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.
In a prospective surveillance study covering all pediatric wards in Austria, 308 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) were reported in hospitalized children <5 years of age between 2002 and 2012. Incidence was 7.1 per 100,000 per year for IPD with a case fatality rate of 3 %, and 1.9 per 100,000 per year for pneumococcal meningitis with a case fatality rate of 9 %. At hospital discharge, 17 % of the children were not fully recovered and suffered from problems such as hearing or motor deficits. Persistent sequelae 6 months after hospital discharge were present in 13 % of the children, a finding that emphasizes the seriousness of IPD. From 2007 onwards, we observed a shift of pneumococcal serotypes from those covered by the heptavalent vaccine to serotypes consequently added to 10- and 13-valent vaccines, particularly regarding serotype 19A. Among antimicrobial resistances detected, macrolide resistance was predominant; however, between 2002 and 2012, we saw an overall decrease of resistance rates. Conclusion: Considering this change of serotypes and the high rate of permanent sequelae after IPD, our data show the importance of pediatric pneumococcal vaccination and the relevance of continuous monitoring of circulating serotypes. By the end of 2012, which was the first year of universal mass vaccination against pneumococcal disease in Austria, no change in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease was observed yet.
Clearance of invading pathogens is essential to preventing overwhelming inflammation and sepsis that are symptomatic of bacterial peritonitis. Macrophages participate in this innate immune response by engulfing and digesting pathogens, a process called phagocytosis. Oxidized phospholipids (OxPL) are danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) generated in response to infection that can prevent the phagocytic clearance of bacteria. We investigated the mechanism underlying OxPL action in macrophages. Exposure to OxPL induced alterations in actin polymerization, resulting in spreading of peritoneal macrophages and diminished uptake of E. coli. Pharmacological and cell-based studies showed that an anchored pool of PKA mediates the effects of OxPL. Gene silencing approaches identified the A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP) WAVE1 as an effector of OxPL action in vitro. Chimeric Wave1(-/-) mice survived significantly longer after infection with E. coli and OxPL treatment in vivo. Moreover, we found that endogenously generated OxPL in human peritoneal dialysis fluid from end-stage renal failure patients inhibited phagocytosis via WAVE1. Collectively, these data uncover an unanticipated role for WAVE1 as a critical modulator of the innate immune response to severe bacterial infections.
Macrophages play a key role in responding to pathogens and initiate an inflammatory response to combat microbe multiplication. Deactivation of macrophages facilitates resolution of the inflammatory response. Deactivated macrophages are characterized by an immunosuppressive phenotype, but the lack of unique markers that can reliably identify these cells explains the poorly defined biological role of this macrophage subset. We identified lipocalin 2 (LCN2) as both a marker of deactivated macrophages and a macrophage deactivator. We show that LCN2 attenuated the early inflammatory response and impaired bacterial clearance, leading to impaired survival of mice suffering from pneumococcal pneumonia. LCN2 induced IL-10 formation by macrophages, skewing macrophage polarization in a STAT3-dependent manner. Pulmonary LCN2 levels were tremendously elevated during bacterial pneumonia in humans, and high LCN2 levels were indicative of a detrimental outcome from pneumonia with Gram-positive bacteria. Our data emphasize the importance of macrophage deactivation for the outcome of pneumococcal infections and highlight the role of LCN2 and IL-10 as determinants of macrophage performance in the respiratory tract.
CD36 is a scavenger receptor that exhibits pleiotropic functions, including adhesion to thrombospondin, inhibition of angiogenesis, transport of long-chain fatty acids, and clearance of apoptotic cells. In addition, it has been implicated in the host immune response because it acts as a coreceptor for TLR2 and plays a role in Staphylococcus aureus infection. However, its role in other Gram-positive bacterial infections is unclear. In this study, using mice deficient in CD36, we sought to examine the role of CD36 in pneumococcal pneumonia, a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. We show that CD36 is expressed on both alveolar macrophages and respiratory epithelial cells. Early in infection, CD36(-/-) mice have an exaggerated inflammatory response compared with wild-type littermate controls. In vitro studies using CD36(-/-) primary cells confirm the enhanced early inflammation in response to S. pneumoniae and its lipoteichoic acid, demonstrate that S. pneumoniae binds to cells via its phosphocholine residues, and suggest a role for CD36 in reducing inflammation induced by the phosphocholine residues of pneumococcal lipoteichoic acid. Later in infection, although CD36(-/-) mice exhibit impaired bacterial clearance, owing to a decreased capacity of CD36(-/-) macrophages to phagocytose S. pneumoniae, minor effects on mortality occur, in comparison with those in wild-type littermate control mice. These data show that CD36 contributes to the pulmonary host response during S. pneumoniae infection by virtue of its ability to act as a phagocytic receptor and as a modulator of the early innate immune response.
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