bims-bac4me Biomed News
on Microbiome and trained immunity
Issue of 2023‒08‒06
35 papers selected by
Chun-Chi Chang
University Hospital Zurich

  1. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1201658
      The airway epithelium comprises of different cell types and acts as a physical barrier preventing pathogens, including inhaled particles and microbes, from entering the lungs. Goblet cells and submucosal glands produce mucus that traps pathogens, which are expelled from the respiratory tract by ciliated cells. Basal cells act as progenitor cells, differentiating into different epithelial cell types, to maintain homeostasis following injury. Adherens and tight junctions between cells maintain the epithelial barrier function and regulate the movement of molecules across it. In this review we discuss how abnormal epithelial structure and function, caused by chronic injury and abnormal repair, drives airway disease and specifically asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In both diseases, inhaled allergens, pollutants and microbes disrupt junctional complexes and promote cell death, impairing the barrier function and leading to increased penetration of pathogens and a constant airway immune response. In asthma, the inflammatory response precipitates the epithelial injury and drives abnormal basal cell differentiation. This leads to reduced ciliated cells, goblet cell hyperplasia and increased epithelial mesenchymal transition, which contribute to impaired mucociliary clearance and airway remodelling. In COPD, chronic oxidative stress and inflammation trigger premature epithelial cell senescence, which contributes to loss of epithelial integrity and airway inflammation and remodelling. Increased numbers of basal cells showing deregulated differentiation, contributes to ciliary dysfunction and mucous hyperproduction in COPD airways. Defective antioxidant, antiviral and damage repair mechanisms, possibly due to genetic or epigenetic factors, may confer susceptibility to airway epithelial dysfunction in these diseases. The current evidence suggests that a constant cycle of injury and abnormal repair of the epithelium drives chronic airway inflammation and remodelling in asthma and COPD. Mechanistic understanding of injury susceptibility and damage response may lead to improved therapies for these diseases.
    Keywords:  COPD; asthma; barrier; cell junctions; epithelium; injury; permeability; repair
  2. Lab Anim Res. 2023 Aug 02. 39(1): 18
      Skin ulcers, skin dermatitis and skin infections are common phenomena in colonies of laboratory mice and are often found at increased prevalence in certain immunocompromised strains. While in many cases these skin conditions are mild, in other cases they can be severe and lead to animal morbidity. Furthermore, the presence of skin infections and ulcerations can complicate the interpretation of experimental protocols, including those examining immune cell activation. Bacterial species in the genus Staphylococcus are the most common pathogens recovered from skin lesions in mice. In particular, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus xylosus have both been implicated as pathogens on murine skin. Staphylococcus aureus is a well-known pathogen of human skin, but S. xylosus skin infections in humans have not been described, indicating that there is a species-specific difference in the ability of S. xylosus to serve as a skin pathogen. The aim of this review is to summarize studies that link S. aureus and S. xylosus to skin infections of mice and to describe factors involved in their adherence to tissue and their virulence. We discuss potential differences in mouse and human skin that might underlie the ability of S. xylosus to act as a pathogen on murine skin, but not human skin. Finally, we also describe mouse mutants that have shown increased susceptibility to skin infections with staphylococcal bacteria. These mutants point to pathways that are important in the control of commensal staphylococcal bacteria. The information here may be useful to researchers who are working with mouse strains that are prone to skin infections with staphylococcal bacteria.
    Keywords:  Infection; Skin; Species-specific differences; Staphylococcus aureus; Staphylococcus xylosus; Virulence
  3. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2023 ;11 1228283
      Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) perform several physiological and metabolic functions at the epithelial barrier. IECs also play an important role in defining the overall immune functions at the mucosal region. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on the cell surface and in other cellular compartments enable them to sense the presence of microbes and microbial products in the intestinal lumen. IECs are thus at the crossroads of mediating a bidirectional interaction between the microbial population and the immune cells present at the intestinal mucosa. This communication between the microbial population, the IECs and the underlying immune cells has a profound impact on the overall health of the host. In this review, we focus on the various PRRs present in different cellular compartments of IECs and discuss the recent developments in the understanding of their role in microbial recognition. Microbial recognition and signaling at the epithelial barrier have implications in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis, epithelial barrier function, maintenance of commensals, and the overall tolerogenic function of PRRs in the gut mucosa. We also highlight the role of an aberrant microbial sensing at the epithelial barrier in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the development of colorectal cancer.
    Keywords:  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); intestinal epithelial cells (IECs); intestinal homeostasis; microbiome; mucosal immunity; pattern recognition receptors (PRRs)
  4. Gut Microbes. 2023 Jan-Dec;15(1):15(1): 2235067
      The human gut microbiota is a key contributor to host metabolism and physiology, thereby impacting in various ways on host health. This complex microbial community has developed many metabolic strategies to colonize, persist and survive in the gastrointestinal environment. In this regard, intracellular glycogen accumulation has been associated with important physiological functions in several bacterial species, including gut commensals. However, the role of glycogen storage in shaping the composition and functionality of the gut microbiota offers a novel perspective in gut microbiome research. Here, we review what is known about the enzymatic machinery and regulation of glycogen metabolism in selected enteric bacteria, while we also discuss its potential impact on colonization and adaptation to the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, we survey the presence of such glycogen biosynthesis pathways in gut metagenomic data to highlight the relevance of this metabolic trait in enhancing survival in the highly competitive and dynamic gut ecosystem.
    Keywords:  bacteria-host interactions; carbohydrate-active enzymes; colonization factors; commensal bacteria; glycogen metabolism; gut microbiota; microbiome
  5. Exp Anim. 2023 Aug 03.
      Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause mortality in infant, elderly, and immunocompromised individuals owing to invasion of bacteria to the lungs, the brain, and the blood. In building strategies against invasive infections, it is important to achieve greater understanding of how the pneumococci are able to survive in the host. Toll-like receptors (TLRs), critically important components in the innate immune system, have roles in various stages of the development of infectious diseases. Endosomal TLRs recognize nucleic acids of the pathogen, but the impact on the pneumococcal diseases of immune responses from signaling them remains unclear. To investigate their role in nasal colonization and invasive disease with/without influenza co-infection, we established a mouse model of invasive pneumococcal diseases directly developing from nasal colonization. TLR9 KO mice had bacteremia more frequently than wildtype in the pneumococcal mono-infection model, while the occurrence of bacteremia was higher among TLR3 KO mice after infection with influenza in advance of pneumococcal inoculation. All TLR KO strains showed poorer survival than wildtype after the mice had bacteremia. The specific and protective role of TLR3 and TLR9 was shown in developing bacteremia with/without influenza co-infection respectively, and all nucleic sensing TLRs would contribute equally to protecting sepsis after bacteremia.
    Keywords:  Streptococcus pneumoniae; Toll-like receptors; bacteremia; invasive pneumococcal disease; nasal colonization
  6. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2023 Aug 02. pii: fuad045. [Epub ahead of print]
      Epithelial cells line mucosal surfaces such as in the gingival crevice and provide a barrier to the ingress of colonizing microorganisms. However, epithelial cells are more than a passive barrier to microbial intrusion, and rather constitute an interactive interface with colonizing organisms which senses the composition of the microbiome and communicates this information to the underlying cells of the innate immune system. Microorganisms, for their part, have devised means to manipulate host cell signal transduction pathways to favor their colonization and survival. Study of this field, which has become known as cellular microbiology, has revealed much about epithelial cell physiology, bacterial colonization and pathogenic strategies, and innate host responses.
  7. Nature. 2023 Aug;620(7973): 283-284
    Keywords:  Medical research; Microbiology
  8. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1182553
      Dendritic cells (DCs) are sentinel immune cells that form a critical bridge linking the innate and adaptive immune systems. Extensive research addressing the cellular origin and heterogeneity of the DC network has revealed the essential role played by the spatiotemporal activity of key transcription factors. In response to environmental signals DC mature but it is only following the sensing of environmental signals that DC can induce an antigen specific T cell response. Thus, whilst the coordinate action of transcription factors governs DC differentiation, sensing of environmental signals by DC is instrumental in shaping their functional properties. In this review, we provide an overview that focuses on recent advances in understanding the transcriptional networks that regulate the development of the reported DC subsets, shedding light on the function of different DC subsets. Specifically, we discuss the emerging knowledge on the heterogeneity of cDC2s, the ontogeny of pDCs, and the newly described DC subset, DC3. Additionally, we examine critical transcription factors such as IRF8, PU.1, and E2-2 and their regulatory mechanisms and downstream targets. We highlight the complex interplay between these transcription factors, which shape the DC transcriptome and influence their function in response to environmental stimuli. The information presented in this review provides essential insights into the regulation of DC development and function, which might have implications for developing novel therapeutic strategies for immune-related diseases.
    Keywords:  IRF8; cDCs; dendritic cells; pDCs; transcription factor
  9. Zhonghua Jie He He Hu Xi Za Zhi. 2023 Aug 12. 46(8): 829-834
      Organoids are tissue cultures formed by culturing cells in three-dimensional environments that simulate the physiological or pathological conditions of the human body. The cultivation of organoids is used to study the temporal and spatial transformation of cells during the development of tissues or organs, to investigate changes in cellular functions and inter-communications caused by various risk factors, and to discover potential therapeutic targets. This article provided an overview of the cultivation and identification methods of alveolar organoids, as well as the research progress in their application to common respiratory diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, viral pneumonia, and so on. The limitations and future applications of alveolar organoids are also analyzed and discussed.
  10. Life Sci. 2023 Aug 01. pii: S0024-3205(23)00628-8. [Epub ahead of print] 121993
      AIMS: Bacterial infections are one of the major causes of mortality globally. The gut microbiota, primarily comprised of the commensals, performs an important role in maintaining intestinal immunometabolic homeostasis. The current review aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how modulation of the gut microbiota influences opportunistic bacterial infections.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Primarily centered around mechanisms related to colonization resistance, nutrient, and metabolite-associated factors, mucosal immune response, and commensal-pathogen reciprocal interactions, we discuss how gut microbiota can promote or prevent bacterial infections.
    KEY FINDINGS: Opportunistic infections can occur directly due to obligate pathogens or indirectly due to the overgrowth of opportunistic pathobionts. Gut microbiota-centered mechanisms of altered intestinal immunometabolic and metabolomic homeostasis play a significant role in infection promotion and prevention. Depletion in the population of commensals, increased abundance of pathobionts, and overall decrease in gut microbial diversity and richness caused due to prolonged antibiotic use are risk factors of opportunistic bacterial infections, including infections from multidrug-resistant spp. Gut commensals can limit opportunistic infections by mechanisms including the production of antimicrobials, short-chain fatty acids, bile acid metabolism, promoting mucin formation, and maintaining immunological balance at the mucosa. Gut microbiota-centered strategies, including the administration of probiotics and fecal microbiota transplantation, could help attenuate opportunistic bacterial infections.
    SIGNIFICANCE: The current review discussed the gut microbial population and function-specific aspects contributing to bacterial infection susceptibility and prophylaxis. Collectively, this review provides a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms related to the dual role of gut microbiota in bacterial infections.
    Keywords:  Colonization resistance; Commensals; Infection; Microbiota; Pathobiont; Probiotic
  11. PLoS Biol. 2023 08;21(8): e3002209
      The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes antibiotic-recalcitrant pneumonia by forming biofilms in the respiratory tract. Despite extensive in vitro experimentation, how P. aeruginosa forms biofilms at the airway mucosa is unresolved. To investigate the process of biofilm formation in realistic conditions, we developed AirGels: 3D, optically accessible tissue-engineered human lung models that emulate the airway mucosal environment. AirGels recapitulate important factors that mediate host-pathogen interactions including mucus secretion, flow and air-liquid interface (ALI), while accommodating high-resolution live microscopy. With AirGels, we investigated the contributions of mucus to P. aeruginosa biofilm biogenesis in in vivo-like conditions. We found that P. aeruginosa forms mucus-associated biofilms within hours by contracting luminal mucus early during colonization. Mucus contractions facilitate aggregation, thereby nucleating biofilms. We show that P. aeruginosa actively contracts mucus using retractile filaments called type IV pili. Our results therefore suggest that, while protecting epithelia, mucus constitutes a breeding ground for biofilms.
  12. Lancet Infect Dis. 2023 08;pii: S1473-3099(23)00446-2. [Epub ahead of print]23(8): e281
  13. Microbiology (Reading). 2023 Aug;169(8):
      The human gut microbiota can restrict the growth of pathogens to prevent them from colonizing the intestine ('colonization resistance'). However, antibiotic treatment can kill members of the gut microbiota ('gut commensals') and reduce competition for nutrients, making these nutrients available to support the growth of pathogens. This disturbance can lead to the growth and expansion of pathogens within the intestine (including antibiotic-resistant pathogens), where these pathogens can exploit the absence of competitors and the nutrient-enriched gut environment. In this review, we discuss nutrient competition between the gut microbiota and pathogens. We also provide an overview of how nutrient competition can be harnessed to support the design of next-generation microbiome therapeutics to restrict the growth of pathogens and prevent the development of invasive infections.
    Keywords:  Gut microbiome; antibiotics; colonisation resistance; nutrient competition; pathogens
  14. PLoS Pathog. 2023 Aug 04. 19(8): e1011509
      Among the many oral streptococci, Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) stands out for the capacity of encapsulated strains to cause invasive infection. Spread beyond upper airways, however, is a biological dead end for the organism, raising the question of the benefits of expending energy to coat its surface in a thick layer of capsular polysaccharide (CPS). In this study, we compare mutants of two serotypes expressing different amounts of CPS and test these in murine models of colonization, invasion infection and transmission. Our analysis of the effect of CPS amount shows that Spn expresses a capsule of sufficient thickness to shield its surface from the deposition of complement and binding of antibody to underlying epitopes. While effective shielding is permissive for invasive infection, its primary contribution to the organism appears to be in the dynamics of colonization. A thicker capsule increases bacterial retention in the nasopharynx, the first event in colonization, and also impedes IL-17-dependent clearance during late colonization. Enhanced colonization is associated with increased opportunity for host-to-host transmission. Additionally, we document substantial differences in CPS amount among clinical isolates of three common serotypes. Together, our findings show that CPS amount is highly variable among Spn and could be an independent determinant affecting host interactions.
  15. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1205449
      Vaccine-induced protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is usually ascribed to the induction of Th1, Th17, and CD8+ T cells. However, protective immune responses should also involve other immune cell subsets, such as memory T cells. We have previously shown improved protection against Mtb challenge using the rBCG-LTAK63 vaccine (a recombinant BCG strain expressing the LTAK63 adjuvant, a genetically detoxified derivative of the A subunit from E. coli heat-labile toxin). Here we show that mice immunized with rBCG-LTAK63 exhibit a long-term (at least until 6 months) polyfunctional Th1/Th17 response in the draining lymph nodes and in the lungs. This response was accompanied by the increased presence of a diverse set of memory T cells, including central memory, effector memory and tissue-resident memory T cells. After the challenge, the T cell phenotype in the lymph nodes and lungs were characterized by a decrease in central memory T cells, and an increase in effector memory T cells and effector T cells. More importantly, when challenged 6 months after the immunization, this group demonstrated increased protection in comparison to BCG. In conclusion, this work provides experimental evidence in mice that the rBCG-LTAK63 vaccine induces a persistent increase in memory and effector T cell numbers until at least 6 months after immunization, which correlates with increased protection against Mtb. This improved immune response may contribute to enhance the long-term protection.
    Keywords:  adjuvant; long-term protection; recombinant BCG; tuberculosis; vaccine
  16. Immunol Lett. 2023 Jul 28. pii: S0165-2478(23)00130-X. [Epub ahead of print]261 47-55
      Human monocytes and macrophages are two major myeloid cell subsets with similar and distinct functions in tissue homeostasis and immune responses. GM-CSF plays a fundamental role in myeloid cell differentiation and activation. Hence, we compared the effects of GM-CSF on the expression of several immune mediators by human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages obtained from healthy donors. We report that GM-CSF similarly elevated the expression of CD80 and ICAM-1 and reduced HLA-DR levels on both myeloid cell subsets. However, GM-CSF increased the percentage of macrophages expressing surface IL-15 but reduced the proportion of monocytes carrying surface IL-15. Moreover, GM-CSF significantly increased the secretion of IL-4, IL-6, TNF, CXCL10, and IL-27 by macrophages while reducing the secretion of IL-4 and CXCL10 by monocytes. We show that GM-CSF triggered ERK1/2, STAT3, STAT5, and SAPK/JNK pathways in both myeloid subsets. Using a pharmacological inhibitor (U0126) preventing ERK phosphorylation, we demonstrated that this pathway was involved in both the GM-CSF-induced increase and decrease of the percentage of IL-15+ macrophages and monocytes, respectively. Moreover, ERK1/2 contributed to GM-CSF-triggered secretion of IL-4, IL-6, TNF, IL-27 and CXCL10 by macrophages. However, the ERK1/2 pathway exhibited different roles in monocytes and macrophages for the GM-CSF-mediated impact on surface makers (CD80, HLA-DR, and ICAM-1). Our data demonstrate that GM-CSF stimulation induces differential responses by human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages and that some but not all of these effects are ERK-dependent.
    Keywords:  Chemokine; Cytokine; Mitogen‐activated protein kinase (MAPK); Myeloid cell; Signaling
  17. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 ;13 1200789
      Background: Trained immunity is the enhanced innate immune response resulting from exposure to pathogens or vaccines against an unrelated pathogen stimulus. Certain vaccines induce a memory like response in monocytes and NK cells, leading to modulation in cytokine production, metabolic changes, and modifications in histone patterns. Here, we hypothesized that vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 could induce the training of monocytes in addition to stimulating the adaptive immune response.Methods: Therefore, we aimed to investigate the immunophenotyping, cytokine and metabolic profile of monocytes from individuals who were completely immunized with two doses of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine or non-replicating viral vector vaccine. Subsequently, we investigated the epigenetic mechanisms underlying monocyte immune training. As a model of inflammatorychallenge, to understand if the monocytes were trained by vaccination and how they were trained, cells were stimulated in vitro with the endotoxin LPS, an unrelated stimulus that would provoke the effects of training.
    Results: When challenged in vitro, monocytes from vaccinated individuals produced less TNF-α and those who received inactivated vaccine produced less IL-6, whereas vaccination with non-replicating viral vector vaccine induced more IL-10. Inactivated vaccine increased classical monocyte frequency, and both groups showed higher CD163 expression, a hallmark of trained immunity. We observed increased expression of genes involved in glycolysis and reduced IRG1 expression in vaccinated subjects, a gene associated with the tolerance phenotype in monocytes. We observed that both vaccines reduced the chromatin accessibility of genes associated with the inflammatory response, the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine trained monocytes to a regulatory phenotype mediated by histone modifications in the IL6 and IL10 genes, while the non-replicating viral vector COVID-19 vaccine trained monocytes to a regulatory phenotype, mediated by histone modifications in the IL6, IL10, TNF, and CCL2 genes.
    Conclusions: Our findings support the recognized importance of adopting vaccination against SARS CoV-2, which has been shown to be effective in enhancing the adaptive immune response against the virus and reducing mortality and morbidity rates. Here, we provide evidence that vaccination also modulates the innate immune response by controlling the detrimental inflammatory response to unrelated pathogen stimulation.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; epigenetic; monocyte; trained immunity; vaccine
  18. Sci Rep. 2023 07 31. 13(1): 12391
      Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a systemic mycosis with a high incidence in Latin America. Prior studies have demonstrated the significance of the enzyme Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO-1) in the immune regulation of PCM as well as the vital role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in moderating PCM severity. Additionally, Dectin-1 and Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs) signaling in cancer, infection, and autoimmune diseases have been shown to impact MDSC-IDO-1+ activity. To expand our understanding of MDSCs and the role of IDO-1 and pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) signaling in PCM, we generated MDSCs in vitro and administered an IDO-1 inhibitor before challenging the cells with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis yeasts. By co-culturing MDSCs with lymphocytes, we assessed T-cell proliferation to examine the influence of IDO-1 on MDSC activity. Moreover, we utilized specific antibodies and MDSCs from Dectin-1, TLR4, and TLR2 knockout mice to evaluate the effect of these PRRs on IDO-1 production by MDSCs. We confirmed the importance of these in vitro findings by assessing MDSC-IDO-1+ in the lungs of mice following the fungal infection. Taken together, our data show that IDO-1 expression by MDSCs is crucial for the control of T-cell proliferation, and the production of this enzyme is partially dependent on Dectin-1, TLR2, and TLR4 signaling during murine PCM.
  19. Infect Drug Resist. 2023 ;16 4817-4834
      Background: Sporotrichosis is a mycosis frequently caused by Sporothrix schenckii, Sporothrix brasiliensis, and Sporothrix globosa. The cell wall is a species-specific fungal structure with a direct role in activating the host's immune response. The current knowledge about anti-Sporothrix immunity comes from studies using S. schenckii or S. brasiliensis and murine cells. Macrophages and dendritic cells detect and eliminate pathogens, and although the function of these cells links innate with adaptive immunity, little is known about their interaction with Sporothrix spp.Methods: S. schenckii, S. brasiliensis, and S. globosa conidia or yeast-like cells were co-incubated with human monocyte-derived macrophages or dendritic cells, and the phagocytosis and cytokine stimulation were assessed. These interactions were also performed in the presence of specific blocking agents of immune receptors or fungal cells with altered walls to analyze the contribution of these molecules to the immune cell-fungus interaction.
    Results: Both types of immune cells phagocytosed S. globosa conidia and yeast-like cells to a greater extent, followed by S. brasiliensis and S. schenckii. Furthermore, when the wall internal components were exposed, the phagocytosis level increased for S. schenckii and S. brasiliensis, in contrast to S. globosa. Thus, the cell wall components have different functions during the interaction with macrophages and dendritic cells. S. globosa stimulated an increased proinflammatory response when compared to the other species. In macrophages, this was a dectin-1-, mannose receptor-, and TLR2-dependent response, but dectin-1- and TLR2-dependent stimulation in dendritic cells. For S. schenckii and S. brasiliensis, cytokine production was dependent on the activation of TLR4, CR3, and DC-SIGN.
    Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that these species are recognized by immune cells differently and that this may depend on both the structure and cell wall organization of the different morphologies.
    Keywords:  cell wall; cytokine production; fungal morphologies; immune response; phagocytosis
  20. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1222308
      Introduction: Ageing research is establishing macrophages as key immune system regulators that undergo functional decline. Due to heterogeneity between species and tissue populations, a plethora of data exist and the power of scientific conclusions can vary substantially. This meta-analysis by information content (MAIC) and systematic literature review (SLR) aims to determine overall changes in macrophage gene and protein expression, as well as function, with age.Methods: PubMed was utilized to collate peer-reviewed literature relating to macrophage ageing. Primary studies comparing macrophages in at least two age groups were included. Data pertaining to gene or protein expression alongside method used were extracted for MAIC analysis. For SLR analysis, data included all macrophage-specific changes with age, as well as species, ontogeny and age of groups assessed.
    Results: A total of 240 studies were included; 122 of which qualified for MAIC. The majority of papers focussed on changes in macrophage count/infiltration as a function of age, followed by gene and protein expression. The MAIC found iNOS and TNF to be the most commonly investigated entities, with 328 genes and 175 proteins showing consistent dysregulation with age across the literature. Overall findings indicate that cytokine secretion and phagocytosis are reduced and reactive oxygen species production is increased in the ageing macrophage.
    Discussion: Collectively, our analysis identifies critical regulators in macrophage ageing that are consistently dysregulated, highlighting a plethora of targets for further investigation. Consistent functional changes with age found here can be used to confirm an ageing macrophage phenotype in specific studies and experimental models.
    Keywords:  ageing; immunity; infammageing; macrophage; meta-analysis
  21. Drug Dev Res. 2023 Aug 04.
      Staphylococcus aureus is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections. With the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, there is an unmet clinical need to develop immune-based therapies to treat skin infections. Previously, we have shown pan-caspase inhibition as a potential host-directed immunotherapy against community-acquired methicillin-resistant S aureus (CA-MRSA) and other bacterial skin infections. Here, we evaluated the role of irreversible pan-caspase inhibitor emricasan as a monotherapy and an adjunctive with a standard-of-care antibiotic, doxycycline, as potential host-directed immunotherapies against S. aureus skin infections in vivo. We used the established CA-MRSA strain USA300 on the dorsum of WT C57BL/6J mice and monitored lesion size and bacterial burden noninvasively, and longitudinally over 14 days with in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Mice in four groups placebo (0.5% carboxymethyl cellulose [CMC] solution), placebo plus doxycycline (100 mg/kg), emricasan (40 mg/kg) plus doxycycline, and emricasan only were treated orally twice daily by oral gavage for 7 days, starting at 4 h after injection of S aureus. When compared with placebo, all three groups, placebo plus doxycycline, emricasan plus doxycycline, and emricasan treated group, exhibited biological effect, with reduction of both the lesion size (*p = .0277, ****p < .0001, ****p < .0001, respectively) and bacterial burden (***p = .003, ****p < .0001, ****p < .0001, respectively). Importantly, the efficacy of emricasan against S. aureus was not due to direct antibacterial activity. Collectively, pan-caspase inhibitor emricasan and emricasan plus doxycycline reduced both the lesion size and bacterial burden in vivo, and emricasan is a potential host-directed immunotherapy against MRSA skin infections in a preclinical mouse model.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; bacterial infections; caspases; innate immunity; skin infections
  22. Cell Rep. 2023 Jul 30. pii: S2211-1247(23)00892-6. [Epub ahead of print]42(8): 112881
      Conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) are found in most tissues and play a key role in initiation of immunity. cDCs require constant replenishment from progenitors called pre-cDCs that develop in the bone marrow (BM) and enter the blood circulation to seed all tissues. This process can be markedly accelerated in response to inflammation (emergency cDCpoiesis). Here, we identify two populations of BM pre-cDC marked by differential expression of CXCR4. We show that CXCR4lo cells constitute the migratory pool of BM pre-cDCs, which exits the BM and can be rapidly mobilized during challenge. We further show that exit of CXCR4lo pre-cDCs from BM at steady state is partially dependent on CCR2 and that CCR2 upregulation in response to type I IFN receptor signaling markedly increases efflux during infection with influenza A virus. Our results highlight a fine balance between retention and efflux chemokine cues that regulates steady-state and emergency cDCpoiesis.
    Keywords:  CP: Developmental biology; CP: Immunology; dendritic cells; emergency cDCpoiesis; immunology; influenza A virus infection; type I interferons
  23. Cell Rep Med. 2023 Jul 26. pii: S2666-3791(23)00260-4. [Epub ahead of print] 101132
      Hepatic macrophages represent a key cellular component of the liver and are essential for the progression of acute liver failure (ALF). We construct artificial apoptotic cells loaded with itaconic acid (AI-Cells), wherein the compositions of the synthetic plasma membrane and surface topology are rationally engineered. AI-Cells are predominantly localized to the liver and further transport to hepatic macrophages. Intravenous administration of AI-Cells modulates macrophage inflammation to protect the liver from acetaminophen-induced ALF. Mechanistically, AI-Cells act on caspase-1 to suppress NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated cleavage of pro-IL-1β into its active form in macrophages. Notably, AI-Cells specifically induce anti-inflammatory memory-like hepatic macrophages in ALF mice, which prevent constitutive overproduction of IL-1β when liver reinjury occurs. In light of AI-Cells' precise delivery and training of memory-like hepatic macrophages, they offer promising therapeutic potential in reversing ALF by finely controlling inflammatory responses and orchestrating liver homeostasis, which potentially affect the treatment of various types of liver failure.
    Keywords:  IL-1β; acute liver failure; artificial cells; itaconic acid; memory-like hepatic macrophages
  24. Trends Mol Med. 2023 Jul 27. pii: S1471-4914(23)00152-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      A growing number of human gut microbiome studies consistently describe differences between human populations. Here, we review how factors related to host genetics, ethnicity, lifestyle, and geographic location help explain this variation. Studies from contrasting environmental scenarios point to diet and lifestyle as the most influential. The effect of human migration and displacement demonstrates how the microbiome adapts to newly adopted lifestyles and contributes to the profound biological and health consequences attributed to migration. This information strongly suggests against a universal scale for healthy or dysbiotic gut microbiomes, and prompts for additional microbiome population surveys, particularly from less industrialized nations. Considering these important differences will be critical for designing strategies to diagnose and restore dysbiosis in various human populations.
    Keywords:  dysbiosis; gut microbiome; human populations; microbial ecology; social determinants of health; socioeconomic status
  25. Immunobiology. 2023 Jul 17. pii: S0171-2985(23)04514-X. [Epub ahead of print]228(5): 152712
      Previous studies have reported a correlation between the dysregulation of intestinal microbiota and the occurrence of asthma. This study aimed to investigate the effect of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus 76 (LR76) on ovalbumin (OVA)-allergic mice and the mechanism of LR76 affecting mucus secretion in asthma. OVA-allergic mice were supplemented with LR76, and 16HBE cells induced by interleukin-13 (IL-13) were treated with LR76 supernatant (LR76-s) to observe the effect of LR76. In OVA-sensitized mice, LR76 alleviated the inflammatory cell infiltration in lung tissue and reduced the inflammatory cell counts of BALF. The expression level of mRNA, including Il4, Il5, Il13, Il25, Tgfb1, Il10, and Ifng, was decreased in the lung tissue of mice in the LR76 group compared with the OVA group. MUC5AC expression was down-regulated, while SCGB1A1 was up-regulated in the lung tissue of OVA-allergic mice after being supplemented with LR76 and in 16HBE cells induced by IL-13 after incubating with LR76-s. LR76 and LR76-s down-regulated the expression of proteins, including STAT6, p-STAT6, and SPDEF, and mRNA of STAT6 and SPDEF. In conclusion, LR76 alleviated airway inflammation and Th2 response in OVA-allergic mice and improved the mucus secretion of mouse lung tissue and 16HBE cells in the asthma model by down-regulating STAT6/SPDEF pathway.
    Keywords:  Airway inflammation; Asthma; Lactobacillus rhamnosus; Mucus secretion; STAT6/SPDEF pathway
  26. Biomaterials. 2023 Jun 21. pii: S0142-9612(23)00211-9. [Epub ahead of print]301 122203
      Lung infections are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and this situation has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19. Pre-clinical modelling of viral infections has relied on cell cultures that lack 3D structure and the context of lung extracellular matrices. Here, we propose a bioreactor-based, whole-organ lung model of viral infection. The bioreactor takes advantage of an automated system to achieve efficient decellularization of a whole rat lung, and recellularization of the scaffold using primary human bronchial cells. Automatization allowed for the dynamic culture of airway epithelial cells in a breathing-mimicking setup that led to an even distribution of lung epithelial cells throughout the distal regions. In the sealed bioreactor system, we demonstrate proof-of-concept for viral infection within the epithelialized lung by infecting primary human airway epithelial cells and subsequently injecting neutrophils. Moreover, to assess the possibility of drug screening in this model, we demonstrate the efficacy of the broad-spectrum antiviral remdesivir. This whole-organ scale lung infection model represents a step towards modelling viral infection of human cells in a 3D context, providing a powerful tool to investigate the mechanisms of the early stages of pathogenic infections and the development of effective treatment strategies for respiratory diseases.
    Keywords:  Decellularization; Epithelialization; Lung tissue engineering; Neutrophils; RSV; Viral infection
  27. Mol Immunol. 2023 Jul 31. pii: S0161-5890(23)00144-X. [Epub ahead of print]161 91-103
      Influenza virus (IV) is a common pathogen affecting the upper respiratory tract, that causes various diseases. Secondary bacterial pneumonia is a common complication and a major cause of death in influenza patients. Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) is the predominant co-infected bacteria in the pandemic, which colonizes healthy people but can cause diseases in immunocompromised individuals. Vaccination is a crucial strategy for avoiding infection, however, no universal influenza vaccine (UIV) that is resistant to multiple influenza viruses is available. Despite its limited immunogenicity, the hemagglutinin (HA) stem is a candidate peptide for UIV. ΔA146Ply (pneumolysin with a single deletion of A146) not only retains the Toll-like receptor 4 agonist effect but also is a potential vaccine adjuvant and a candidate protein for the S. pneumoniae vaccine. We constructed the fusion protein ΔA146Ply-HA stem and studied its immunoprotective effect in mice infection models. The results showed that intramuscular immunization of ΔA146Ply-HA stem without adjuvant could induce specific antibodies against HA stem and specific CD4+ T and CD8+ T cellular immunity in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, which could improve the survival rate of mice infected with IAV and co-infected with S. pneumoniae, but the protective effect on BALB/c mice was better than that on C57BL/6 mice. ΔA146Ply-HA stem serum antibody could protect BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice from IAV, and recognized HA polypeptides of H3N2, H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 viruses. Moreover, ΔA146Ply-HA stem intramuscular immunization had a high safety profile with no obvious toxic side effects. The results indicated that coupling ΔA146Ply with influenza protein as a vaccine was a safe and effective strategy against the IV and secondary S. pneumoniae infection.
    Keywords:  Infection; Influenza A virus; Protection; Streptococcus pneumoniae; ΔA146Ply-HA stem
  28. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 Aug 03. pii: S1934-5909(23)00253-9. [Epub ahead of print]30(8): 1028-1042.e7
      Impaired differentiation of alveolar stem cells has been identified in a variety of acute and chronic lung diseases. In this study, we investigate the mechanisms that modulate alveolar regeneration and understand how aging impacts this process. We have discovered that the process of alveolar type II (AT2) cells differentiating into AT1 cells is an energetically costly process. During alveolar regeneration, activated AMPK-PFKFB2 signaling upregulates glycolysis, which is essential to support the intracellular energy expenditure that is required for cytoskeletal remodeling during AT2 cell differentiation. AT2 cells in aged lungs exhibit reduced AMPK-PFKFB2 signaling and ATP production, resulting in impaired alveolar regeneration. Activating AMPK-PFKFB2 signaling in aged AT2 cells can rescue defective alveolar regeneration in aged mice. Thus, beyond demonstrating that cellular energy metabolism orchestrates with stem cell differentiation during alveolar regeneration, our study suggests that modulating AMPK-PFKFB2 signaling promotes alveolar repair in aged lungs.
    Keywords:  aging; alveolar stem cells; energy metabolism; fibrosis resolution; lung regeneration; mechanical
  29. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2023 Aug 02. pii: S0960-894X(23)00306-2. [Epub ahead of print] 129428
      Imaging or killing of a specific pathogen is of significance for precise therapy. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is an infectious gram-positive bacteria relying on Sortase A (SrtA) to anchor cell surface protein on peptidoglycan. We herein report signal-on labeling of S. aureus with self-quenched optical probes featuring vancomycin-conjugated SrtA substrate that is flanked by a dabcyl moiety paired with either fluorescein or eosine photosensizer (PS). SrtA-mediated cleavage of the substrate motif releases the dabcyl quencher, leading to covalent labeling of peptidoglycan with fluorescein or PS of restored photophysical property. The dual biomarked-enabled peptidoglycan labeling enables signal-on imaging and effective photodynamic destruction of S. aureus, suggesting a protheranostic approch activatable to SrtA-positive bacteria engaged in myriad diseases.
    Keywords:  Antibacterial photodynamic therapy; Covalent ligation; Fluorogenic labelling; Photosensitizer; Sortase A
  30. Cell Rep. 2023 Jul 31. pii: S2211-1247(23)00927-0. [Epub ahead of print]42(8): 112916
      Endolysosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play crucial roles in immune responses to pathogens, while aberrant activation of these pathways is associated with autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The endolysosomal solute carrier family 15 member 4 (SLC15A4) is required for TLR7/8/9-induced responses and disease development in SLE models. SLC15A4 has been proposed to affect TLR7-9 activation through its transport activity, as well as by assembling an IRF5-activating complex with TASL, but the relative contribution of these functions remains unclear. Here, we show that the essential role of SLC15A4 is to recruit TASL to endolysosomes, while its transport activity is dispensable when TASL is tethered to this compartment. Endolysosomal-localized TASL rescues TLR7-9-induced IRF5 activation as well as interferon β and cytokine production in SLC15A4-deficient cells. SLC15A4 acts as signaling scaffold, and this function is essential to control TLR7-9-mediated inflammatory responses. These findings support targeting the SLC15A4-TASL complex as a potential therapeutic strategy for SLE and related diseases.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; IRF5; SLC15A4; SLE; TASL; Toll-like receptors; autoimmunity; lysosome
  31. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1216352
      cDC2s occur abundantly in peripheral tissues and arise from circulating blood cDC2s. However, the factors governing cDC2 differentiation in tissues, especially under inflammatory conditions, remained poorly defined. We here found that psoriatic cDC2s express the efferocytosis receptor Axl and exhibit a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and p38MAPK signaling signature. BMP7, strongly expressed within the lesional psoriatic epidermis, cooperates with canonical TGF-β1 signaling for inducing Axl+cDC2s from blood cDC2s in vitro. Moreover, downstream induced p38MAPK promotes Axl+cDC2s at the expense of Axl+CD207+ Langerhans cell differentiation from blood cDC2s. BMP7 supplementation allowed to model cDC2 generation and their further differentiation into LCs from CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells in defined serum-free medium. Additionally, p38MAPK promoted the generation of another cDC2 subset lacking Axl but expressing the non-classical NFkB transcription factor RelB in vitro. Such RelB+cDC2s occurred predominantly at dermal sites in the inflamed skin. Finally, we found that cDC2s can be induced to acquire high levels of the monocyte lineage identity factor kruppel-like-factor-4 (KLF4) along with monocyte-derived DC and macrophage phenotypic characteristics in vitro. In conclusion, inflammatory and psoriatic epidermal signals instruct blood cDC2s to acquire phenotypic characteristics of several tissue-resident cell subsets.
    Keywords:  Langerhans cell; dendritic cell; epidermal signaling; inflammatory skin disease; lineage decision; transcriptional reprogramming
  32. PLoS Pathog. 2023 Aug 03. 19(8): e1011183
      By applying dual proteome profiling to Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) encounters with its epithelial host (here, S. Typhimurium infected human HeLa cells), a detailed interdependent and holistic proteomic perspective on host-pathogen interactions over the time course of infection was obtained. Data-independent acquisition (DIA)-based proteomics was found to outperform data-dependent acquisition (DDA) workflows, especially in identifying the downregulated bacterial proteome response during infection progression by permitting quantification of low abundant bacterial proteins at early times of infection when bacterial infection load is low. S. Typhimurium invasion and replication specific proteomic signatures in epithelial cells revealed interdependent host/pathogen specific responses besides pointing to putative novel infection markers and signalling responses, including regulated host proteins associated with Salmonella-modified membranes.
  33. Front Nutr. 2023 ;10 1209613
      Tryptophan (Trp) is an essential amino acid that can be metabolized via endogenous and exogenous pathways, including the Kynurenine Pathway, the 5-Hydroxyindole Pathway (also the Serotonin pathway), and the Microbial pathway. Of these, the Microbial Trp metabolic pathways in the gut have recently been extensively studied for their production of bioactive molecules. The gut microbiota plays an important role in host metabolism and immunity, and microbial Trp metabolites can influence the development and progression of various diseases, including inflammatory, cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases, metabolic diseases, and cancer, by mediating the body's immunity. This review briefly outlines the crosstalk between gut microorganisms and Trp metabolism in the body, starting from the three metabolic pathways of Trp. The mechanisms by which microbial Trp metabolites act on organism immunity are summarized, and the potential implications for disease prevention and treatment are highlighted.
    Keywords:  AhR; immunity; indole derivatives; microorganism; tryptophan
  34. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2023 Aug 04.
      Antibiotics have transformed medicine, saving millions of lives since they were first used to treat a bacterial infection. However, antibiotics administered to target a specific pathogen can also cause collateral damage to the patient's resident microbial population. These drugs can suppress the growth of commensal species which provide protection against colonization by foreign pathogens, leading to an increased risk of subsequent infection. At the same time, a patient's microbiota can harbour potential pathogens and, hence, be a source of infection. Antibiotic-induced selection pressure can cause overgrowth of resistant pathogens pre-existing in the patient's microbiota, leading to hard-to-treat superinfections. In this Review, we explore our current understanding of how antibiotic therapy can facilitate subsequent infections due to both loss of colonization resistance and overgrowth of resistant microorganisms, and how these processes are often interlinked. We discuss both well-known and currently overlooked examples of antibiotic-associated infections at various body sites from various pathogens. Finally, we describe ongoing and new strategies to overcome the collateral damage caused by antibiotics and to limit the risk of antibiotic-associated infections.