Infection-induced inflammation, frequently associated with increased production of proinflammatory cytokines, is considered a significant contributor to preterm birth. A G protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), encoded by Cnr2, is expressed in various immune cells and was shown to modulate immune responses. We show here that Cnr2, but not Cnr1, deficient mice are resistant to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-driven preterm birth and suppression of serum progesterone levels. After LPS challenge, Cnr2(-/-) mice exhibited increased serum levels of IL-10 with decreased IL-6 levels. These changes were associated with reduced LPS-induced Ptgs2 expression at the maternal-conceptus interface on day 16 of pregnancy. LPS stimulation of Cnr2(-/-) dendritic cells in vitro resulted in increased IL-10 with reduced IL-6 production and correlated with increased cAMP accumulation. Collectively, our results suggest that increased IL-10 production occurring via augmented cAMP accumulation represents a potential mechanism for the resistance of Cnr2(-/-) mice to LPS-induced preterm birth. These results may have clinical relevance, because currently, there are limited options to prevent preterm birth.
All three cytochrome P450 1 (CYP1) monooxygenases are believed to participate in lipid mediator biosynthesis and/or their local inactivation; however, distinct metabolic steps are unknown. We used multiple-reaction monitoring and liquid chromatography-UV coupled with tandem mass spectrometry-based lipid-mediator metabololipidomics to identify and quantify three lipid-mediator metabolomes in basal peritoneal and zymosan-stimulated inflammatory exudates, comparing Cyp1a1/1a2/1b1(?/?) C57BL/6J-background triple-knockout mice with C57BL/6J wild-type mice. Significant differences between untreated triple-knockout and wild-type mice were not found for peritoneal cell number or type or for basal CYP1 activities involving 11 identified metabolic steps. Following zymosan-initiated inflammation, 18 lipid mediators were identified, including members of the eicosanoids and specialized proresolving mediators (i.e., resolvins and protectins). Compared with wild-type mice, Cyp1 triple-knockout mice exhibited increased neutrophil recruitment in zymosan-treated peritoneal exudates. Zymosan stimulation was associated with eight statistically significantly altered metabolic steps: increased arachidonic acid-derived leukotriene B? (LTB?) and decreased 5S-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid; decreased docosahexaenoic acid-derived neuroprotectin D1/protectin D1, 17S-hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid, and 14S-hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid; and decreased eicosapentaenoic acid-derived 18R-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (HEPE), 15S-HEPE, and 12S-HEPE. In neutrophils analyzed ex vivo, elevated LTB? levels were shown to parallel increased neutrophil numbers, and 20-hydroxy-LTB? formation was found to be deficient in Cyp1 triple-knockout mice. Together, these results demonstrate novel contributions of CYP1 enzymes to the local metabolite profile of lipid mediators that regulate neutrophilic inflammation.
Alterations in the gut microbiota have been proposed to modify the development and maintenance of obesity and its sequelae. Definition of underlying mechanisms has lagged, although the ability of commensal gut microbes to drive pathways involved in inflammation and metabolism has generated compelling, testable hypotheses. We studied C57BL/6 mice from two vendors that differ in their obesogenic response and in their colonization by specific members of the gut microbiota having well-described roles in regulating gut immune responses. We confirmed the presence of robust differences in weight gain in mice from these different vendors during high fat diet stress. However, neither specific, highly divergent members of the gut microbiota (Lactobacillus murinus, segmented filamentous bacteria) nor the horizontally transmissible gut microbiota were found to be responsible. Constitutive differences in locomotor activity were observed, however. These data underscore the importance of selecting appropriate controls in this widely used model of human obesity.
Understanding the host response to oncolytic viruses is important to maximize their antitumor efficacy. Despite robust cytotoxicity and high virus production of an oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) in cultured human sarcoma cells, intratumoral (ITu) virus injection resulted in only mild antitumor effects in some xenograft models, prompting us to characterize the host inflammatory response. Virotherapy induced an acute neutrophilic infiltrate, a relative decrease of ITu macrophages, and a myeloid cell-dependent upregulation of host-derived vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Anti-VEGF antibodies, bevacizumab and r84, the latter of which binds VEGF and selectively inhibits binding to VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR2) but not VEGFR1, enhanced the antitumor effects of virotherapy, in part due to decreased angiogenesis but not increased virus production. Neither antibody affected neutrophilic infiltration but both partially mitigated virus-induced depletion of macrophages. Enhancement of virotherapy-mediated antitumor effects by anti-VEGF antibodies could largely be recapitulated by systemic depletion of CD11b(+) cells. These data suggest the combined effect of oHSV virotherapy and anti-VEGF antibodies is in part due to modulation of a host inflammatory reaction to virus. Our data provide strong preclinical support for combined oHSV and anti-VEGF antibody therapy and suggest that understanding and counteracting the innate host response may help enable the full antitumor potential of oncolytic virotherapy.
Recent studies have underscored physiological and pathophysiological roles for the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in immune counterregulation. However, IDO was first recognized as an antimicrobial effector, restricting tryptophan availability to Toxoplasma gondii and other pathogens in vitro. The biological relevance of these findings came under question when infectious phenotypes were not forthcoming in IDO-deficient mice. The recent discovery of an IDO homolog, IDO-2, suggested that the issue deserved reexamination. IDO inhibition during murine toxoplasmosis led to 100% mortality, with increased parasite burdens and no evident effects on the immune response. Similar studies revealed a counterregulatory role for IDO during leishmaniasis (restraining effector immune responses and parasite clearance), and no evident role for IDO in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Thus, IDO plays biologically important roles in the host response to diverse intracellular infections, but the dominant nature of this role--antimicrobial or immunoregulatory--is pathogen-specific.
Leishmaniasis remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the tropics. Available therapies are problematic due to toxicity, treatment duration and emerging drug resistance. Mouse models of leishmaniasis have demonstrated that disease outcome depends critically on the balance between effector and regulatory CD4(+) T cell responses, something mirrored in descriptive studies of human disease. Recombinant IL-2/diphtheria toxin fusion protein (rIL-2/DTx), a drug that is FDA-approved for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma, has been reported to deplete regulatory CD4(+) T cells.
Using a small scale ENU mutagenesis approach we identified a recessive germline mutant, designated Lampe1 that exhibited growth retardation and spontaneous hepatosteatosis. Low resolution mapping based on 20 intercrossed Lampe1 mice revealed linkage to a ?14 Mb interval on the distal site of chromosome 11 containing a total of 285 genes. Exons and 50 bp flanking sequences within the critical region were enriched with sequence capture microarrays and subsequently analyzed by next-generation sequencing. Using this approach 98.1 percent of the targeted DNA was covered with a depth of 10 or more reads per nucleotide and 3 homozygote mutations were identified. Two mutations represented intronic nucleotide changes whereas one mutation affected a splice donor site in intron 11-12 of Palmitoyl Acetyl-coenzyme A oxygenase-1 (Acox1), causing skipping of exon 12. Phenotyping of Acox1(Lampe1) mutants revealed a progression from hepatosteatosis to steatohepatitis, and ultimately hepatocellular carcinoma. The current approach provides a highly efficient and affordable method to identify causative mutations induced by ENU mutagenesis and animal models relevant to human pathology.
IFN-gamma has long been recognized as a cytokine with potent and varied effects in the immune response. Although its effects on specific cell types have been well studied in vitro, its in vivo effects are less clearly understood because of its diverse actions on many different cell types. Although control of multiple protozoan parasites is thought to depend critically on the direct action of IFN-gamma on macrophages, this premise has never been directly proven in vivo. To more directly examine the effects of IFN-gamma on cells of the macrophage lineage in vivo, we generated mice called the "macrophages insensitive to IFN-gamma" (MIIG) mice, which express a dominant negative mutant IFN-gamma receptor in CD68+ cells: monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, and mast cells. Macrophage lineage cells and mast cells from these mice are unable to respond to IFN-gamma, whereas other cells are able to produce and respond to this cytokine normally. When challenged in vitro, macrophages from MIIG mice were unable produce NO or kill Trypanosoma cruzi or Leishmania major after priming with IFN-gamma. Furthermore, MIIG mice demonstrated impaired parasite control and heightened mortality after T. cruzi, L. major, and Toxoplasma gondii infection, despite an appropriate IFN-gamma response. In contrast, MIIG mice displayed normal control of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, despite persistent insensitivity of macrophages to IFN-gamma. Thus, the MIIG mouse formally demonstrates for the first time in vivo, the specific importance of direct, IFN-gamma mediated activation of macrophages for controlling infection with multiple protozoan parasites.
IL-10 plays a central role in restraining the vigor of inflammatory responses, but the critical cellular sources of this counter-regulatory cytokine remain speculative in many disease models. Using a novel IL-10 transcriptional reporter mouse, we found an unexpected predominance of B cells (including plasma cells) among IL-10-expressing cells in peripheral lymphoid tissues at baseline and during diverse models of in vivo immunological challenge. Use of a novel B cell-specific IL-10 knockout mouse revealed that B cell-derived IL-10 nonredundantly decreases virus-specific CD8(+) T cell responses and plasma cell expansion during murine cytomegalovirus infection and modestly restrains immune activation after challenge with foreign Abs to IgD. In contrast, no role for B cell-derived IL-10 was evident during endotoxemia; however, although B cells dominated lymphoid tissue IL-10 production in this model, myeloid cells were dominant in blood and liver. These data suggest that B cells are an underappreciated source of counter-regulatory IL-10 production in lymphoid tissues, provide a clear rationale for testing the biological role of B cell-derived IL-10 in infectious and inflammatory disease, and underscore the utility of cell type-specific knockouts for mechanistic limning of immune counter-regulation.
Aeroallergy results from maladaptive immune responses to ubiquitous, otherwise innocuous environmental proteins. Although the proteins targeted by aeroallergic responses represent a tiny fraction of the airborne proteins humans are exposed to, allergenicity is a quite public phenomenon-the same proteins typically behave as aeroallergens across the human population. Why particular proteins tend to act as allergens in susceptible hosts is a fundamental mechanistic question that remains largely unanswered. The main house-dust-mite allergen, Der p 2, has structural homology with MD-2 (also known as LY96), the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-binding component of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 signalling complex. Here we show that Der p 2 also has functional homology, facilitating signalling through direct interactions with the TLR4 complex, and reconstituting LPS-driven TLR4 signalling in the absence of MD-2. Mirroring this, airway sensitization and challenge with Der p 2 led to experimental allergic asthma in wild type and MD-2-deficient, but not TLR4-deficient, mice. Our results indicate that Der p 2 tends to be targeted by adaptive immune responses because of its auto-adjuvant properties. The fact that other members of the MD-2-like lipid-binding family are allergens, and that most defined major allergens are thought to be lipid-binding proteins, suggests that intrinsic adjuvant activity by such proteins and their accompanying lipid cargo may have some generality as a mechanism underlying the phenomenon of allergenicity.
The scaffold protein p62 (sequestosome 1; SQSTM1) is an emerging key molecular link among the metabolic, immune, and proliferative processes of the cell. Here, we report that adipocyte-specific, but not CNS-, liver-, muscle-, or myeloid-specific p62-deficient mice are obese and exhibit a decreased metabolic rate caused by impaired nonshivering thermogenesis. Our results show that p62 regulates energy metabolism via control of mitochondrial function in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Accordingly, adipocyte-specific p62 deficiency led to impaired mitochondrial function, causing BAT to become unresponsive to ?-adrenergic stimuli. Ablation of p62 leads to decreased activation of p38 targets, affecting signaling molecules that control mitochondrial function, such as ATF2, CREB, PGC1?, DIO2, NRF1, CYTC, COX2, ATP5?, and UCP1. p62 ablation in HIB1B and BAT primary cells demonstrated that p62 controls thermogenesis in a cell-autonomous manner, independently of brown adipocyte development or differentiation. Together, our data identify p62 as a novel regulator of mitochondrial function and brown fat thermogenesis.
Airway mucus plays a critical role in clearing inhaled toxins, particles, and pathogens. Diverse toxic, inflammatory, and infectious insults induce airway mucus secretion and goblet cell metaplasia to preserve airway sterility and homeostasis. However, goblet cell metaplasia, mucus hypersecretion, and airway obstruction are integral features of inflammatory lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, and cystic fibrosis, which cause an immense burden of morbidity and mortality. These chronic lung diseases are united by susceptibility to microbial colonization and recurrent airway infections. Whether these twinned phenomena (mucous metaplasia, compromised host defenses) are causally related has been unclear. Here, we demonstrate that SAM pointed domain ETS factor (SPDEF) was induced by rhinoviral infection of primary human airway cells and that cytoplasmic activities of SPDEF, a transcriptional regulator of airway goblet cell metaplasia, inhibited Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation of epithelial cells. SPDEF bound to and inhibited activities of TLR signaling adapters, MyD88 and TRIF, inhibiting MyD88-induced cytokine production and TRIF-induced interferon ? production. Conditional expression of SPDEF in airway epithelial cells in vivo inhibited LPS-induced neutrophilic infiltration and bacterial clearance. SPDEF-mediated inhibition of both TLR and type I interferon signaling likely protects the lung against inflammatory damage when inciting stimuli are not eradicated. Present findings provide, at least in part, a molecular explanation for increased susceptibility to infection in lung diseases associated with mucous metaplasia and a mechanism by which patients with florid mucous metaplasia may tolerate microbial burdens that are usually associated with fulminant inflammatory disease in normal hosts.
The balance between alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs)/M2 cells and classically activated macrophages (M1 cells) is largely dependent on the effects of IL-4 and interferon (IFN)-?, respectively. Although AAM/M2 cells can suppress inflammation and repair damaged tissue, M1 cells produce an array of pro-inflammatory molecules. Macrophage effector functions are critical for host protection against many infectious diseases, but it remains unknown whether lethal immunopathological characteristics, caused by Schistosoma mansoni infection in IL-4 receptor ?-deficient mice (IL-4R?(-/-)), results from the absence of M2 cells or increased numbers of M1 cells. In this study, we generated mice that completely lack IL-4R? signaling in the context of a macrophage-specific loss of IFN-? responsiveness (MIIG × IL-4R?(-/-)). Contrary to what we expected, acute schistosomiasis resulted in greater liver injury and mortality in MIIG × IL-4R?(-/-) mice compared with IL-4R?(-/-) mice. Greater tissue injury in MIIG × IL-4R?(-/-) mice was likely because of a lack of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO), a critical regulator of immunosuppression. Indeed, MIIG × IL-4R?(-/-) failed to up-regulate IDO expression, and IL-4R?(-/-) mice treated with an IDO antagonist underwent greater liver damage and mortality compared with mock-treated IL-4R?(-/-) mice. Thus, we propose that, in the absence of AAM/M2 cells, IFN-?-induced M1 cells suppress tissue-damaging inflammation during acute schistosomiasis through an IDO-dependent mechanism.
Mechanistic understanding of RP105 has been confounded by the fact that this TLR homolog has appeared to have opposing, cell type-specific effects on TLR4 signaling. Although RP105 inhibits TLR4-driven signaling in cell lines and myeloid cells, impaired LPS-driven proliferation by B cells from RP105(-/-) mice has suggested that RP105 facilitates TLR4 signaling in B cells. In this article, we show that modulation of B cell proliferation by RP105 is not a function of B cell-intrinsic expression of RP105, and identify a mechanistic role for dysregulated BAFF expression in the proliferative abnormalities of B cells from RP105(-/-) mice: serum BAFF levels are elevated in RP105(-/-) mice, and partial BAFF neutralization rescues aberrant B cell proliferative responses in such mice. These data indicate that RP105 does not have dichotomous effects on TLR4 signaling and emphasize the need for caution in interpreting the results of global genetic deletion.
Inflammation plays a central pathogenic role in the pernicious metabolic and end-organ sequelae of obesity. Among these sequelae, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common chronic liver disease in the developed world. The twinned observations that obesity is associated with increased activation of the interleukin (IL)-17 axis and that this axis can regulate liver damage in diverse contexts prompted us to address the role of IL-17RA signaling in the progression of NAFLD. We further examined whether microbe-driven IL-17A regulated NAFLD development and progression. We show here that IL-17RA(-/-) mice respond to high-fat diet stress with significantly greater weight gain, visceral adiposity, and hepatic steatosis than wild-type controls. However, obesity-driven lipid accumulation was uncoupled from its end-organ consequences in IL-17RA(-/-) mice, which exhibited decreased steatohepatitis, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-oxidase enzyme expression, and hepatocellular damage. Neutralization of IL-17A significantly reduced obesity-driven hepatocellular damage in wild-type mice. Further, colonization of mice with segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB), a commensal that induces IL-17A production, exacerbated obesity-induced hepatocellular damage. In contrast, SFB depletion protected from obesity-induced hepatocellular damage. Conclusion: These data indicate that obesity-driven activation of the IL-17 axis is central to the development and progression of NAFLD to steatohepatitis and identify the IL-17 pathway as a novel therapeutic target in this condition. (Hepatology 2013).
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