates Antifungal Host Defense and Regulation of Acute Inflammation in Mice

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Apr, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23509361

Chronic granulomatous disease, an inherited disorder of the NADPH oxidase in which phagocytes are defective in the generation of superoxide anion and downstream reactive oxidant species, is characterized by severe bacterial and fungal infections and excessive inflammation. Although NADPH oxidase isoforms exist in several lineages, reactive oxidant generation is greatest in neutrophils, where NADPH oxidase has been deemed vital for pathogen killing. In contrast, the function and importance of NADPH oxidase in macrophages are less clear. Therefore, we evaluated susceptibility to pulmonary aspergillosis in globally NADPH oxidase-deficient mice versus transgenic mice with monocyte/macrophage-targeted NADPH oxidase activity. We found that the lethal inoculum was >100-fold greater in transgenic versus globally NADPH oxidase-deficient mice. Consistent with these in vivo results, NADPH oxidase in mouse alveolar macrophages limited germination of phagocytosed Aspergillus fumigatus spores. Finally, globally NADPH oxidase-deficient mice developed exuberant neutrophilic lung inflammation and proinflammatory cytokine responses to zymosan, a fungal cell wall-derived product composed principally of particulate β-glucans, whereas inflammation in transgenic and wild-type mice was mild and transient. Taken together, our studies identify a central role for monocyte/macrophage NADPH oxidase in controlling fungal infection and in limiting acute lung inflammation.

The Serum Galactomannan Index Predicts Mortality in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients With Invasive Aspergillosis

Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23759343

We examined the relationship between serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) galactomannan index (GMI) values and mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Using a clinical sign and symptom-initiated approach, we found that the serum but not the BAL GMI level correlated with 42- and 180-day patient mortality.

Resident Renal Mononuclear Phagocytes Comprise Five Discrete Populations with Distinct Phenotypes and Functions

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Sep, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23956422

Recent reports have highlighted greater complexity, plasticity, and functional diversity of mononuclear phagocytes (MPCs), including monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells (DCs), in our organs than previously understood. The functions and origins of MPCs resident within healthy organs, especially in the kidney, are less well understood, whereas studies suggest they play roles in disease states distinct from recruited monocytes. We developed an unbiased approach using flow cytometry to analyze MPCs residing in the normal mouse kidney, and identified five discrete subpopulations according to CD11b/CD11c expression as well as F4/80, CD103, CD14, CD16, and CD64 expression. In addition to distinct marker profiles, these subpopulations have different lineages and expression of genes involved in tissue homeostasis, including angiogenesis. Among them, the CD11b(int)CD11c(int) F4/80(high) subpopulation notably exhibited high capacity to produce a representative anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10. Each subpopulation had different degrees of both macrophage (phagocytosis) and DC (Ag presentation) capacities, with a tendency to promote differentiation of regulatory T cells, whereas two of these showed expression of transcription factors reported to be highly expressed by classical DCs, and proclivity to exit the kidney following stimulation with LPS. In summary, resident kidney MPCs comprise discrete subpopulations, which cannot be simply classified into the conventional entities, and they produce anti-inflammatory and tissue-homeostatic factors to differing degrees.

Reply to Mikulska Et Al

Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24046297

Inflammatory Monocytes Mediate Early and Organ-specific Innate Defense During Systemic Candidiasis

The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Jan, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 23922372

Candida albicans is a commensal fungus that can cause systemic disease in patients with breaches in mucosal integrity, indwelling catheters, and defects in phagocyte function. Although circulating human and murine monocytes bind C. albicans and promote inflammation, it remains unclear whether C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2)- and Ly6C-expressing inflammatory monocytes exert a protective or a deleterious function during systemic infection. During murine systemic candidiasis, interruption of CCR2-dependent inflammatory monocyte trafficking into infected kidneys impaired fungal clearance and decreased murine survival. Depletion of CCR2-expressing cells led to uncontrolled fungal growth in the kidneys and brain and demonstrated an essential antifungal role for inflammatory monocytes and their tissue-resident derivatives in the first 48 hours postinfection. Adoptive transfer of purified inflammatory monocytes in depleted hosts reversed the defect in fungal clearance to a substantial extent, indicating a compartmentally and temporally restricted protective function that can be transferred to enhance systemic innate antifungal immunity.

Reply to King and Stover

Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Mar, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24280094

Inflammatory Monocytes Orchestrate Innate Antifungal Immunity in the Lung

PLoS Pathogens. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24586155

Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental fungus that causes invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients. Although -CC-chemokine receptor-2 (CCR2) and Ly6C-expressing inflammatory monocytes (CCR2⁺Mo) and their derivatives initiate adaptive pulmonary immune responses, their role in coordinating innate immune responses in the lung remain poorly defined. Using conditional and antibody-mediated cell ablation strategies, we found that CCR2⁺Mo and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DCs) are essential for innate defense against inhaled conidia. By harnessing fluorescent Aspergillus reporter (FLARE) conidia that report fungal cell association and viability in vivo, we identify two mechanisms by which CCR2⁺Mo and Mo-DCs exert innate antifungal activity. First, CCR2⁺Mo and Mo-DCs condition the lung inflammatory milieu to augment neutrophil conidiacidal activity. Second, conidial uptake by CCR2⁺Mo temporally coincided with their differentiation into Mo-DCs, a process that resulted in direct conidial killing. Our findings illustrate both indirect and direct functions for CCR2⁺Mo and their derivatives in innate antifungal immunity in the lung.

Overview of Vertebrate Animal Models of Fungal Infection

Journal of Immunological Methods. Aug, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24709390

Fungi represent emerging infectious threats to human populations worldwide. Mice and other laboratory animals have proved invaluable in modeling clinical syndromes associated with superficial and life-threatening invasive mycoses. This review outlines salient features of common vertebrate animal model systems to study fungal pathogenesis, host antifungal immune responses, and antifungal compounds.

Nitric Oxide Regulates BAFF Expression and T Cell-independent Antibody Responses

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Aug, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24951820

Whereas NO is known to regulate T cell responses, its role in regulating B cell responses remains unclear. Previous studies suggested that inducible NO synthase 2 (NOS2/iNOS) is required for normal IgA Ab responses but inhibits antiviral IgG2a Ab responses. In this study we used NOS2(-/-) mice to determine the role of NO in T cell-dependent and T cell-independent (TI)-2 Ab responses. Whereas T cell-dependent Ab responses were only modestly increased in NOS2(-/-) mice, IgM and IgG3 Ab responses as well as marginal zone B cell plasma cell numbers and peritoneal B1b B cells were significantly elevated after immunization with the TI-2 Ag 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl acetyl (NP)-Ficoll. The elevated TI-2 responses in NOS2(-/-) mice were accompanied by significant increases in serum levels of BAFF/BLyS and by increases in BAFF-producing Ly6C(hi) inflammatory monocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs), suggesting that NO normally inhibits BAFF expression. Indeed, we found that NOS2(-/-) DCs produced more BAFF than did wild-type DCs, and addition of a NO donor to NOS2(-/-) DCs reduced BAFF production. Bone marrow chimeric mice that lack NOS2 in either nonhematopoietic or hematopoietic cells had intermediate IgM and IgG3 Ab responses after NP-Ficoll immunization, suggesting that NOS2 from both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic sources regulates TI-2 Ab responses. Similar to NOS2(-/-) mice, depletion of Ly6C(hi) inflammatory monocytes and monocyte-derived DCs enhanced NP-specific IgM and IgG3 responses to NP-Ficoll. Thus, NO produced by inflammatory monocytes and their derivative DC subsets plays an important role in regulating BAFF production and TI-2 Ab responses.

Myeloid Derived Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1-alpha is Required for Protection Against Pulmonary Aspergillus Fumigatus Infection

PLoS Pathogens. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25255025

Hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) is the mammalian transcriptional factor that controls metabolism, survival, and innate immunity in response to inflammation and low oxygen. Previous work established that generation of hypoxic microenvironments occurs within the lung during infection with the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we demonstrate that A. fumigatus stabilizes HIF1α protein early after pulmonary challenge that is inhibited by treatment of mice with the steroid triamcinolone. Utilizing myeloid deficient HIF1α mice, we observed that HIF1α is required for survival and fungal clearance early following pulmonary challenge with A. fumigatus. Unlike previously reported research with bacterial pathogens, HIF1α deficient neutrophils and macrophages were surprisingly not defective in fungal conidial killing. The increase in susceptibility of the myeloid deficient HIF1α mice to A. fumigatus was in part due to decreased early production of the chemokine CXCL1 (KC) and increased neutrophil apoptosis at the site of infection, resulting in decreased neutrophil numbers in the lung. Addition of recombinant CXCL1 restored neutrophil survival and numbers, murine survival, and fungal clearance. These results suggest that there are unique HIF1α mediated mechanisms employed by the host for protection and defense against fungal pathogen growth and invasion in the lung. Additionally, this work supports the strategy of exploring HIF1α as a therapeutic target in specific immunosuppressed populations with fungal infections.

Compartment-specific and Sequential Role of MyD88 and CARD9 in Chemokine Induction and Innate Defense During Respiratory Fungal Infection

PLoS Pathogens. Jan, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25621893

Aspergillus fumigatus forms ubiquitous airborne conidia that humans inhale on a daily basis. Although respiratory fungal infection activates the adaptor proteins CARD9 and MyD88 via C-type lectin, Toll-like, and interleukin-1 family receptor signals, defining the temporal and spatial pattern of MyD88- and CARD9-coupled signals in immune activation and fungal clearance has been difficult to achieve. Herein, we demonstrate that MyD88 and CARD9 act in two discrete phases and in two cellular compartments to direct chemokine- and neutrophil-dependent host defense. The first phase depends on MyD88 signaling because genetic deletion of MyD88 leads to delayed induction of the neutrophil chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL5, delayed neutrophil lung trafficking, and fatal pulmonary damage at the onset of respiratory fungal infection. MyD88 expression in lung epithelial cells restores rapid chemokine induction and neutrophil recruitment via interleukin-1 receptor signaling. Exogenous CXCL1 administration reverses murine mortality in MyD88-deficient mice. The second phase depends predominately on CARD9 signaling because genetic deletion of CARD9 in radiosensitive hematopoietic cells interrupts CXCL1 and CXCL2 production and lung neutrophil recruitment beyond the initial MyD88-dependent phase. Using a CXCL2 reporter mouse, we show that lung-infiltrating neutrophils represent the major cellular source of CXCL2 during CARD9-dependent recruitment. Although neutrophil-intrinsic MyD88 and CARD9 function are dispensable for neutrophil conidial uptake and killing in the lung, global deletion of both adaptor proteins triggers rapidly progressive invasive disease when mice are challenged with an inoculum that is sub-lethal for single adapter protein knockout mice. Our findings demonstrate that distinct signal transduction pathways in the respiratory epithelium and hematopoietic compartment partially overlap to ensure optimal chemokine induction, neutrophil recruitment, and fungal clearance within the respiratory tract.

Calnexin Bridges the Gap Toward a Pan-fungal Vaccine

Cell Host & Microbe. Apr, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25856750

Vaccines are needed to combat the global rise in fungal diseases. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Wüthrich et al. (2015) identify calnexin as a target of antigen-specific CD4 T cell responses against multiple fungal pathogens. This study illustrates that a conserved epitope triggers convergent cell-mediated immune responses to confer heterologous antifungal immunity.

Deploying FLAREs to Visualize Functional Outcomes of Host-Pathogen Encounters

PLoS Pathogens. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26158781

Intestinal Monocyte-Derived Macrophages Control Commensal-Specific Th17 Responses

Cell Reports. Aug, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26279572

Generation of different CD4 T cell responses to commensal and pathogenic bacteria is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut environment, but the associated cellular mechanisms are poorly understood. Dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages (Mfs) integrate microbial signals and direct adaptive immunity. Although the role of DCs in initiating T cell responses is well appreciated, how Mfs contribute to the generation of CD4 T cell responses to intestinal microbes is unclear. Th17 cells are critical for mucosal immune protection and at steady state are induced by commensal bacteria, such as segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB). Here, we examined the roles of mucosal DCs and Mfs in Th17 induction by SFB in vivo. We show that Mfs, and not conventional CD103(+) DCs, are essential for the generation of SFB-specific Th17 responses. Thus, Mfs drive mucosal T cell responses to certain commensal bacteria.

CARD9-Dependent Neutrophil Recruitment Protects Against Fungal Invasion of the Central Nervous System

PLoS Pathogens. Dec, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26679537

Candida is the most common human fungal pathogen and causes systemic infections that require neutrophils for effective host defense. Humans deficient in the C-type lectin pathway adaptor protein CARD9 develop spontaneous fungal disease that targets the central nervous system (CNS). However, how CARD9 promotes protective antifungal immunity in the CNS remains unclear. Here, we show that a patient with CARD9 deficiency had impaired neutrophil accumulation and induction of neutrophil-recruiting CXC chemokines in the cerebrospinal fluid despite uncontrolled CNS Candida infection. We phenocopied the human susceptibility in Card9-/- mice, which develop uncontrolled brain candidiasis with diminished neutrophil accumulation. The induction of neutrophil-recruiting CXC chemokines is significantly impaired in infected Card9-/- brains, from both myeloid and resident glial cellular sources, whereas cell-intrinsic neutrophil chemotaxis is Card9-independent. Taken together, our data highlight the critical role of CARD9-dependent neutrophil trafficking into the CNS and provide novel insight into the CNS fungal susceptibility of CARD9-deficient humans.

Monocyte-mediated Defense Against Bacteria, Fungi, and Parasites

Seminars in Immunology. Dec, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 27021645

Circulating blood monocytes are a heterogeneous leukocyte population that contributes critical antimicrobial and regulatory functions during systemic and tissue-specific infections. These include patrolling vascular tissue for evidence of microbial invasion, infiltrating peripheral tissues and directly killing microbial invaders, conditioning the inflammatory milieu at sites of microbial tissue invasion, and orchestrating the activation of innate and adaptive immune effector cells. The central focus of this review is the in vivo mechanisms by which monocytes and their derivative cells promote microbial clearance and immune regulation. We include an overview of murine models to examine monocyte functions during microbial challenges and review our understanding of the functional roles of monocytes and their derivative cells in host defense against bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

Zinc and Manganese Chelation by Neutrophil S100A8/A9 (Calprotectin) Limits Extracellular Aspergillus Fumigatus Hyphal Growth and Corneal Infection

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26582948

Calprotectin, a heterodimer of S100A8 and S100A9, is an abundant neutrophil protein that possesses antimicrobial activity primarily because of its ability to chelate zinc and manganese. In the current study, we showed that neutrophils from calprotectin-deficient S100A9(-/-) mice have an impaired ability to inhibit Aspergillus fumigatus hyphal growth in vitro and in infected corneas in a murine model of fungal keratitis; however, the ability to inhibit hyphal growth was restored in S100A9(-/-) mice by injecting recombinant calprotectin. Furthermore, using recombinant calprotectin with mutations in either the Zn and Mn binding sites or the Mn binding site alone, we show that both zinc and manganese binding are necessary for calprotectin's antihyphal activity. In contrast to hyphae, we found no role for neutrophil calprotectin in uptake or killing of intracellular A. fumigatus conidia either in vitro or in a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis. We also found that an A. fumigatus ∆zafA mutant, which demonstrates deficient zinc transport, exhibits impaired growth in infected corneas and following incubation with neutrophils or calprotectin in vitro as compared with wild-type. Collectively, these studies demonstrate a novel stage-specific susceptibility of A. fumigatus to zinc and manganese chelation by neutrophil-derived calprotectin.

Role of Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor Signaling in Regulating Neutrophil Antifungal Activity and the Oxidative Burst During Respiratory Fungal Challenge

The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26908736

Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a pleiotropic cytokine that plays a critical role in regulating myeloid cell host defense. In this study, we demonstrated that GM-CSF signaling plays an essential role in antifungal defense against Aspergillus fumigatus. Mice that lack the GM-CSF receptor β chain (GM-CSFRβ) developed invasive hyphal growth and exhibited impaired survival after pulmonary challenge with A. fumigatus conidia. GM-CSFRβ signaling regulated the recruitment of inflammatory monocytes to infected lungs, but not the recruitment of effector neutrophils. Cell-intrinsic GM-CSFRβ signaling mediated neutrophil and inflammatory monocyte antifungal activity, because lung GM-CSFRβ(-/-) leukocytes exhibited impaired conidial killing compared with GM-CSFRβ(+/+) counterparts in mixed bone marrow chimeric mice. GM-CSFRβ(-/-) neutrophils exhibited reduced (hydrogenated) nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity in vivo. Conversely, administration of recombinant GM-CSF enhanced neutrophil NADPH oxidase function, conidiacidal activity, and lung fungal clearance in A. fumigatus-challenged mice. Thus, our study illustrates the functional role of GM-CSFRβ signaling on lung myeloid cell responses against inhaled A. fumigatus conidia and demonstrates a benefit for systemic GM-CSF administration.

DAP12 Inhibits Pulmonary Immune Responses to Cryptococcus Neoformans

Infection and Immunity. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27068093

Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that is inhaled into the lungs and can lead to life-threatening meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised patients. Currently, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the mammalian immune response to respiratory cryptococcal challenge remain poorly defined. DAP12, a signaling adapter for multiple pattern recognition receptors in myeloid and natural killer (NK) cells, has been shown to play both activating and inhibitory roles during lung infections by different bacteria and fungi. In this study, we demonstrate that DAP12 plays an important inhibitory role in the immune response to C. neoformans Infectious outcomes in DAP12(-/-) mice, including survival and lung fungal burden, are significantly improved compared to those in C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice. We find that eosinophils and macrophages are decreased while NK cells are increased in the lungs of infected DAP12(-/-) mice. In contrast to WT NK cells, DAP12(-/-) NK cells are able to repress C. neoformans growth in vitro Additionally, DAP12(-/-) macrophages are more highly activated than WT macrophages, with increased production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and CCL5/RANTES and more efficient uptake and killing of C. neoformans These findings suggest that DAP12 acts as a brake on the pulmonary immune response to C. neoformans by promoting pulmonary eosinophilia and by inhibiting the activation and antifungal activities of effector cells, including NK cells and macrophages.

New Advances in Invasive Aspergillosis Immunobiology Leading the Way Towards Personalized Therapeutic Approaches

Cytokine. Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27253487

Invasive aspergillosis (IA) remains a devastating disease in immune compromised patients despite significant advances in our understanding of fungal virulence and host defense mechanisms. In this review, we summarize important research advances in the fight against IA with particular focus on early events in the interactions between Aspergillus fumigatus and the host that occur in the respiratory tract. Advances in understanding mechanisms of immune effector cell recruitment, antifungal effector mechanisms, and how the dynamic host-fungal interaction alters the local microenvironment to effect outcomes are highlighted. These advances illustrate exciting new therapeutic opportunities, but also emphasize the importance of understanding each unique fungus-host interaction for improving patient outcomes.

Heterogeneity Among Isolates Reveals That Fitness in Low Oxygen Correlates with Aspergillus Fumigatus Virulence

MBio. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27651366

Previous work has shown that environmental and clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus represent a diverse population that occupies a variety of niches, has extensive genetic diversity, and exhibits virulence heterogeneity in a number of animal models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). However, mechanisms explaining differences in virulence among A. fumigatus isolates remain enigmatic. Here, we report a significant difference in virulence of two common lab strains, CEA10 and AF293, in the murine triamcinolone immunosuppression model of IPA, in which we previously identified severe low oxygen microenvironments surrounding fungal lesions. Therefore, we hypothesize that the ability to thrive within these lesions of low oxygen promotes virulence of A. fumigatus in this model. To test this hypothesis, we performed in vitro fitness and in vivo virulence analyses in the triamcinolone murine model of IPA with 14 environmental and clinical isolates of A. fumigatus Among these isolates, we observed a strong correlation between fitness in low oxygen in vitro and virulence. In further support of our hypothesis, experimental evolution of AF293, a strain that exhibits reduced fitness in low oxygen and reduced virulence in the triamcinolone model of IPA, results in a strain (EVOL20) that has increased hypoxia fitness and a corresponding increase in virulence. Thus, the ability to thrive in low oxygen correlates with virulence of A. fumigatus isolates in the context of steroid-mediated murine immunosuppression.

BCAP Inhibits Proliferation and Differentiation of Myeloid Progenitors in the Steady State and During Demand Situations

Blood. Mar, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28087538

B-cell adaptor for phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (BCAP) is a signaling adaptor expressed in mature hematopoietic cells, including monocytes and neutrophils. Here we investigated the role of BCAP in the homeostasis and development of these myeloid lineages. BCAP(-/-) mice had more bone marrow (BM) monocytes than wild-type (WT) mice, and in mixed WT:BCAP(-/-) BM chimeras, monocytes and neutrophils skewed toward BCAP(-/-) origin, showing a competitive advantage for BCAP(-/-) myeloid cells. BCAP was expressed in BM hematopoietic progenitors, including lineage(-)Sca-1(+)c-kit(+) (LSK), common myeloid progenitor, and granulocyte/macrophage progenitor (GMP) cells. At the steady state, BCAP(-/-) GMP cells expressed more IRF8 and less C/EBPα than did WT GMP cells, which correlated with an increase in monocyte progenitors and a decrease in granulocyte progenitors among GMP cells. Strikingly, BCAP(-/-) progenitors proliferated and produced more myeloid cells of both neutrophil and monocyte/macrophage lineages than did WT progenitors in myeloid colony-forming unit assays, supporting a cell-intrinsic role of BCAP in inhibiting myeloid proliferation and differentiation. Consistent with these findings, during cyclophosphamide-induced myeloablation or specific monocyte depletion, BCAP(-/-) mice replenished circulating monocytes and neutrophils earlier than WT mice. During myeloid replenishment after cyclophosphamide-induced myeloablation, BCAP(-/-) mice had increased LSK proliferation and increased numbers of LSK and GMP cells compared with WT mice. Furthermore, BCAP(-/-) mice accumulated more monocytes and neutrophils in the spleen than did WT mice during Listeria monocytogenes infection. Together, these data identify BCAP as a novel inhibitor of myelopoiesis in the steady state and of emergency myelopoiesis during demand conditions.

Validation of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Invasive Aspergillosis Following Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Blood. Mar, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28270451

Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Previous studies have reported an association between IA development and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), but many have not been replicated in a separate cohort. The presence of a positive serum galactomannan assay (SGM+) has also been associated with a worse prognosis in patients with IA, and genetic determinants in this subset of patients have not been systematically studied. The study cohort included 2,609 HCT recipients and their donor pairs: 483 with proven/probable IA (183 SGM+) and 2,126 with no IA by standard criteria. Of 25 SNPs previously published, we analyzed 20 in 14 genes that passed quality control. Samples were genotyped via microarray, and SNPs that could not be genotyped were imputed. The primary aim was to replicate SNPs associated with proven/probable IA at 2 years; secondary goals were to explore the associations using an endpoint of SGM+ IA or proven/probable using a different genetic model or time-to-IA (3 months vs. 2 years) compared to the original study. Two SNPs in two genes (PTX3, CLEC7a) were replicated. Thirteen SNPs in nine genes had an association at p≤0.05 using the secondary aims (PTX3, CLEC7a, CD209, CXCL10, TLR6, S100B, IFNG, PLG, TNFR1), with hazards ratios ranging from 1.2 to 3.29. Underlying genetic differences can influence development of IA following HCT. Identification of genetic predispositions to IA could have important implications in donor screening, risk stratification of recipients, monitoring, and prophylaxis.

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