Mutations in the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 (NOD2) play an important role in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease. NOD2 is an intracellular pattern recognition receptor (PRR) that senses bacterial peptidoglycan (PGN) structures, e.g., muramyl dipeptide (MDP). Here we focused on the effect of more-cross-linked, polymeric PGN fragments (PGNpol) in the activation of the innate immune system. In this study, the effect of combined NOD2 and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) stimulation was examined compared to single stimulation of the NOD2 receptor alone. PGNpol species derived from a lipoprotein-containing Staphylococcus aureus strain (SA113) and a lipoprotein-deficient strain (SA113 ?lgt) were isolated. While PGNpol constitutes a combined NOD2 and TLR2 ligand, lipoprotein-deficient PGNpol?lgt leads to activation of the immune system only via the NOD2 receptor. Murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs), J774 cells, and Mono Mac 6 (MM6) cells were stimulated with these ligands. Cytokines (interleukin-6 [IL-6], IL-12p40, and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-?]) as well as DC activation and maturation parameters were measured. Stimulation with PGNpol?lgt did not lead to enhanced cytokine secretion or DC activation and maturation. However, stimulation with PGNpol led to strong cytokine secretion and subsequent DC maturation. These results were confirmed in MM6 and J774 cells. We showed that the NOD2-mediated activation of DCs with PGNpol was dependent on TLR2 costimulation. Therefore, signaling via both receptors leads to a more potent activation of the immune system than that with stimulation via each receptor alone.
Mutations in the NOD2 gene are a significant risk factor to acquire intestinal failure requiring home parenteral nutrition. Tuberculous lymphadenitis is the main manifestation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Defects in the innate immunity, including NOD2 mutations, may increase the risk for acquiring infections caused by M. tuberculosis. An association of intestinal failure, mutations in the NOD2 gene and tuberculous lymphadenitis has not been described before.
The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and especially multidrug-resistant TB (MDR) continues to increase alarmingly worldwide, and reliable and fast diagnosis of MDR is essential for the adequate treatment of patients. In contrast to the standard culture methods, nucleid acid amplification tests (NAATs) provide information about presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) DNA and a potential resistance pattern within hours. We analyzed specimens of 110 patients from Nigeria comparing culture-based drug susceptibility testing (DST) to NAAT assays detecting isoniazid (INH), rifampicin (RMP) (GenoType MTBDRplus), and ethambutol (EMB) (GenoType MTBDRsl) resistance. Compared to DST, the GenoType MTBDRplus and MTBDRsl showed a specificity of 100% (86.3-100) and a sensitivity of 86% (42.1-99.6%) for detection of INH and a specificity of 100% (86.3-100) and a sensitivity of 83% (35.9-99.6%) for detection of RMP, and a sensitivity 100% (47.8-100%) for EMB resistance. However, in two strains, the NAAT assays provided false susceptible results as the mutations causing resistance were in genomic regions not covered by the probes of the GenoType MTBDRplus assay. We show that, in combination to DST, application of the GenoType MTBDRplus and GenoType MTBDRsl assays might be a useful additional tool to allow a rapid and safe diagnosis of MDR and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) MTBC.
The intestinal microbiota is a complex community of microorganisms that colonizes the gastrointestinal tract. The composition of the intestinal microbiota and the number of microorganisms differ in dependency of the local environmental conditions. The intestinal microbiota has an important impact on the development of the intestinal architecture and function, it influences the development of the gut-associated immune system, and epithelial cell functions. One of the most important functions of the intestinal microbiota is the prevention of bacterial overgrowth and susceptibility to infection with enteropathogenic organisms. Additionally, the intestinale microbiota plays a crucial role in the development of the systemic immunity and has an important influence on the host nutrition and metabolism. However, in genetically predisposed hosts, the intestinal microbiota is involved in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases and pouchitis. Additionally, recent studies suggest that there might be an inflammation triggering effect of the intestinal microbiota in necrotizing enterocolitis. Here, we give an overview of the intestinal microbiota and its variety of roles in health and disease.
Between 20?000 and 35?000 cases of salmonellosis are detected annually in Germany, but only a few Salmonella are resistant to third-generation cephalosporins. The German National Reference Centre for Salmonella and other Enterics obtained 150 Salmonella enterica isolates from human infections between 2005 and 2011. In the present study we identified the ?-lactamase genes causing resistance to third-generation cephalosporins in these isolates.
CCL2, also referred to as MCP-1, is critically involved in directing the migration of blood monocytes to sites of inflammation. Consequently, excessive CCL2 secretion has been linked to many inflammatory diseases, whereas a lack of expression severely impairs immune responsiveness. We demonstrate that I?B?, an atypical I?B family member and transcriptional coactivator required for the selective expression of a subset of NF-?B target genes, is a key activator of the Ccl2 gene. I?B?-deficient macrophages exhibited impaired secretion of CCL2 when challenged with diverse inflammatory stimuli, such as LPS or peptidoglycan. These findings were reflected at the level of Ccl2 gene expression, which was tightly coupled to the presence of I?B?. Moreover, mechanistic insights acquired by chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrate that I?B? is directly recruited to the proximal promoter region of the Ccl2 gene and is required for transcription-enhancing histone H3 at lysine-4 trimethylation. Finally, I?B?-deficient mice showed significantly impaired CCL2 secretion and monocyte infiltration in an experimental model of peritonitis. Together, these findings suggest a distinguished role of I?B? in mediating the targeted recruitment of monocytes in response to local inflammatory events.
The intestinal microbiota is an important determinant of the mucosal response. In patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), the mucosal immune system has inappropriate interactions with the intestinal microbiota. We investigated how the composition of the intestinal microbiota affects its endotoxicity and development of colitis in mice.
The beneficial effects of nonpathogenic bacteria are increasingly being recognized. We reported in a placebo-controlled study with atopic dermatitis (AD) patients that cutaneous exposure to lysates of nonpathogenic bacteria alleviates skin inflammation. To now unravel underlying mechanisms, immune consequences of sensing nonpathogenic bacterium Vitreoscilla filiformis lysate (Vf) were characterized analyzing (1) differentiation of dendritic cells (DCs) and, consecutively, (2) effector functions of DCs and T helper (Th) cells in vitro and in a murine model of AD in NC/Nga mice in vivo. Topical treatment with Vf significantly reduced AD-like inflammation in NC/Nga mice. Importantly, cutaneous exposure to Vf in combination with the allergen FITC significantly also reduced subsequent allergen-induced dermatitis indicating active immune modulation. Indeed, innate sensing of Vf predominantly induced IL-10-producing DCs, which was dependent on Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) activation. Vf-induced IL-10+ DCs primed naive CD4+ T helper cells to become regulatory IFN-?(low) IL-10(high) Tr1 (type 1 regulatory T) cells. These IL-10(high) Tr1 cells were also induced by Vf in vivo and strongly suppressed T effector cells and inflammation. In conclusion, we show that innate sensing of nonpathogenic bacteria by TLR2 induces tolerogenic DCs and regulatory Tr1 cells suppressing T effector cells and cutaneous inflammation. These findings indicate a promising therapeutic strategy for inflammatory skin diseases like AD.
In industrialized countries bacterial intestinal infections are commonly caused by enteropathogenic Enterobacteriaceae. The interaction of the microbiota with the host immune system determines the adequacy of an appropriate response against pathogens. In this study we addressed whether the probiotic Bifidobacterium adolescentis is protective during intestinal Yersinia enterocolitica infection. Female C57BL/6 mice were fed with B. adolescentis, infected with Yersinia enterocolitica, or B. adolescentis fed and subsequently infected with Yersinia enterocolitica. B. adolescentis fed and Yersinia infected mice were protected from Yersinia infection as indicated by a significantly reduced weight loss and splenic Yersinia load when compared to Yersinia infected mice. Moreover, protection from infection was associated with increased intestinal plasmacytoid dendritic cell and regulatory T-cell frequencies. Plasmacytoid dendritic cell function was investigated using depletion experiments by injecting B. adolescentis fed, Yersinia infected C57BL/6 mice with anti-mouse PDCA-1 antibody, to deplete plasmacytoid dendritic cells, or respective isotype control. The B. adolescentis-mediated protection from Yersinia dissemination to the spleen was abrogated after plasmacytoid dendritic cell depletion indicating a crucial function for pDC in control of intestinal Yersinia infection. We suggest that feeding of B. adolescentis modulates the intestinal immune system in terms of increased plasmacytoid dendritic cell and regulatory T-cell frequencies, which might account for the B. adolescentis-mediated protection from Yersinia enterocolitica infection.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the most common infections in both hospitalised and ambulant patients. Rapid diagnostic of UTIs is necessary to provide early information about the presence of bacteria and the indication to administer an antibiotic therapy. Here we report on a study comparing 3 different rapid automated systems with the semiquantitative plate culture reference method in a university hospital with a highly complex patient population. In total, 2230 urine samples were consecutively tested using the UroQuick (Alifax), the BACSYS-40i (Sysmex), and the UF-1000i (Sysmex) system. In comparison to the results obtained by culture techniques, the automated systems showed a sensitivity of 73.0-80.9% and a specificity ranging between 61.8% and 92.8%. Additionally, sensitivity and specificity for the most common UTI-causing microorganisms were analysed and showed that sensitivity and specificity correlate with the colony forming units of microorganisms in the urine, with a sensitivity of nearly 90% for Gram-negative rods, typical for community acquired UTIs, but a very low sensitivity for Gram-positive bacteria and yeasts. This led us to the conclusion that the currently available automated systems might be rather helpful to analyse a typical UTI in an ambulant patient population but not for rapid diagnosis of UTIs in a complex population of hospitalized patients.
Immune cells and inflammatory mediators are released from the gastrointestinal tract into the mesenteric lymph during sepsis causing distant organ dysfunction. Recently, it was demonstrated that macrophages in the gut wall are controlled by the vagus nerve, the so-called cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.
Detection of tuberculosis as the underlying disease in uveitis can be problematic because of the limited sensitivity of conventional diagnostic methods, especially in the case of latent infection. The aim of our study was to evaluate the clinical usefulness of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/CT ((18)F-FDG-PET/CT) in patients with uveitis and positive interferon-? release assay.
Probiotics are viable microorganisms that are increasingly used for treatment of a variety of diseases. Occasionally, however, probiotics may have adverse clinical effects, including septicemia. Here we examined the role of the intestinal microbiota and the adaptive immune system in preventing translocation of probiotics (e.g., Escherichia coli Nissle). We challenged C57BL/6J mice raised under germfree conditions (GF-raised C57BL/6J mice) and Rag1(-/-) mice raised under germfree conditions (GF-raised Rag1(-/-) mice) and under specific-pathogen-free conditions (SPF-raised Rag1(-/-) mice) with probiotic E. coli strain Nissle 1917, strain Nissle 1917 mutants, the commensal strain E. coli mpk, or Bacteroides vulgatus mpk. Additionally, we reconstituted Rag1(-/-) mice with CD4(+) T cells. E. coli translocation and dissemination and the mortality of mice were assessed. In GF-raised Rag1(-/-) mice, but not in SPF-raised Rag1(-/-) mice or GF-raised C57BL/6J mice, oral challenge with E. coli strain Nissle 1917, but not oral challenge with E. coli mpk, resulted in translocation and dissemination. The mortality rate was significantly higher for E. coli strain Nissle 1917-challenged GF-raised Rag1(-/-) mice (100%; P < 0.001) than for E. coli strain Nissle 1917-challenged SPF-raised Rag1(-/-) mice (0%) and GF-raised C57BL/6J mice (0%). Translocation of and mortality due to strain E. coli Nissle 1917 in GF-raised Rag1(-/-) mice were prevented when mice were reconstituted with T cells prior to strain E. coli Nissle 1917 challenge, but not when mice were reconstituted with T cells after E. coli strain Nissle 1917 challenge. Cocolonization experiments revealed that E. coli mpk could not prevent translocation of strain E. coli Nissle 1917. Moreover, we demonstrated that neither lipopolysaccharide structure nor flagella play a role in E. coli strain Nissle 1917 translocation and dissemination. Our results suggest that if both the microbiota and adaptive immunity are defective, translocation across the intestinal epithelium and dissemination of the probiotic E. coli strain Nissle 1917 may occur and have potentially severe adverse effects. Future work should define the possibly related molecular factors that promote probiotic functions, fitness, and facultative pathogenicity.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are key players in activation of the adaptive immune system by their ability of antigen presentation to and priming of T cells. An increasing body of evidence suggests that DCs may also play an important role in induction of tolerance, predominantly by induction of regulatory T cells (T(reg)). More recently, data have been published on how Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands and cytokines affect DC differentiation, and how DC subsets might be involved in immunoregulation and tolerance rather than in T cell activation. The most important features of tolerance-inducing DCs appear to be their maturation state and their cytokine secretion pattern. The following types of tolerance-inducing DCs have been reported: immature DCs (DCs(im)) or DCs in the steady state (DCs(st)), DCs(IL-10), semi-mature DCs(TNF-alpha), semi-mature DCs(IL-6). With this review article we would like to discuss the aforementioned types of tolerogenic DCs with a focus on semi-mature DCs(IL-6) and discuss their potential role in maintenance of (hepatic or intestinal) immune homeostasis and inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflammatory diseases influence tissue metabolism, significantly altering the profile of extracellular adenine nucleotides. A number of studies have suggested that adenosine (Ado) may function as an endogenously generated anti-inflammatory molecule. Given the central role of intestinal epithelial cells to the development of colitis, we hypothesized that specific Ado receptors would contribute to disease resolution in mucosal inflammation as modeled by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) colitis. Initial profiling studies revealed that murine intestinal epithelial cells express predominantly the Ado A2B receptor (AA2BR) and to a lesser extent AA2AR. Guided by these results, we examined the contribution of AA2BR to colitis. Initial studies indicated that the severity of colitis was increased in Aa2br(-/-) mice relative to Aa2br(+/+) controls, as reflected by increased weight loss, colonic shortening, and disease activity indices. Likewise, enteral administration of the selective AA2BR inhibitor PSB1115 to Aa2br(+/+) mice resulted in a similar increase in severity of DSS colitis. Cytokine profiling of colonic tissue revealed specific deficiencies in IL-10 in Aa2br(-/-) mice relative to controls. Extensions of these findings in cultured human intestinal epithelial cells revealed that stable Ado analogs induce IL-10 mRNA and protein and that such increases can be blocked with PSB1115. Taken together, these studies indicate a central regulatory role for AA2BR-modulated IL-10 in the acute inflammatory phase of DSS colitis, thereby implicating AA2BR as an endogenously protective molecule expressed on intestinal epithelial cells.
Polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes (neutrophils) are tightly controlled by an incompletely understood homeostatic feedback loop adjusting the marrows supply to peripheral needs. Although it has long been known that marrow cellularity is inversely correlated with G-CSF levels, the mechanism linking peripheral clearance to production remains unknown. Herein, the feedback response to antibody induced neutropenia is characterized to consist of G-CSF–dependent shifts of marrow hematopoietic progenitor populations including expansion of the lin-/Sca-1/c-kit (LSK) and granulocyte macrophage progenitor (GMP) compartments at the expense of thrombopoietic and red cell precursors. Evidence is provided that positive feedback regulation is independent from commensal germs as well as T, B, and NK cells. However, in vivo feedback is impaired in TLR4-/- and TRIF-/-, but not MyD88-/- animals. In conclusion, steady-state neutrophil homeostasis is G-CSF–dependent and regulated through pattern-recognition receptors,thereby directly linking TLR-triggering to granulopoiesis.
"Quorum sensing" (QS) is the phenomenon which allows single bacterial cells to measure the concentration of bacterial signal molecules. Two principle different QS systems are known, the Autoinducer 1 system (AI-1) for the intraspecies communication using different Acyl-homoserine lactones (AHL) and AI-2 for the interspecies communication. Aim of this study was to investigate QS of Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (Mutaflor).
DC are among the first antigen presenting cells encountering bacteria at mucosal surfaces, and play an important role in maintenance of regular homeostasis in the intestine. Upon stimulation DC undergo activation and maturation and as initiators of T cell responses they have the capacity to stimulate naïve T cells. However, stimulation of naïve murine DC with B. vulgatus or LPS at low concentration drives DC to a semimature (sm) state with low surface expression of activation-markers and a reduced capacity to activate T-cells. Additionally, semimature DC are nonresponsive to subsequent TLR stimulation in terms of maturation, TNF-? but not IL-6 production. Ligation of CD40 is an important mechanism in enhancing DC maturation, function and capacity to activate T-cells. We investigated whether the DC semimaturation can be overcome by CD40 ligation.
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