A growing body of evidence indicates that the kidneys contribute substantially to immune defense against pathogens in the urinary tract. In this issue, Paragas et al. report that ?-intercalated cells (A-ICs) within the nephron collecting duct sense infecting Gram-negative bacteria, resulting in simultaneously secretion of the iron chelating protein lipocalin 2 (LCN2) and protons, which acidify the urine. A-IC-specific LCN2 and proton secretion markedly reduced the ability of infecting uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) to grow and sustain infection. The capacity of A-ICs to sense and actively promote clearance of infecting bacteria in the lower urinary tract represents a novel function for these specialized kidney cells, which are best known for their role in modulating acid-base homeostasis.
Pathologically swollen lymph nodes (LNs), or buboes, characterize Yersinia pestis infection, yet how they form and function is unknown. We report that colonization of the draining LN (dLN) occurred due to trafficking of infected dendritic cells and monocytes in temporally distinct waves in response to redundant chemotactic signals, including through CCR7, CCR2, and sphingosine-1-phospate (S1P) receptors. Retention of multiple subsets of phagocytes within peripheral LNs using the S1P receptor agonist FTY720 or S1P1-specific agonist SEW2871 increased survival, reduced colonization of downstream LNs, and limited progression to transmission-associated septicemic or pneumonic disease states. Conditional deletion of S1P1 in mononuclear phagocytes abolished node-to-node trafficking of infected cells. Thus, Y. pestis-orchestrated LN remodeling promoted its dissemination via host cells through the lymphatic system but can be blocked by prevention of leukocyte egress from DLNs. These findings define a novel trafficking route of mononuclear phagocytes and identify S1P as a therapeutic target during infection.
Antimicrobial agents secreted into urine potentially play a powerful role in the defense of the urinary tract. In this issue of Immunity, Jaillon et al. (2014) describe a role for pentraxin 3 molecules in complementing the host's cellular innate immune responses to uropathogens.
Mast cells (MCs) are selectively found at the host environment interface and are capable of secreting a wide array of pharmacologically active mediators, many of which are prepackaged in granules. Over the past two decades, it has become clear that these cells have the capacity to recognize a range of infectious agents allowing them to play a key role in initiating and modulating early immune responses to infectious agents. However, a number of pathogenic and commensal microbes appear to have evolved distinct mechanisms to suppress MC mediator release to avoid elimination in the host. Understanding how these microbes suppress MC functions may have significant therapeutic value to relieve inflammatory disorders mediated by MCs.
The virulence of Salmonella is linked to its invasive capacity and suppression of adaptive immunity. This does not explain, however, the rapid dissemination of the pathogen after it breaches the gut. In our study, S. Typhimurium suppressed degranulation of local mast cells (MCs), resulting in limited neutrophil recruitment and restricting outflow of vascular contents into infection sites, thus facilitating bacterial spread. MC suppression was mediated by secreted effector protein (SptP), which shares structural homology with Yersinia YopH. SptP functioned by dephosphorylating the vesicle fusion protein N-ethylmalemide-sensitive factor and by blocking phosphorylation of Syk. Without SptP, orally challenged S. Typhimurium failed to suppress MC degranulation and exhibited limited colonization of the mesenteric lymph nodes. Administration of SptP to sites of E. coli infection markedly enhanced its virulence. Thus, SptP-mediated inactivation of local MCs is a powerful mechanism utilized by S. Typhimurium to impede early innate immunity.
The development and use of vaccines and their ability to prevent infection/disease is a shining example of the benefit of biomedical research. Modern vaccines often utilize subunit immunogens that exhibit minimal immunogenicity and require the use of adjuvants to maximize the induction of protective immune responses. We recently described a novel class of vaccine adjuvants, mast cell (MC) activators, that exhibit safe and effective vaccine adjuvant activity when administered by intranasal or intradermal routes. A compound library containing 580 functionalized benzopyrans, a structural motif found in a diverse array of natural and designed bioactive compounds, was screened using a MC degranulation assay to identify novel MC activating compounds for future evaluation as novel vaccine adjuvants. This approach identified 12 novel MC degranulating compounds. Therefore, MC degranulation can be used to reliably detect novel compounds for evaluation as adjuvants for use in mucosal vaccine strategies.
Dengue virus (DENV) is a human pathogen that causes severe and potentially fatal disease in millions of individuals each year. Immune-mediated pathology is thought to underlie many of the complications of DENV infection in humans, but the notable limitations of the available animal models have impeded our knowledge of the interactions between DENV and the immune system. In this Opinion article, we discuss some of the controversies in the field of dengue research relating to the interaction between DENV and the mammalian host. We highlight key barriers hindering our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of DENV and offer suggestions for the most effective ways in which the role of the immune system in the protection from, and pathology of, DENV infection can be addressed experimentally.
Mast cells (MCs), which are granulated tissue-resident cells of hematopoietic lineage, constitute a major sensory arm of the innate immune system. In this review we discuss the evidence supporting the dual role of MCs, both as sentinels for invading pathogens and as regulatory cells throughout the course of acute inflammation, from its initiation to resolution. This versatility is dependent on the ability of MCs to detect pathogens and danger signals and release a unique panel of mediators to promote pathogen-specific clearance mechanisms, such as through cellular recruitment or vascular permeability. It is increasingly understood that MCs also contribute to the regulated contraction of immune activation that occurs within tissues as inflammation resolves. This overarching regulatory control over innate immune processes has made MCs successful targets to purposefully enhance or, alternatively, suppress MC responses in multiple therapeutic contexts.
Broad-spectrum antiviral drugs are urgently needed to treat individuals infected with new and re-emerging viruses, or with viruses that have developed resistance to antiviral therapies. Mammalian natural host defense peptides (mNHP) are short, usually cationic, peptides that have direct antimicrobial activity, and which in some instances activate cell-mediated antiviral immune responses. Although mNHP have potent activity in vitro, efficacy trials in vivo of exogenously provided mNHP have been largely disappointing, and no mNHP are currently licensed for human use. Mastoparan is an invertebrate host defense peptide that penetrates lipid bilayers, and we reasoned that a mastoparan analog might interact with the lipid component of virus membranes and thereby reduce infectivity of enveloped viruses. Our objective was to determine whether mastoparan-derived peptide MP7-NH2 could inactivate viruses of multiple types, and whether it could stimulate cell-mediated antiviral activity. We found that MP7-NH2 potently inactivated a range of enveloped viruses. Consistent with our proposed mechanism of action, MP7-NH2 was not efficacious against a non-enveloped virus. Pre-treatment of cells with MP7-NH2 did not reduce the amount of virus recovered after infection, which suggested that the primary mechanism of action in vitro was direct inactivation of virus by MP7-NH2. These results demonstrate for the first time that a mastoparan derivative has broad-spectrum antiviral activity in vitro and suggest that further investigation of the antiviral properties of mastoparan peptides in vivo is warranted.
Vesicoureteric reflux (VUR) is a common congenital defect of the urinary tract that is usually discovered after a child develops a urinary tract infection. It is associated with reflux nephropathy, a renal lesion characterized by the presence of chronic tubulointersitial inflammation and fibrosis. Most patients are diagnosed with reflux nephropathy after one or more febrile urinary tract infections, suggesting a potential role for infection in its development. We have recently shown that the C3H mouse has a 100% incidence of VUR. Here, we evaluate the roles of VUR and uropathogenic Escherichia coli infection in the development of reflux nephropathy in the C3H mouse. We find that VUR in combination with sustained kidney infection is crucial to the development of reflux nephropathy, whereas sterile reflux alone fails to induce reflux nephropathy. A single bout of kidney infection without reflux fails to induce reflux nephropathy. The host immune response to infection was examined in two refluxing C3H substrains, HeN and HeJ. HeJ mice, which have a defect in innate immunity and bacterial clearance, demonstrate more significant renal inflammation and reflux nephropathy compared with HeN mice. These studies demonstrate the crucial synergy between VUR, sustained kidney infection and the host immune response in the development of reflux nephropathy in a mouse model of VUR.
Cardiac surgery, especially when employing cardiopulmonary bypass and deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, is associated with systemic inflammatory responses that significantly affect morbidity and mortality. Intestinal perfusion abnormalities have been implicated in such responses, but the mechanisms linking local injury and systemic inflammation remain unclear. Intestinal mast cells are specialized immune cells that secrete various preformed effectors in response to cellular stress. We hypothesized that mast cells are activated in a microenvironment shaped by intestinal ischemia/reperfusion, and investigated local and systemic consequences.
The lower urinary tracts virtually inevitable exposure to external microbial pathogens warrants efficient tissue-specialized defenses to maintain sterility. The observation that the bladder can become chronically infected in combination with clinical observations that antibody responses after bladder infections are not detectable suggest defects in the formation of adaptive immunity and immunological memory. We have identified a broadly immunosuppressive transcriptional program specific to the bladder, but not the kidney, during infection of the urinary tract that is dependent on tissue-resident mast cells (MCs). This involves localized production of interleukin-10 and results in suppressed humoral and cell-mediated responses and bacterial persistence. Therefore, in addition to the previously described role of MCs orchestrating the early innate immunity during bladder infection, they subsequently play a tissue-specific immunosuppressive role. These findings may explain the prevalent recurrence of bladder infections and suggest the bladder as a site exhibiting an intrinsic degree of MC-maintained immune privilege.
Development of nasal immunization for human use is hindered by the lack of acceptable adjuvants. Although CT is an effective adjuvant, its toxicity will likely prevent its use in nasal vaccines. This study compared non-toxin adjuvants to CT for their ability to induce protective antibody responses with nasal immunization. C3H/HeN and C57BL/6 mice were immunized with rPA formulated with the following adjuvants: CT, IL-1?, LPS, CpG, Pam3CSK4, 3M-019, resiquimod/R848 or c48/80. Serum and nasal wash cytokine concentrations were monitored 6h post-vaccination as biomarkers for acute activation of the innate immune system. Not all of the adjuvants induced significant changes in innate serum or nasal wash cytokines, but when changes were observed, the cytokine signatures were unique for each adjuvant. All adjuvants except Pam3CSK4 induced significantly increased anti-rPA serum IgG titers in both strains of mice, while only IL-1?, c48/80 and CpG enhanced mucosal anti-rPA IgA. Pam3CSK4 was the only adjuvant unable to enhance the induction of serum LeTx-neutralizing antibodies in C3H/HeN mice while c48/80 was the only adjuvant to induce increased serum LeTx-neutralizing antibodies in C57BL/6 mice. Only CT enhanced total serum IgE in C3H/HeN mice while IL-1? enhanced total serum IgE in C57BL/6 mice. The adjuvant influenced antigen-specific serum IgG subclass and T cell cytokine profiles, but these responses did not correlate with the induction of LeTx-neutralizing activity. Our results demonstrate the induction of diverse innate and adaptive immune responses by non-toxin nasal vaccine adjuvants that lead to protective humoral immunity comparable to CT and that these responses may be influenced by the host strain.
Dengue Virus (DENV), a flavivirus spread by mosquito vectors, can cause vascular leakage and hemorrhaging. However, the processes that underlie increased vascular permeability and pathological plasma leakage during viral hemorrhagic fevers are largely unknown. Mast cells (MCs) are activated in vivo during DENV infection, and we show that this elevates systemic levels of their vasoactive products, including chymase, and promotes vascular leakage. Treatment of infected animals with MC-stabilizing drugs or a leukotriene receptor antagonist restores vascular integrity during experimental DENV infection. Validation of these findings using human clinical samples revealed a direct correlation between MC activation and DENV disease severity. In humans, the MC-specific product, chymase, is a predictive biomarker distinguishing dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Additionally, our findings reveal MCs as potential therapeutic targets to prevent DENV-induced vasculopathy, suggesting MC-stabilizing drugs should be evaluated for their effectiveness in improving disease outcomes during viral hemorrhagic fevers. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00481.001.
Mast cells (MCs) promote a wide range of localized and systemic inflammatory responses. Their involvement in immediate as well as chronic inflammatory reactions at both local and distal sites points to an extraordinarily powerful immunoregulatory capacity with spatial and temporal versatility. MCs are preferentially found in close proximity to both vascular and lymphatic vessels. On activation, they undergo a biphasic secretory response involving the rapid release of prestored vasoactive mediators followed by de novo synthesized products. Many actions of MCs are related to their capacity to regulate vascular flow and permeability and to the recruitment of various inflammatory cells from the vasculature into inflammatory sites. These mediators often work in an additive fashion and achieve their inflammatory effects locally by directly acting on the vascular and lymphatic endothelia, but they also can affect distal sites. Along these lines, the lymphatic and endothelial vasculatures of the host act as a conduit for the dissemination of MC signals during inflammation. The central role of the MC-endothelial cell axis to immune homeostasis is emphasized by the fact that some of the most effective current treatments for inflammatory disorders are directed at interfering with this interaction.
Mast cells (MCs) have been implicated in orchestrating the hosts early innate immune and adaptive immune responses in several models of acute bacterial infections. Most of this activity results in early clearance of the bacteria and timely resolution of infection. However, during chronic infections because of the prolonged nature of MC-bacterial interactions, the role of the MC in determining the fate of infection is markedly more complex. Depending on the nature of the pathogen, severity of infection, and its association with a preexisting inflammatory disease, MCs may promote rather than contain chronic infections and exacerbate their pathological sequellae.
Mast cells (MCs) were once considered only as effector cells in pathogenic IgE- and IgG-mediated responses such as allergy. However, developments over the last 15 years have suggested that MCs have evolved in vertebrates as beneficial effector cells that are involved in the very first inflammatory responses generated during infection. This pro-inflammatory environment has been demonstrated to be important for initiating innate responses in many different models of infection and more recently, in the development of adaptive immunity as well. Interestingly this latter finding has led to the discovery that small MC-activating compounds can behave as adjuvants in vaccine formulations. Thus, our continued understanding of the MC in the context of infectious disease is likely to not only expand our scope of the MC in the normal processes of immunity, but provide new therapeutic targets to combat disease.
There is a current biodefense interest in protection against anthrax. Here, we developed a new generation of stable and effective anthrax vaccine. We studied the immune response elicited by recombinant protective antigen (rPA) delivered intranasally with a novel mucosal adjuvant, a mast cell activator compound 48/80 (C48/80). The vaccine formulation was prepared in a powder form by spray-freeze-drying (SFD) under optimized conditions to produce particles with a target size of D(50) = 25 ?m, suitable for delivery to the rabbit nasal cavity. Physicochemical properties of the powder vaccines were characterized to assess their delivery and storage potential. Structural stability of rPA was confirmed by circular dichroism and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, whereas functional stability of rPA and C48/80 was monitored by cell-based assays. Animal study was performed using a unit-dose powder device for direct nasal application. Results showed that C48/80 provided effective mucosal adjuvant activity in rabbits. Freshly prepared SFD powder vaccine formulations or powders stored for over 2 years at room temperature elicited significantly elevated serum PA-specific and lethal toxin neutralization antibody titers that were comparable to that induced by intramuscular immunization with rPA. Nasal delivery of this vaccine formulation may be a viable alternative to the currently licensed vaccine or an attractive vaccine platform for other mucosally transmitted diseases.
A wealth of evidence supports the essential contributions of mast cells (MCs) to immune defense against bacteria and parasites; however, the role of MCs in viral infections has not been defined. We now report that rodent, monkey, and human MCs are able to detect dengue virus (DENV), a lymphotropic, enveloped, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus that results in MC activation and degranulation. We observe that the response of MCs to DENV also involves the activation of antiviral intracellular host response pathways, melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) and retinoic acid inducible gene 1 (RIG-I), and the de novo transcription of cytokines, including TNF-? and IFN-?, and chemokines, such as CCL5, CXCL12, and CX3CL1. This multifaceted response of MCs to DENV is consequential to the containment of DENV in vivo because, after s.c. infection, MC-deficient mice show increased viral burden within draining lymph nodes, which are known to be targeted organs during DENV spread, compared with MC-sufficient mice. This containment of DENV is linked to the MC-driven recruitment of natural killer and natural killer T cells into the infected skin. These findings support expanding the defined role of immunosurveillance by MCs to include viral pathogens.
Previously, we demonstrated a candidate region for susceptibility to airspace enlargement on mouse chromosome 5. However, the specific candidate genes within this region accounting for emphysema-like changes remain unrecognized. c-Kit is a receptor tyrosine kinase within this candidate gene region that has previously been recognized to contribute to the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells. Increases in the percentage of cells expressing c-Kit have previously been associated with protection against injury-induced emphysema.
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation, and a cellular infiltrate dominated by eosinophils. Numerous epidemiological studies have related the exacerbation of allergic asthma with an increase in ambient inhalable particulate matter from air pollutants. This is because inhalable particles efficiently deliver airborne allergens deep into the airways, where they can aggravate allergic asthma symptoms. However, the cellular mechanisms by which inhalable particulate allergens (pAgs) potentiate asthmatic symptoms remain unknown, in part because most in vivo and in vitro studies exploring the pathogenesis of allergic asthma use soluble allergens (sAgs). Using a mouse model of allergic asthma, we found that, compared with their sAg counterparts, pAgs triggered markedly heightened airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia in allergen-sensitized mice. Mast cells (MCs) were implicated in this divergent response, as the differences in airway inflammatory responses provoked by the physical nature of the allergens were attenuated in MC-deficient mice. The pAgs were found to mediate MC-dependent responses by enhancing retention of pAg/IgE/Fc?RI complexes within lipid raft–enriched, CD63(+) endocytic compartments, which prolonged IgE/Fc?RI-initiated signaling and resulted in heightened cytokine responses. These results reveal how the physical attributes of allergens can co-opt MC endocytic circuitry and signaling responses to aggravate pathological responses of allergic asthma in mice.
We previously reported that the immunogenicity of Hc?tre, a botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) immunogen, was enhanced by fusion to an epithelial cell binding domain, Ad2F, when nasally delivered to mice with cholera toxin (CT). This study was performed to determine if Ad2F would enhance the nasal immunogenicity of Hc?tre in rabbits, an animal model with a nasal cavity anatomy similar to humans. Since CT is not safe for human use, we also tested the adjuvant activity of compound 48/80 (C48/80), a mast cell activating compound previously determined to safely exhibit nasal adjuvant activity in mice.
Although mast cells were discovered more than a century ago, their functions beyond their role in allergic responses remained elusive until recently. However, there is a growing appreciation that an important physiological function of these cells is the recognition of pathogens and modulation of appropriate immune responses. Because of their ability to instantly release several pro-inflammatory mediators from intracellular stores and their location at the host-environment interface, mast cells have been shown to be crucial for optimal immune responses during infection. Mast cells seem to exert these effects by altering the inflammatory environment after detection of a pathogen and by mobilizing various immune cells to the site of infection and to draining lymph nodes. Interestingly, the character and timing of these responses can vary depending on the type of pathogen stimulus, location of pathogen recognition and sensitization state of the responding mast cells. Recent studies using mast cell activators as effective vaccine adjuvants show the potential of harnessing these cells to confer protective immunity against microbial pathogens.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is hypothesized to result from stimulation of immune responses against resident intestinal bacteria within a genetically susceptible host. Mast cells may play a critical role in IBD pathogenesis, since they are typically located just beneath the intestinal mucosal barrier and can be activated by bacterial antigens.
Mast cells (MC) are specialized exocytic cells that lie beneath the external surfaces of the body. For many decades, MCs were thought to primarily function as effector cells for IgE mediated allergic diseases. However, recent evidence indicates that MCs also function as important cells in immune surveillance. When activated by pathogens, MCs initiate innate and adaptive immune responses thereby resulting in protection against pathogens. The question remains if MC activation may also function in establishing immune responses against allergens and hence allergic disease. New studies suggest that MCs are not only the effector cell of allergy but may also be the initiator of allergy.
During infection, signals from the periphery are known to reach draining lymph nodes (DLNs), but how these molecules, such as inflammatory cytokines, traverse the significant distances involved without dilution or degradation remains unclear. We show that peripheral mast cells, upon activation, release stable submicrometer heparin-based particles containing tumor necrosis factor and other proteins. These complexes enter lymphatic vessels and rapidly traffic to the DLNs. This physiological drug delivery system facilitates communication between peripheral sites of inflammation and remote secondary lymphoid tissues.
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli invade bladder epithelial cells (BECs) by direct entry into specialized cAMP regulated exocytic compartments. Remarkably, a significant number of these intracellular bacteria are subsequently expelled in a nonlytic and piecemeal fashion by infected BECs. Here, we report that expulsion of intracellular E. coli by infected BECs is initiated by the pattern recognition receptor, Toll-like receptor (TLR)4, after activation by LPS. Also, we reveal that caveolin-1, Rab27b, PKA, and MyRIP are components of the exocytic compartment, and that they form a complex involved in the exocytosis of bacteria. This capacity of TLR4 to mediate the expulsion of intracellular bacteria from infected cells represents a previously unrecognized function for this innate immune receptor.
Mast cells (MCs) have primarily been associated with mediating the pathological secondary responses to allergens in sensitized hosts. In view of the recent evidence for a MC role in modulating primary immune responses to pathogens, the likelihood for a role of MCs in influencing primary immune response to allergens has grown. New evidence suggests that MCs drive the development of Th2 responses to allergens, particularly when allergen exposure occurs concomitantly with exposure to pathogen products present in the environment. These new roles for MCs in allergy and infection suggest additional drug targets to prevent the development of allergic disease and allergic exacerbations of established disease.
The uroepithelium sits at the interface between the urinary space and underlying tissues, where it forms a high-resistance barrier to ion, solute, and water flux, as well as pathogens. However, the uroepithelium is not simply a passive barrier; it can modulate the composition of the urine, and it functions as an integral part of a sensory web in which it receives, amplifies, and transmits information about its external milieu to the underlying nervous and muscular systems. This review examines our understanding of uroepithelial regeneration and how specializations of the outermost umbrella cell layer, including tight junctions, surface uroplakins, and dynamic apical membrane exocytosis/endocytosis, contribute to barrier function and how they are co-opted by uropathogenic bacteria to infect the uroepithelium. Furthermore, we discuss the presence and possible functions of aquaporins, urea transporters, and multiple ion channels in the uroepithelium. Finally, we describe potential mechanisms by which the uroepithelium can transmit information about the urinary space to the other tissues in the bladder proper.
Mast cells (MCs) are best known for eliciting harmful reactions, mostly after primary immunity has been established. Here, we report that, during footpad infection with E. coli in MC-deficient mice, as compared to their MC-sufficient counterparts, the serum antibody response is significantly diminished and less protective following passive immunization in a urinary tract infection (UTI) model in wild-type mice. MCs were found to recruit large numbers of dendritic cells (DCs) into the infected tissue site, which eventually migrated into draining lymph nodes (DLNs) during a prolonged time course. This pattern of trafficking was facilitated by MC-generated TNF, which increased the expression of E-selectin on local blood vessels. Antibody blockade of E-selectin inhibited DC recruitment into the site of infection and DLNs and consequently impaired the primary humoral immune response. Thus, during infection, resident MCs contribute to the primary protective adaptive response through recruitment of DCs from the circulation into infected sites.
Caveolin proteins have been implicated in a wide range of cellular functions including lipid raft mediated endocytosis and regulation of cell signaling cascades. Recent discoveries have shown that these proteins are involved not only in regulating these homeostatic cellular functions, but also in the host response to a wide range of different infections. Both caveolin-1 and 2 have been shown to play important roles in pathogen uptake. While caveolin-1 is the most well studied member of this family, a growing body of evidence has now recognized the role of caveolin-2 in these host pathogen interactions and novel host defense mechanisms.
We report that infection of draining lymph nodes (DLNs) by Salmonella typhimurium results in the specific downregulation of the homeostatic chemokines CCL21 and CXCL13, which are essential for normal DLN organization and function. Our data reveal that the mechanism of this suppression is dependent on S. typhimurium LPS (sLPS). The decrease in CCL21 expression involves interaction between sLPS and CCL21-producing cells within DLNs, triggering a distinct Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-mediated host signaling response. In this response, suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (Socs3) is upregulated, which negatively regulates mothers against decapentaplegic homolog-3 (Smad3)-initiated production of CCL21. Disruption of lymph node architecture and cellular trafficking enhances S. typhimurium virulence and could represent a mechanism of immune suppression used by pathogens that primarily target lymphoid tissue.
Umbrella cells (UCs) of the epithelium of the urinary bladder have the capacity to control bladder volume by regulating exocytosis/endocytosis of their intracellular discoid vesicles (DVs). Dynamin (Dyn) is a GTPase that promotes endocytic processes through scission of cell membranes. We have examined whether Dyn2, the most abundant Dyn form, is expressed in UCs and contributes to their endocytic actions. A specific antibody against Dyn2 was used to localize Dyn2 in human and rodent UCs by immunohistochemistry. To clarify the functional roles of Dyn2, mouse bladders were treated with a Dyn-GTPase inhibitor, dynasore, and its effects on their UC structure were assessed. Since uropathogenic Escherichia coli can be encased into UCs during infection, we used immunohistochemistry to determine whether bacteria-encasing compartments in the infected UCs were also enriched with Dyn2. Light microscopy showed that Dyn2 was abundantly expressed in UCs, especially near the apical cytoplasmic regions. By immunoelectron microscopy, Dyn2 was found on and around DV membranes in UCs. Ultrastructural analysis with a quick-freezing and deep-etching method confirmed these findings and revealed the existence of distinct Dyn2-bound microfilaments in close association with DV membranes. Dynasore treatment of bladders markedly reduced the number of DVs in UCs. In infected UCs, E. coli was encased in compartments enriched in Dyn2. Therefore, Dyn2 is highly enriched in UCs and mostly associated with membranes of DVs and microfilaments in the UCs. Pretreatment of bladders with dynasore inhibits E. coli invasion of UCs. Dyn2 thus contributes to the structural integrity of DVs and to the endocytic activity of UCs.
We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the mast cell activator compound 48/80 (C48/80) when used as an adjuvant delivered intradermally (ID) with recombinant anthrax protective antigen (rPA) in comparison with two well-known adjuvants. Mice were vaccinated in the ear pinnae with rPA or rPA+C48/80, CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG), or cholera toxin (CT). All adjuvants induced similar increases in serum anti-rPA IgG and lethal toxin neutralizing antibodies. C48/80 induced a balanced cytokine production (Th1/Th2/Th17) by antigen-restimulated splenocytes, minimal injection site inflammation, and no antigen-specific IgE. Histological analysis demonstrated that vaccination with C48/80 reduced the number of resident mast cells and induced an injection site neutrophil influx within 24h. Our data demonstrate that C48/80 is a safe and effective adjuvant, when used by the intradermal route, to induce protective antibody and balanced Th1/Th2/Th17 responses.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa has the capacity to invade lung epithelial cells by co-opting the intrinsic endocytic properties of lipid rafts, which are rich in cholesterol, sphingolipids, and proteins, such as caveolin-1 and -2. We compared intratracheal Pseudomonas infection in wild type and caveolin-deficient mice to investigate the role of caveolin proteins in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas pneumonia. Unlike wild type mice, which succumb to pneumonia, caveolin-deficient mice are resistant to Pseudomonas. We observed that Pseudomonas invasion of lung epithelial cells is dependent on caveolin-2 but not caveolin-1. Phosphorylation of caveolin-2 by Src family kinases is an essential event for Pseudomonas invasion. Our studies also reveal the existence of a distinct signaling mechanism in lung epithelial cells mediated by COOH-terminal Src kinase (Csk) that negatively regulates Pseudomonas invasion. Csk migrates to lipid raft domains, where it decreases phosphorylation of caveolin-2 by inactivating c-Src. Whereas Pseudomonas co-opts the endocytic properties of caveolin-2 for invasion, there also exists in these cells an intrinsic Csk-dependent cellular defense mechanism aimed at impairing this activity. The success of Pseudomonas in co-opting lipid raft-mediated endocytosis to invade lung epithelial cells may depend on the relative strengths of these counteracting signaling activities.
Candida glabrata is an emerging human fungal pathogen that is frequently drug tolerant, resulting in difficulties in treatment and a higher mortality in immunocompromised patients. The calcium-activated protein phosphatase calcineurin plays critical roles in controlling drug tolerance, hyphal growth, and virulence in diverse fungal pathogens via distinct mechanisms involving survival in serum or growth at host temperature (37° and higher). Here, we comprehensively studied the calcineurin signaling cascade in C. glabrata and found novel and uncharacterized functions of calcineurin and its downstream target Crz1 in governing thermotolerance, intracellular architecture, and pathogenesis in murine ocular, urinary tract, and systemic infections. This represents a second independent origin of a role for calcineurin in thermotolerant growth of a major human fungal pathogen, distinct from that which arose independently in Cryptococcus neoformans. Calcineurin also promotes survival of C. glabrata in serum via mechanisms distinct from C. albicans and thereby enables establishment of tissue colonization in a murine systemic infection model. To understand calcineurin signaling in detail, we performed global transcript profiling analysis and identified calcineurin- and Crz1-dependent genes in C. glabrata involved in cell wall biosynthesis, heat shock responses, and calcineurin function. Regulators of calcineurin (RCN) are a novel family of calcineurin modifiers, and two members of this family were identified in C. glabrata: Rcn1 and Rcn2. Our studies demonstrate that Rcn2 expression is controlled by calcineurin and Crz1 to function as a feedback inhibitor of calcineurin in a circuit required for calcium tolerance in C. glabrata. In contrast, the calcineurin regulator Rcn1 activates calcineurin signaling. Interestingly, neither Rcn1 nor Rcn2 is required for virulence in a murine systemic infection model. Taken together, our findings show that calcineurin signaling plays critical roles in thermotolerance and virulence, and that Rcn1 and Rcn2 have opposing functions in controlling calcineurin signaling in C. glabrata.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Mp) frequently colonizes the airways of patients with chronic asthma and likely contributes to asthma exacerbations. We previously reported that mice lacking surfactant protein A (SP-A) have increased airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) during M pneumoniae infection versus wild-type mice mediated by TNF-?. Mast cells (MCs) have been implicated in AHR in asthma models and produce and respond to TNF-?.
Caveolin-1, the hallmark protein of caveolae, is highly expressed within the lung in the epithelium, endothelium, and in immune cells. In addition to its classical roles in cholesterol metabolism and endocytosis, caveolin-1 has also been shown to be important in inflammatory signaling pathways. In particular, caveolin-1 is known to associate with the nitric oxide synthase enzymes, downregulating their activity. Endotoxins, which are are composed mainly of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), are found ubiquitously in the environment and can lead to the development of airway inflammation and increased airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR).
Granules of mast cells (MCs) enhance adaptive immunity when, on activation, they are released as stable particles. Here we show that submicrometre particles modelled after MC granules augment immunity when used as adjuvants in vaccines. The synthetic particles, which consist of a carbohydrate backbone with encapsulated inflammatory mediators such as tumour necrosis factor, replicate attributes of MCs in vivo including the targeting of draining lymph nodes and the timed release of the encapsulated mediators. When used as an adjuvant during vaccination of mice with haemagglutinin from the influenza virus, the particles enhanced adaptive immune responses and increased survival of mice on lethal challenge. Furthermore, differential loading of the particles with the cytokine IL-12 directed the character of the response towards Th1 lymphocytes. The synthetic MC adjuvants replicate and enhance the functions of MCs during vaccination, and can be extended to polarize the resulting immunity.
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