bims-bac4me Biomed News
on Microbiome and trained immunity
Issue of 2023‒03‒19
eighteen papers selected by
Chun-Chi Chang
University Hospital Zurich

  1. Clin Immunol. 2023 Mar 12. pii: S1521-6616(23)00068-2. [Epub ahead of print]249 109289
      Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are life-threatening conditions triggered by multiple intra- and extra-pulmonary injury factors, characterized by complicated molecular mechanisms and high mortality. Great strides have been made in the field of immunometabolism to clarify the interplay between intracellular metabolism and immune function in the past few years. Emerging evidence unveils the crucial roles of immunometabolism in inflammatory response and ALI. During ALI, both macrophages and lymphocytes undergo robust metabolic reprogramming and discrete epigenetic changes after activated. Apart from providing ATP and biosynthetic precursors, these metabolic cellular reactions and processes in lung also regulate inflammation and immunity.In fact, metabolic reprogramming involving glucose metabolism and fatty acidoxidation (FAO) acts as a double-edged sword in inflammatory response, which not only drives inflammasome activation but also elicits anti-inflammatory response. Additionally, the features and roles of metabolic reprogramming in different immune cells are not exactly the same. Here, we outline the evidence implicating how adverse factors shape immunometabolism in differentiation types of immune cells during ALI and summarize key proteins associated with energy expenditure and metabolic reprogramming. Finally, novel therapeutic targets in metabolic intermediates and enzymes together with current challenges in immunometabolism against ALI were discussed.
    Keywords:  ALI; Drugtarget; Immunometabolism; Inflammation; Macrophages
  2. mBio. 2023 Mar 15. e0005623
      Bacterial persister cells-a metabolically dormant subpopulation tolerant to antimicrobials-contribute to chronic infections and are thought to evade host immunity. In this work, we studied the ability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa persister cells to withstand host innate immunity. We found that persister cells resist MAC-mediated killing by the complement system despite being bound by complement protein C3b at levels similar to regular vegetative cells, in part due to reduced bound C5b, and are engulfed at a lower rate (10- to 100-fold), even following opsonization. Once engulfed, persister cells resist killing and, contrary to regular vegetative cells which induce a M1 favored (CD80+/CD86+/CD206-, high levels of CXCL-8, IL-6, and TNF-α) macrophage polarization, they initially induce a M2 favored macrophage polarization (CD80+/CD86+/CD206+, high levels of IL-10, and intermediate levels of CXCL-8, IL-6, and TNF-α), which is skewed toward M1 favored polarization (high levels of CXCL-8 and IL-6, lower levels of IL-10) by 24 h of infection, once persister cells awaken. Overall, our findings further establish the ability of persister cells to evade the innate host response and to contribute chronic infections. IMPORTANCE Bacterial cells have a subpopulation-persister cells-that have a low metabolism. Persister cells survive antimicrobial treatment and can regrow to cause chronic and recurrent infections. Currently little is known as to whether the human immune system recognizes and responds to the presence of persister cells. In this work, we studied the ability of persister cells from Pseudomonas aeruginosa to resist the host defense system (innate immunity). We found that this subpopulation is recognized by the defense system, but it is not killed. The lack of killing likely stems from hindering the immune response regulation, resulting in a failure to distinguish whether a pathogen is present. Findings from this work increase the overall knowledge as to how chronic infections are resilient.
    Keywords:  Pseudomonas aeruginosa; bacterial persister cells; chronic infections; complement; immune evasion
  3. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1111611
      Healthy human skin is constantly exposed to sterile and microbial agents. The skin immune system plays an important role in immune surveillance between tolerance and immune activation. This is mainly mediated by neutrophils, macrophages and most importantly lymphocytes. Keratinocytes, which form the outer skin barrier (epidermis) are also critical for cutaneous homeostasis. Being a non-professional immune cell, recognition of danger signals in keratinocytes is mediated by innate immune receptors (pattern recognition receptors, PRR). While Toll-like receptors are located on the cell membrane or the endosomes, nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing gene family receptors (NLR) are intracellular PRRs. Some of these, once activated, trigger the formation of inflammasomes. Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes and serve as platforms that mediate the release of innate cytokines after successful recognition, thereby attracting immune cells. Moreover, they mediate the pro-inflammatory cell death pyroptosis. Best characterized is the NLRP3 inflammasome. The function of inflammasomes differs significantly between different cell types (keratinocytes versus immune cells) and between different species (human versus mouse). In recent years, great progress has been made in deciphering the activation mechanisms. Dysregulation of inflammasomes can lead to diseases with varying degrees of severity. Here we focus on the structure, function, and associated pathologies of the NLRP1 inflammasome, which is the most relevant inflammasome in keratinocytes.
    Keywords:  caspase-1; inflammasomes; innate immunity; interleukin-1β; keratinocytes; nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing gene family; skin; therapeutic target
  4. J Invest Dermatol. 2023 Mar 10. pii: S0022-202X(23)00169-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory cutaneous disorder in which the skin is affected by microbial dysbiosis. The role of commensal skin microbiota in AD is of great interest. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are important regulators of skin homeostasis and pathology. The mechanism of preventing AD pathogenesis via commensal skin microbiota-derived EVs remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the role of commensal skin bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis-derived EVs (SE-EVs). We showed that SE-EVs significantly decreased the expression of proinflammatory genes (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and iNOS) via lipoteichoic acid and increased the proliferation and migration of calcipotriene (MC903)-treated HaCaT cells. Furthermore, SE-EVs increased the expression of human β-defensins 2 and 3 in MC903-treated HaCaT cells via Toll-like receptor 2, enhancing resistance to Staphylococcus aureus growth. In addition, topical SE-EV application remarkably attenuated inflammatory cell infiltration (CD4+ T cells and Gr1+ cells), TH2 cytokine gene expression (IL-4, IL-13 and TLSP), and IgE levels in MC903-induced AD-like dermatitis mice. Intriguingly, SE-EVs induced IL-17A+ CD8+ T-cell accumulation in the epidermis, which may represent heterologous protection. Taken together, our findings showed that SE-EVs reduced AD-like skin inflammation in mice and may potentially be a bioactive nanocarrier for the treatment of AD.
  5. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1134661
      Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is a dimeric transcription factor constituted by two of five protein family members. It plays an essential role in inflammation and immunity by regulating the expression of numerous chemokines, cytokines, transcription factors, and regulatory proteins. Since NF-κB is expressed in almost all human cells, it is important to understand its cell type-, tissue-, and stimulus-specific roles as well as its temporal dynamics and disease-specific context. Although NF-κB was discovered more than 35 years ago, many questions are still unanswered, and with the availability of novel technologies such as single-cell sequencing and cell fate-mapping, new fascinating questions arose. In this review, we will summarize current findings on the role of NF-κB in monocytes and macrophages. These innate immune cells show high plasticity and dynamically adjust their effector functions against invading pathogens and environmental cues. Their versatile functions can range from antimicrobial defense and antitumor immune responses to foam cell formation and wound healing. NF-κB is crucial for their activation and balances their phenotypes by finely coordinating transcriptional and epigenomic programs. Thereby, NF-κB is critically involved in inflammasome activation, cytokine release, and cell survival. Macrophage-specific NF-κB activation has far-reaching implications in the development and progression of numerous inflammatory diseases. Moreover, recent findings highlighted the temporal dynamics of myeloid NF-κB activation and underlined the complexity of this inflammatory master regulator. This review will provide an overview of the complex roles of NF-κB in macrophage signal transduction, polarization, inflammasome activation, and cell survival.
    Keywords:  NF-κB – nuclear factor kappa B; immunity; inflammation; monocyte – macrophage; signaling/signaling pathways
  6. Front Netw Physiol. 2022 ;2 937739
      Cirrhosis of the liver is a systemic condition with raising prevalence worldwide. Patients with cirrhosis are highly susceptible to develop bacterial infections leading to acute decompensation and acute-on-chronic liver failure both associated with a high morbidity and mortality and sparse therapeutic options other than transplantation. Mononuclear phagocytes play a central role in innate immune responses and represent a first line of defence against pathogens. Their function includes phagocytosis, killing of bacteria, antigen presentation, cytokine production as well as recruitment and activation of immune effector cells. Liver injury and development of cirrhosis induces activation of liver resident Kupffer cells and recruitment of monocytes to the liver. Damage- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns promote systemic inflammation which involves multiple compartments besides the liver, such as the circulation, gut, peritoneal cavity and others. The function of circulating monocytes and tissue macrophages is severely impaired and worsens along with cirrhosis progression. The underlying mechanisms are complex and incompletely understood. Recent 'omics' technologies help to transform our understanding of cellular diversity and function in health and disease. In this review we point out the current state of knowledge on phenotypical and functional changes of monocytes and macrophages during cirrhosis evolution in different compartments and their role in disease progression. We also discuss the value of potential prognostic markers for cirrhosis-associated immuneparesis, and future immunotherapeutic strategies that may reduce the need for transplantation and death.
    Keywords:  ACLF; cirrhosis; immuneparesis; immunotherapy; inflammation; liver injury; macrophages; monocytes
  7. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Mar 21. 120(12): e2301414120
      Peptidoglycan hydrolases, or autolysins, play a critical role in cell wall remodeling and degradation, facilitating bacterial growth, cell division, and cell separation. In Staphylococcus aureus, the so-called "major" autolysin, Atl, has long been associated with host adhesion; however, the molecular basis underlying this phenomenon remains understudied. To investigate, we used the type V glycopeptide antibiotic complestatin, which binds to peptidoglycan and blocks the activity of autolysins, as a chemical probe of autolysin function. We also generated a chromosomally encoded, catalytically inactive variant of the Atl enzyme. Autolysin-mediated peptidoglycan hydrolysis, in particular Atl-mediated daughter cell separation, was shown to be critical for maintaining optimal surface levels of S. aureus cell wall-anchored proteins, including the fibronectin-binding proteins (FnBPs) and protein A (Spa). As such, disrupting autolysin function reduced the affinity of S. aureus for host cell ligands, and negatively impacted early stages of bacterial colonization in a systemic model of S. aureus infection. Phenotypic studies revealed that Spa was sequestered at the septum of complestatin-treated cells, highlighting that autolysins are required to liberate Spa during cell division. In summary, we reveal the hydrolytic activities of autolysins are associated with the surface display of S. aureus cell wall-anchored proteins. We demonstrate that by blocking autolysin function, type V glycopeptide antibiotics are promising antivirulence agents for the development of strategies to control S. aureus infections.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; antibiotic resistance; autolysins; host adhesion; virulence
  8. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1135223
      The role of macrophages in controlling tissue inflammation is indispensable to ensure a context-appropriate response to pathogens whilst preventing excessive tissue damage. Their initial response is largely characterized by high production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) which primes and attracts other immune cells, thereafter, followed by production of interleukin 10 (IL-10) which inhibits cell activation and steers towards resolving of inflammation. This delicate balance is understood at a population level but how it is initiated at a single-cell level remains elusive. Here, we utilize our previously developed droplet approach to probe single-cell macrophage activation in response to toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) stimulation, and how single-cell heterogeneity and cellular communication affect macrophage-mediated inflammatory homeostasis. We show that only a fraction of macrophages can produce IL-10 in addition to TNFα upon LPS-induced activation, and that these cells are not phenotypically different from IL-10 non-producers nor exhibit a distinct transcriptional pathway. Finally, we demonstrate that the dynamics of TNFα and IL-10 are heavily controlled by macrophage density as evidenced by 3D hydrogel cultures suggesting a potential role for quorum sensing. These exploratory results emphasize the relevance of understanding the complex communication between macrophages and other immune cells and how these amount to population-wide responses.
    Keywords:  IL-10; TLR4; heterogeneity; macrophage; single-cell
  9. Immune Netw. 2023 Feb;23(1): e6
      Intestinal microorganisms interact with various immune cells and are involved in gut homeostasis and immune regulation. Although many studies have discussed the roles of the microorganisms themselves, interest in the effector function of their metabolites is increasing. The metabolic processes of these molecules provide important clues to the existence and function of gut microbes. The interrelationship between metabolites and T lymphocytes in particular plays a significant role in adaptive immune functions. Our current review focuses on 3 groups of metabolites: short-chain fatty acids, bile acids metabolites, and polyamines. We collated the findings of several studies on the transformation and production of these metabolites by gut microbes and explained their immunological roles. Specifically, we summarized the reports on changes in mucosal immune homeostasis represented by the Tregs and Th17 cells balance. The relationship between specific metabolites and diseases was also analyzed through latest studies. Thus, this review highlights microbial metabolites as the hidden treasure having potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets through a comprehensive understanding of the gut-immune interaction.
    Keywords:  Bile acids; Immunomodulation; Microbiota; Polyamines; Short-chain fatty acid
  10. Allergy. 2023 Mar 16.
      BACKGROUND: The impact of exposure to air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter (PM), on the immune system and its consequences on pediatric asthma, are not well understood. We investigated whether ambient levels of fine PM with aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 microns (PM2.5 ) are associated with alterations in circulating monocytes in children with or without asthma.METHODS: Monocyte phenotyping was performed by cytometry time-of-flight (CyTOF). Cytokines were measured using cytomtric bead array and Luminex assay. ChIP-Seq was utilized to address histone modifications in monocytes.
    RESULTS: Increased exposure to ambient PM2.5 was linked to specific monocyte subtypes, particularly in children with asthma. Mechanistically, we hypothesized that innate trained immunity is evoked by a primary exposure to fine PM and accounts for an enhanced inflammatory response after secondary stimulation in vitro. We determined that the trained immunity was induced in circulating monocytes by fine particulate pollutants, and it was characterized by the upregulation of proinflammatory mediators, such as TNF, IL-6, and IL-8, upon stimulation with house dust mite or lipopolysaccharide. This phenotype was epigenetically controlled by enhanced H3K27ac marks in circulating monocytes.
    CONCLUSION: The specific alterations of monocytes after ambient pollution exposure suggest a possible prognostic immune signature for pediatric asthma, and pollution-induced trained immunity may provide a potential therapeutic target for asthmatic children living in areas with increased air pollution.
    Keywords:  asthma; innate immunity; pediatrics
  11. bioRxiv. 2023 Feb 28. pii: 2023.02.27.530299. [Epub ahead of print]
      The airway epithelium is composed of diverse cell types with specialized functions that mediate homeostasis and protect against respiratory pathogens. Human airway epithelial cultures at air-liquid interface (HAE) are a physiologically relevant in vitro model of this heterogeneous tissue, enabling numerous studies of airway disease 1â€"7 . HAE cultures are classically derived from primary epithelial cells, the relatively limited passage capacity of which can limit experimental methods and study designs. BCi-NS1.1, a previously described and widely used basal cell line engineered to express hTERT, exhibits extended passage lifespan while retaining capacity for differentiation to HAE 5 . However, gene expression and innate immune function in HAE derived from BCi-NS1.1 versus primary cells have not been fully characterized. Here, combining single cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq), immunohistochemistry, and functional experimentation, we confirm at high resolution that BCi-NS1.1 and primary HAE cultures are largely similar in morphology, cell type composition, and overall transcriptional patterns. While we observed cell-type specific expression differences of several interferon stimulated genes in BCi-NS1.1 HAE cultures, we did not observe significant differences in susceptibility to infection with influenza A virus and Staphylococcus aureus . Taken together, our results further support BCi-NS1.1-derived HAE cultures as a valuable tool for the study of airway infectious disease.
  12. Microb Cell. 2023 Mar 06. 10(3): 49-62
      Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are ubiquitous microorganisms that can colonize the intestine and participate in the physiological metabolism of the host. LAB can produce a variety of metabolites, including organic acids, bacteriocin, amino acids, exopolysaccharides and vitamins. These metabolites are the basis of LAB function and have a profound impact on host health. The intestine is colonized by a large number of gut microorganisms with high species diversity. Metabolites of LAB can keep the balance and stability of gut microbiota through aiding in the maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier, resisting to pathogens and regulating immune responses, which further influence the nutrition, metabolism and behavior of the host. In this review, we summarize the metabolites of LAB and their influence on the intestine. We also discuss the underlying regulatory mechanisms and emphasize the link between LAB and the human gut from the perspective of health promotion.
    Keywords:  gut microbiota; immune system; lactic acid bacteria; metabolites
  13. Cell Prolif. 2023 Mar 14. e13441
      Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) is a scaffolding protein of tight junctions, which seal adjacent epithelial cells, that is also expressed in adherens junctions. The distribution pattern of ZO-1 differs among stratified squamous epithelia, including that between skin and oral buccal mucosa. However, the causes for this difference, and the mechanisms underlying ZO-1 spatial regulation, have yet to be elucidated. In this study, we showed that epithelial turnover and proliferation are associated with ZO-1 distribution in squamous epithelia. We tried to verify the regulation of ZO-1 by comparing normal skin and psoriasis, known as inflammatory skin disease with rapid turnover. We as well compared buccal mucosa and oral lichen planus, known as an inflammatory oral disease with a longer turnover interval. The imiquimod (IMQ) mouse model, often used as a psoriasis model, can promote cell proliferation. On the contrary, we peritoneally injected mice mitomycin C, which reduces cell proliferation. We examined whether IMQ and mitomycin C cause changes in the distribution and appearance of ZO-1. Human samples and mouse pharmacological models revealed that slower epithelial turnover/proliferation led to the confinement of ZO-1 to the uppermost part of squamous epithelia. In contrast, ZO-1 was widely distributed under conditions of faster cell turnover/proliferation. Cell culture experiments and mathematical modelling corroborated these ZO-1 distribution patterns. These findings demonstrate that ZO-1 distribution is affected by epithelial cell dynamics.
  14. Gut Microbes. 2023 Jan-Dec;15(1):15(1): 2186115
      Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are the third most important solid component in human milk and act in tandem with other bioactive components. Individual HMO levels and distribution vary greatly between mothers by multiple variables, such as secretor status, race, geographic region, environmental conditions, season, maternal diet, and weight, gestational age and mode of delivery. HMOs improve the gastrointestinal barrier and also promote a bifidobacterium-rich gut microbiome, which protects against infection, strengthens the epithelial barrier, and creates immunomodulatory metabolites. HMOs fulfil a variety of physiologic functions including potential support to the immune system, brain development, and cognitive function. Supplementing infant formula with HMOs is safe and promotes a healthy development of the infant revealing benefits for microbiota composition and infection prevention. Because of limited data comparing the effect of non-human oligosaccharides to HMOs, it is not known if HMOs offer an additional clinical benefit over non-human oligosaccharides. Better knowledge of the factors influencing HMO composition and their functions will help to understand their short- and long-term benefits.
    Keywords:  HMO; Human milk oligosaccharide; breastfeeding; human milk; microbiota
  15. Cell Death Differ. 2023 Mar 13.
      Macrophages play a critical role in the immune homeostasis and host defense against invading pathogens. However, uncontrolled activation of inflammatory macrophages leads to tissue injury and even fuels autoimmunity. Hence the molecular mechanisms underlying macrophage activation need to be further elucidated. The effects of epigenetic modifications on the function of immune cells draw increasing attention. Here, we demonstrated that lysine-specific demethylase 5B (KDM5B), a classical transcriptional repressor in stem cell development and cancer, was required for the full activation of NF-κB signaling cascade and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in macrophages. KDM5B deficiency or inhibitor treatment protected mice from immunologic injury in both collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model and endotoxin shock model. Genome-wide analysis of KDM5B-binding peaks identified that KDM5B was selectively recruited to the promoter of Nfkbia, the gene encoding IκBα, in activated macrophages. KDM5B mediated the H3K4me3 modification erasing and decreased chromatin accessibility of Nfkbia gene locus, coordinating the elaborate suppression of IκBα expression and the enhanced NF-κB-mediated macrophage activation. Our finding identifies the indispensable role of KDM5B in macrophage-mediated inflammatory responses and provides a candidate therapeutic target for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
  16. Cell Mol Immunol. 2023 Mar 16.
      Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common inflammatory skin disease, and it is considered a complex and heterogeneous condition. Different phenotypes of AD, defined according to the patient age at onset, race, and ethnic background; disease duration; and other disease characteristics, have been recently described, underlying the need for a personalized treatment approach. Recent advancements in understanding AD pathogenesis resulted in a real translational revolution and led to the exponential expansion of the therapeutic pipeline. The study of biomarkers in clinical studies of emerging treatments is helping clarify the role of each cytokine and immune pathway in AD and will allow addressing the unique immune fingerprints of each AD subset. Personalized medicine will be the ultimate goal of this targeted translational research. In this review, we discuss the changes in the concepts of both the pathogenesis of and treatment approach to AD, highlight the scientific rationale behind each targeted treatment and report the most recent clinical efficacy data.
    Keywords:  Atopic dermatitis; biomarkers; eczema; translational revolution
  17. Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2023 Mar 15.
      Various immune cells participate in repair and regeneration following tissue injury or damage, orchestrating tissue inflammation and regeneration processes. A deeper understanding of the immune system's involvement in tissue repair and regeneration is critical for the development of successful reparatory and regenerative strategies. Here we review recent technologies that facilitate cell-based and biomaterial-based modulation of the immune systems for tissue repair and regeneration. First, we summarize the roles of various types of immune cells in tissue repair. Second, we review the principle, examples, and limitations of regulatory T (Treg) cell-based therapy, a representative cell-based immunotherapy. Finally, we discuss biomaterial-based immunotherapy strategies that aim to modulate immune cells using various biomaterials for tissue repair and regeneration.
    Keywords:  Biomaterial; Immunomodulation; M2 macrophage; Regulatory T (Treg) cell; Tissue repair