The activation of innate immune cells triggers numerous intracellular signaling pathways, which require tight control to mount an adequate immune response. The PI3K signaling pathway is intricately involved in innate immunity, and its activation dampens the expression and release of proinflammatory cytokines in myeloid cells. These signaling processes are strictly regulated by the PI3K antagonist, the lipid phosphatase, PTEN, a known tumor suppressor. Importantly, PTEN is responsible for the elevated production of cytokines such as IL-6 in response to TLR agonists, and deletion of PTEN results in diminished inflammatory responses. However, the mechanisms by which PI3K negatively regulates TLR signaling are only partially resolved. We observed that Arginase I expression and secretion were markedly induced by PTEN deletion, suggesting PTEN(-/-) macrophages were alternatively activated. This was mediated by increased expression and activation of the transcription factors C/EBP? and STAT3. Genetic and pharmacologic experimental approaches in vitro, as well as in vivo autoimmunity models, provide convincing evidence that PI3K/PTEN-regulated extracellular Arginase I acts as a paracrine regulator of inflammation and immunity.
Phagocytosis and inflammation within the lungs is crucial for host defense during bacterial pneumonia. Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-2 was proposed to negatively regulate TLR-mediated responses and enhance phagocytosis by macrophages, but the role of TREM-2 in respiratory tract infections is unknown. Here, we established the presence of TREM-2 on alveolar macrophages (AM) and explored the function of TREM-2 in the innate immune response to pneumococcal infection in vivo. Unexpectedly, we found Trem-2-/- AM to display augmented bacterial phagocytosis in vitro and in vivo compared to WT AM. Mechanistically, we detected that in the absence of TREM-2, pulmonary macrophages selectively produced elevated complement component 1q (C1q) levels. We found that these increased C1q levels depended on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR-?) activity and were responsible for the enhanced phagocytosis of bacteria. Upon infection with S. pneumoniae, Trem-2-/- mice exhibited an augmented bacterial clearance from lungs, decreased bacteremia and improved survival compared to their WT counterparts. This work is the first to disclose a role for TREM-2 in clinically relevant respiratory tract infections and demonstrates a previously unknown link between TREM-2 and opsonin production within the lungs.
Local bone destruction in rheumatic diseases, which often leads to disability and severely reduced quality of life, is almost exclusively mediated by osteoclasts. Therefore, it is important to understand pathways regulating the generation of osteoclasts. Here, we analysed the impact of the Phosphoinositide-3-Kinase (PI3K)/Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) axis on osteoclast generation and bone biology under basal and inflammatory conditions.
Sepsis still remains a major cause for morbidity and mortality in patients. The molecular mechanisms underlying the disease are still enigmatic. A great number of therapeutic approaches have failed and treatment strategies are limited to date. Among those few admitted for clinical intervention, intensive insulin treatment has proven to be effective in the reduction of disease related complications in critically ill patients. Insulin effectively reduces glucose levels and thereby contributes to protection. On the other hand insulin is a potent signaling pathway activator. One of those is the PI3K signaling axis. Activation of PI3K is known to limit pro-inflammatory gene expression. Here we can show that in a mouse model of insulin hypersensitivity induced by the deletion of the PI3K antagonist PTEN, specifically in hepatic tissue, significant protection is conferred in murine models of lethal endotoxemia and sepsis. Acute inflammatory responses are diminished, glucose metabolism normalized and vascular activation is reduced. Furthermore we investigated the hepatic gene expression profile of relevant anti-inflammatory genes in PTEN deficient mice and found marked upregulation of PPAR? and HO-1. We conclude from our data that insulin hypersensitivity via sustained activation of the PI3K signaling pathway exerts protective effects in acute inflammatory processes.
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