bims-bac4me Biomed News
on Microbiome and trained immunity
Issue of 2023‒09‒24
thirty papers selected by
Chun-Chi Chang, University Hospital Zurich

  1. Cell Rep. 2023 Sep 19. pii: S2211-1247(23)01160-9. [Epub ahead of print]42(10): 113148
      Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of bacterial skin infections in humans, including patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) are the first cells to infiltrate an infection site, where they usually provide an effective first line of defense, including neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. Here, we show that infiltrating PMNs in inflamed human and mouse skin enhance S. aureus skin colonization and persistence. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that a crosstalk between keratinocytes and PMNs results in enhanced NET formation upon S. aureus infection, which in turn induces oxidative stress and expression of danger-associated molecular patterns such as high-mobility-group-protein B1 (HMGB1) in keratinocytes. In turn, HMGB1 enhances S. aureus skin colonization and persistence by promoting skin barrier dysfunctions by the downregulation of epidermal barrier genes. Using patient material, we show that patients with AD exhibit enhanced presence of PMNs, NETs, and HMGB1 in the skin, demonstrating the clinical relevance of our finding.
    Keywords:  CP: Microbiology; DAMPs; Staphylococcus aureus; atopic dermatitis; neutrophil extracellular traps; neutrophils; oxidative stress; skin barrier
  2. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1239244
      The skin functions as a physical barrier and represents the first line of the innate immune system. There is increasing evidence that toll-like receptors (TLRs) are involved in the pathomechanisms of not only infectious diseases, but also non-infectious inflammatory diseases. Interestingly, it has been demonstrated that TLRs recognize both exogenous threats, e.g. bacteria and viruses, and endogenous danger signals related to inflammation, cell necrosis, or tissue damage. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease, which is associated with impaired skin barrier function, increased skin irritability to non-specific stimuli, and percutaneous sensitization. The impairment of skin barrier function in AD allows various stimuli, such as potential allergens and pathogens, to penetrate the skin and activate the innate immune system, including TLR signaling, which can lead to the development of adaptive immune reactions. In this review, I summarize the current understanding of the roles of TLR signaling in the pathogenesis of AD, with special emphasis on skin barrier function and inflammation.
    Keywords:  atopic dermatitis; barrier; inflammation; innate immunity; skin; stratum corneum; toll-like receptors
  3. mBio. 2023 Sep 22. e0170723
      The inflammasome is essential for host defense against intracellular bacterial pathogens, including Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of the severe pneumonia Legionnaires' disease. Inflammasomes recruit and activate caspases, which promote IL-1 family cytokine release and pyroptosis to restrict infection. In mice, interferon (IFN) signaling promotes inflammasome responses against L. pneumophila and other bacteria, in part, through inducing a family of IFN-inducible GTPases known as guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs). Within murine macrophages, IFN promotes the rupture of the L. pneumophila-containing vacuole (LCV), while GBPs are dispensable for vacuole rupture. Instead, GBPs facilitate the lysis of cytosol-exposed L. pneumophila. In contrast, the functions of IFN-γ and GBPs in human inflammasome responses to L. pneumophila are poorly understood. Here, we show that IFN-γ enhances caspase-1- and caspase-4-dependent inflammasome responses to L. pneumophila in human macrophages. We find that human GBP1 is required for these IFN-γ-driven inflammasome responses. Furthermore, we find that GBP1 co-localizes with L. pneumophila and/or LCVs in a type IV secretion system (T4SS)-dependent manner and facilitates damage to the LCV, resulting in increased bacterial access to the host cell cytosol. Our findings reveal species- and pathogen-specific differences in how GBPs function during infection. IMPORTANCE Inflammasomes are essential for host defense against intracellular bacterial pathogens like Legionella, as they activate caspases, which promote cytokine release and cell death to control infection. In mice, interferon (IFN) signaling promotes inflammasome responses against bacteria by inducing a family of IFN-inducible GTPases known as guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs). Within murine macrophages, IFN promotes the rupture of the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV), while GBPs are dispensable for this process. Instead, GBPs facilitate the lysis of cytosol-exposed Legionella. In contrast, the functions of IFN and GBPs in human inflammasome responses to Legionella are poorly understood. We show that IFN-γ enhances inflammasome responses to Legionella in human macrophages. Human GBP1 is required for these IFN-γ-driven inflammasome responses. Furthermore, GBP1 co-localizes with Legionella and/or LCVs in a type IV secretion system (T4SS)-dependent manner and promotes damage to the LCV, which leads to increased exposure of the bacteria to the host cell cytosol. Thus, our findings reveal species- and pathogen-specific differences in how GBPs function to promote inflammasome responses.
    Keywords:  Legionella pneumophila; caspase-4; guanylate-binding proteins; inflammasomes; innate immunity; macrophages
  4. J Innate Immun. 2023 Sep 21.
      Epigenetic reprogramming of innate immune cells by β-glucan in a process called trained immunity, leads to an enhanced host response to a secondary infection. β-glucans are structural components of plants, algae, fungi and bacteria and thus recognized as non-self by human macrophages. We selected the β-glucans curdlan from Alcaligenes faecalis, WGP dispersible from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and β-glucan-rich culture supernatant of Alternaria and investigated whether they could produce trained immunity effects leading to an increased control of virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We observed a significant M. tuberculosis growth-reduction in macrophages trained with curdlan and Alternaria, which also correlated with increased IL-6 and IL-1β release. WGP dispersible-trained macrophages were stratified into 'non responders' and 'responders', according to their ability to control M. tuberculosis, with 'responders' producing higher IL-6 levels. The addition of neutrophils to infected macrophage cultures further enhanced macrophage control of virulent M. tuberculosis, but not in a stimuli-dependent manner. Pathway enrichment analysis of DNA methylome data also highlighted hypomethylation of genes in pathways associated with signaling and cellular reorganization and motility, and 'responders' to WGP-training were enriched in the interferon-gamma signaling pathway. This study adds evidence that certain β-glucans show promise as immune training agents.
  5. mBio. 2023 Sep 22. e0135023
      Microorganisms can acquire metal ions in metal-limited environments using small molecules called metallophores. While metals and their importers are essential, metals can also be toxic, and metallophores have limited ability to discriminate between metals. The impact of metallophore-mediated non-cognate metal uptake on bacterial metal homeostasis and pathogenesis remains to be defined. The globally significant pathogen Staphylococcus aureus uses the Cnt system to secrete the metallophore staphylopine in zinc-limited host niches. Here, we show that staphylopine and the Cnt system facilitate bacterial copper uptake, potentiating the need for copper detoxification. During in vivo infection, staphylopine usage increased S. aureus susceptibility to host-mediated copper stress, indicating that the innate immune response can harness the antimicrobial potential of altered elemental abundances in host niches. Collectively, these observations show that while the broad-spectrum metal-chelating properties of metallophores can be advantageous, the host can exploit these properties to drive metal intoxication and mediate antibacterial control. IMPORTANCE During infection, bacteria must overcome the dual threats of metal starvation and intoxication. This work reveals that the zinc-withholding response of the host sensitizes S. aureus to copper intoxication. In response to zinc starvation, S. aureus utilizes the metallophore staphylopine. The current work revealed that the host can leverage the promiscuity of staphylopine to intoxicate S. aureus during infection. Significantly, staphylopine-like metallophores are produced by a wide range of pathogens, suggesting that this is a conserved weakness that the host can leverage to toxify invaders with copper. Moreover, it challenges the assumption that the broad-spectrum metal binding of metallophores is inherently beneficial to bacteria.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; copper; intoxication; nutrient transport; nutritional immunity; staphylopine; starvation; zinc
  6. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2023 Sep 23. 42(1): 245
      Macrophages are highly plastic in different tissues and can differentiate into functional subpopulations under different stimuli. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are one of the most important innate immune cells implicated in the establishment of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Recent evidence pinpoints the critical role of metabolic reprogramming in dictating pro-tumorigenic functions of TAMs. Both tumor cells and macrophages undergo metabolic reprogramming to meet energy demands in the TME. Understanding the metabolic rewiring in TAMs can shed light on immune escape mechanisms and provide insights into repolarizing TAMs towards anti-tumorigenic function. Here, we discuss how metabolism impinges on the functional divergence of macrophages and its relevance to macrophage polarization in the TME.
    Keywords:  Metabolic reprogramming; Polarization; Signaling pathways; TAMs; TME
  7. Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Sep 22. e0168423
      Individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD) are highly colonized by Staphylococcus aureus and are more susceptible to severe viral complications. We hypothesized that S. aureus secreted virulence factors may alter keratinocyte biology to enhance viral susceptibility through disruption of the skin barrier, impaired keratinocyte differentiation, and/or inflammation. To address this hypothesis, human keratinocytes were exposed to conditioned media from multiple S. aureus strains that vary in virulence factor production (USA300, HG003, and RN4220) or select purified virulence factors. We have identified the S. aureus enterotoxin-like superantigen SElQ, as a virulence factor of interest, since it is highly produced by USA300 and was detected on the skin of 53% of AD subjects (n = 72) in a study conducted by our group. Treatment with USA300 conditioned media or purified SElQ resulted in a significant increase in keratinocyte susceptibility to infection with vaccinia virus, and also significantly decreased barrier function. Importantly, we have previously demonstrated that keratinocyte differentiation influences susceptibility to viral infection, and our qPCR observations indicated that USA300 S. aureus and SElQ alter differentiation in keratinocytes. CRISPR/Cas9 was used to knock out CD40, a potential enterotoxin receptor on epithelial cells. We found that CD40 expression on keratinocytes was not completely necessary for SElQ-mediated responses, as measured by proinflammatory cytokine expression and barrier function. Together, these findings support that select S. aureus virulence factors, particularly SElQ, enhance the susceptibility of epidermal cells to viral infection, which may contribute to the increased cutaneous infections observed in individuals with AD. IMPORTANCE Staphylococcus aureus skin colonization and infection are frequently observed in individuals with atopic dermatitis. Many S. aureus strains belong to the clonal group USA300, and these strains produce superantigens including the staphylococcal enterotoxin-like Q (SElQ). Our studies highlight that SElQ may play a key role by altering keratinocyte differentiation and reducing barrier function; collectively, this may explain the AD-specific enhanced infection risk to cutaneous viruses. It is unclear what receptor mediates SElQ's effects on keratinocytes. We have shown that one putative surface receptor, CD40, was not critical for its effects on proinflammatory cytokine production or barrier function.
    Keywords:  CD40; SElQ; Staphylococcus aureus; USA300; atopic dermatitis; barrier function; keratinocytes; superantigens; vaccinia virus; viral infection
  8. Nat Commun. 2023 09 19. 14(1): 5814
      Epithelial plasticity has been suggested in lungs of mice following genetic depletion of stem cells but is of unknown physiological relevance. Viral infection and chronic lung disease share similar pathological features of stem cell loss in alveoli, basal cell (BC) hyperplasia in small airways, and innate immune activation, that contribute to epithelial remodeling and loss of lung function. We show that a subset of distal airway secretory cells, intralobar serous (IS) cells, are activated to assume BC fates following influenza virus infection. Injury-induced hyperplastic BC (hBC) differ from pre-existing BC by high expression of IL-22Ra1 and undergo IL-22-dependent expansion for colonization of injured alveoli. Resolution of virus-elicited inflammation results in BC to IS re-differentiation in repopulated alveoli, and increased local expression of protective antimicrobial factors, but fails to restore normal alveolar epithelium responsible for gas exchange.
  9. Epigenetics. 2023 Dec;18(1): 2242689
      Epigenetics describes chemical modifications of the genome that do not alter DNA sequence but participate in the regulation of gene expression and cellular processes such as proliferation, division, and differentiation of eukaryotic cell. Disruption of the epigenome pattern in a human cell is associated with different diseases, including infectious diseases. During infection pathogens induce epigenetic modifications in the host cell. This can occur by controlling expression of genes involved in immune response. That enables bacterial survival and replication within the host and evasion of the immune response. Methylation is an example of epigenetic modification that occurs on DNA and histones. Reasoning that DNA and histone methylation of human host cells plays a crucial role during pathogenesis, these modifications are promising targets for the development of alternative treatment strategies in infectious diseases. Here, we discuss the role of DNA and histone methyltransferases in human host cell upon bacterial infections. We further hypothesize that compounds targeting methyltransferases are tools to study epigenetics in the context of host-pathogen interactions and can open new avenues for the treatment of bacterial infections.
    Keywords:  Bacterial infection; DNA and histone methylation; chemical targeting
  10. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1237042
      The liver is situated at the interface of the gut and circulation where it acts as a filter for blood-borne and gut-derived microbes and biological molecules, promoting tolerance of non-invasive antigens while driving immune responses against pathogenic ones. Liver resident immune cells such as Kupffer cells (KCs), a subset of macrophages, maintain homeostasis under physiological conditions. However, upon liver injury, these cells and others recruited from circulation participate in the response to injury and the repair of tissue damage. Such response is thus spatially and temporally regulated and implicates interconnected cells of immune and non-immune nature. This review will describe the hepatic immune environment during acute liver injury and the subsequent wound healing process. In its early stages, the wound healing immune response involves a necroinflammatory process characterized by partial depletion of resident KCs and lymphocytes and a significant infiltration of myeloid cells including monocyte-derived macrophages (MoMFs) complemented by a wave of pro-inflammatory mediators. The subsequent repair stage includes restoring KCs, initiating angiogenesis, renewing extracellular matrix and enhancing proliferation/activation of resident parenchymal and mesenchymal cells. This review will focus on the multifaceted role of hepatic macrophages, including KCs and MoMFs, and their spatial distribution and roles during acute liver injury.
    Keywords:  acute injury; liver; macrophages; necroinflammation; spatial distribution; tissue repair; wound healing response
  11. J Clin Invest. 2023 Sep 14. pii: e170706. [Epub ahead of print]
      The facilitative GLUT1 and GLUT3 hexose transporters are expressed abundantly in macrophages, but whether they have distinct functions remains unclear. We confirmed that GLUT1 expression increased after M1 polarization stimuli and found that GLUT3 expression increased after M2 stimulation in macrophages. Conditional deletion of Glut3 (LysM-Cre Glut3fl/fl) impaired M2 polarization of bone marrow derived macrophages. Alternatively activated macrophages from the skin of atopic dermatitis patients showed increased GLUT3 expression, and a calcipotriol-induced model of atopic dermatitis was rescued LysM-Cre Glut3fl/fl mice. M2-like macrophages expressed GLUT3 in human wound tissues as assessed by transcriptomics and co-staining, and GLUT3 expression was significantly decreased in non-healing, compared with healing, diabetic foot ulcers. In an excisional wound healing model, LysM-Cre Glut3fl/fl mice showed significantly impaired M2 macrophage polarization and delayed wound healing. GLUT3 promoted IL-4/STAT6 signaling, independent from its glucose transport activity. Unlike plasma membrane-localized GLUT1, GLUT3 was localized primarily to endosomes and was required for the efficient endocytosis of IL4Ra subunits. GLUT3 interacted directly with GTP-bound RAS in vitro and in vivo through its intracytoplasmic loop domain (ICH), and this interaction was required for efficient STAT6 activation and M2 polarization. PAK activation and macropinocytosis were also impaired without GLUT3, suggesting broader roles for GLUT3 in the regulation of endocytosis. Thus, GLUT3 is required for efficient alternative macrophage polarization and function, through a glucose transport-independent, RAS-mediated role in the regulation of endocytosis and IL-4/STAT6 activation.
    Keywords:  Dermatology; Glucose metabolism; Immunology; Macrophages; Skin
  12. Emerg Infect Dis. 2023 Oct;29(10):
    Keywords:  Bath; Bristol; Streptococcus pneumoniae; United Kingdom; bacteria; bacterial infections; disease severity; hospitalized adults; pneumococcus; pneumonia; respiratory infections; serotype distribution; serotypes
  13. Differentiation. 2023 Sep 12. pii: S0301-4681(23)00067-1. [Epub ahead of print]134 11-19
      Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive interstitial disease that is characterized by increased cellular proliferation and differentiation together with excessive extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition leading to buildup of scar tissue (fibrosis) and remodeling in the lungs. The activated and differentiated (myo)fibroblasts are one of the main sources of tissue remodeling in IPF and a crucial mechanism known to contribute to this feature is an aberrant crosstalk between pulmonary fibroblasts and the abnormal or injured pulmonary epithelium. This epithelial-fibroblast interaction mimics the temporal, spatial and cell-type specific crosstalk between the endoderm and mesoderm in the so-called epithelial-mesenchymal trophic unit (EMTU) during lung development that is proposed to be activated in healthy lung repair and dysregulated in various lung diseases including IPF. To study the dysregulated lung EMTU in IPF, various complex in vitro models have been established. Hence, in this review, we will provide a summary of studies that have used complex (3-dimensional) in vitro co-culture, and organoid models to assess how abnormal epithelial-fibroblast interactions in lung EMTU contribute to crucial features of the IPF including defective cellular differentiation, proliferation and migration as well as increased ECM deposition.
    Keywords:  Cellular crosstalk; Co-culture models; Differentiation; Epithelium; Fibroblasts; Fibrosis; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; In vitro models; Proliferation extracellular matrix (ECM)
  14. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1213467
      Background: Macrophages are key effector cells of innate immunity and play a critical role in the immune balance of disease pathogenesis, especially in the tumor microenvironment. In previous studies, we showed that FimH, an Escherichia coli adhesion portion, promoted dendritic cell activation. However, the effect of FimH in macrophage polarization has yet to be fully examined. In this study, we investigated the potential effect of FimH on macrophages, as well as the polarization from M2 to M1 macrophages, contributing to the overall antitumor effect.Methods: Mouse bone marrow derived macrophages and peritoneal macrophages were generated to test the effect of FimH in vitro. The expression of costimulatory molecules and production of cytokines were analyzed. The effect of FimH in the tumor-associated macrophages was examine in the B16F10-tumor bearing C57BL/6.
    Results: FimH was found to promote M1 macrophage activation. In addition, FimH polarized M2 macrophages, which were induced by interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 into M1 macrophages were dependent on toll-like receptor 4 and myeloid differentiation factor 2. Moreover, FimH reprogramed the tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) into M1 macrophages in B16 melanoma tumor-bearing mice and promoted an inflammatory reaction in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Furthermore, FimH promoted M1 macrophage activation, as well as the reversion of M2 macrophages into M1 macrophages in humans. Finally, FimH treatment was found to enhance the anti-cancer immunity of anti-PD-L1 antibody by the induction of M1 polarization from TAM.
    Conclusion: This study demonstrated the potential effect of FimH on the activation of macrophages, responsible for the repolarization of M2 macrophages into the M1 phenotype via the TLR4 signaling pathway. Moreover, FimH could also reprogram TAM polarization to the M1 status in the TME, as well as enhance the anti-tumor activity of immune checkpoint blockade.
    Keywords:  fimH; macrophage polarization; myeloid differentiation factor 2; toll-like receptor 4; tumor-associated macrophage
  15. Nat Commun. 2023 09 16. 14(1): 5753
      The aromatic amino acid L-tryptophan (Trp) is essentially metabolized along the host and microbial pathways. While much is known about the role played by downstream metabolites of each pathways in intestinal homeostasis, their role in lung immune homeostasis is underappreciated. Here we have examined the role played by the Trp hydroxylase/5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) pathway in calibrating host and microbial Trp metabolism during Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. We found that 5-HT produced by mast cells essentially contributed to pathogen clearance and immune homeostasis in infection by promoting the host protective indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase 1/kynurenine pathway and limiting the microbial activation of the indole/aryl hydrocarbon receptor pathway. This occurred via regulation of lung and intestinal microbiota and signaling pathways. 5-HT was deficient in the sputa of patients with Cystic fibrosis, while 5-HT supplementation restored the dysregulated Trp partitioning in murine disease. These findings suggest that 5-HT, by bridging host-microbiota Trp partitioning, may have clinical effects beyond its mood regulatory function in respiratory pathologies with an inflammatory component.
  16. Pharmacol Res. 2023 Sep 15. pii: S1043-6618(23)00285-2. [Epub ahead of print]196 106929
      Severe asthma is a difficult-to-treat chronic airway inflammatory disease requiring systemic corticosteroids to achieve asthma control. It has recently been shown that drugs targeting immunometabolism have elicited anti-inflammatory effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential immunometabolic modulatory actions of systemic dexamethasone (Dex) in an Aspergillus fumigatus (Af)-induced severe asthma model. Mice were repeatedly exposed to the Af aeroallergen before systemic treatment with Dex. Simultaneous measurements of airway inflammation, real-time glycolytic and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) activities, expression levels of key metabolic enzymes, and amounts of metabolites were studied in lung tissues, and in primary alveolar macrophages (AMs) and eosinophils. Dex markedly reduced Af-induced eosinophilic airway inflammation, which was coupled with an overall reduction in lung glycolysis, glutaminolysis, and fatty acid synthesis. The anti-inflammatory effects of Dex may stem from its immunometabolic actions by downregulating key metabolic enzymes including pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, glutaminase, and fatty acid synthase. Substantial suppression of eosinophilic airway inflammation by Dex coincided with a specific escalation of mitochondrial proton leak in primary lung eosinophils. Besides, while our findings confirmed that inflammation corresponds with an upregulation of glycolysis, it was accompanied with an unexpectedly stable or elevated OXPHOS in the lungs and activated immune cells, respectively. Our findings reveal that the anti-inflammatory effects of Dex in severe asthma are associated with downregulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, glutaminase, and fatty acid synthase, and the augmentation of mitochondrial proton leak in lung eosinophils. These enzymes and biological processes may be valuable targets for therapeutic interventions against severe asthma.
    Keywords:  Alveolar macrophages; Corticosteroid; Eosinophils; Inflammation; Metabolic reprogramming
  17. Med Rev (Berl). 2021 Dec;1(2): 199-221
      How cells sense and respond to environmental changes is still a key question. It has been identified that cellular metabolism is an important modifier of various epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, histone methylation and acetylation and RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methylation. This closely links the environmental nutrient availability to the maintenance of chromatin structure and gene expression, and is crucial to regulate cellular homeostasis, cell growth and differentiation. Cancer metabolic reprogramming and epigenetic alterations are widely observed, and facilitate cancer development and progression. In cancer cells, oncogenic signaling-driven metabolic reprogramming modifies the epigenetic landscape via changes in the key metabolite levels. In this review, we briefly summarized the current evidence that the abundance of key metabolites, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM), acetyl-CoA, α-ketoglutarate (α-KG), 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), uridine diphospho-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) and lactate, affected by metabolic reprogramming plays an important role in dynamically regulating epigenetic modifications in cancer. An improved understanding of the roles of metabolic reprogramming in epigenetic regulation can contribute to uncover the underlying mechanisms of metabolic reprogramming in cancer development and identify the potential targets for cancer therapies.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; RNA m6A; cancer metabolic reprogramming; epigenetic modifications; histone acetylation; histone methylation
  18. Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2023 Sep 20. 1-18
      Bacterial infections of the respiratory tract cause millions of deaths annually. Several diseases exist wherein (1) bacterial infection is the main cause of disease (e.g., tuberculosis and bacterial pneumonia), (2) bacterial infection is a consequence of disease and worsens the disease prognosis (e.g., cystic fibrosis), and (3) bacteria-triggered inflammation propagates the disease (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Current approaches to combat infections generally include long and aggressive antibiotic treatments, which challenge patient compliance, thereby making relapses common and contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance. Consequently, the proportion of infections that cannot be treated with conventional antibiotics is rapidly increasing, and novel therapies are urgently needed. In this context, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have received considerable attention as they may exhibit potent antimicrobial effects against antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains but with modest toxicity. In addition, some AMPs suppress inflammation and provide other host defense functions (motivating the alternative term host defense peptides (HDPs)). However, the delivery of AMPs is complicated because they are large, positively charged, and amphiphilic. As a result of this, AMP delivery systems have recently attracted attention. For airway infections, the currently investigated delivery approaches range from aerosols and dry powders to various self-assembly and nanoparticle carrier systems, as well as their combinations. In this paper, we discuss recent developments in the field, ranging from mechanistic mode-of-action studies to the application of these systems for combating bacterial infections in the airways.
    Keywords:  Antimicrobial; bacterial infection; drug delivery; lung; membrane; peptide
  19. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2023 Sep 04.
      Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) have exhibited potential for treating multiple inflammation- related diseases (IRDs) due to their easy acquisition, unique immunomodulatory and tissue repair properties, and immune-privileged characteristics. It is worth mentioning that MSCs release a wide array of soluble bioactive components in the secretome that modulate host innate and adaptive immune responses and promote the resolution of inflammation. As the first line of defense, macrophages exist throughout the entire inflammation process. They continuously switch their molecular phenotypes accompanied by complementary functional regulation ranging from classically activated pro-inflammatory M1-type (M1) to alternatively activated anti-inflammatory M2-type macrophages (M2). Recent studies have shown that the active intercommunication between MSCs and macrophages is indispensable for the immunomodulatory and regenerative behavior of MSCs in pharmacological cell therapy products. In this review, we systematically summarized the emerging capacities and detailed the molecular mechanisms of the MSC-derived secretome (MSC-SE) in immunomodulating macrophage polarization and preventing excessive inflammation, providing novel insights into the clinical applications of MSC-based therapy in IRD management.
    Keywords:  MSC-SE; MSCs; immunomodulation.; inflammation resolution; macrophage polarization
  20. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2023 Sep 20. pii: S0030-6665(23)00156-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      The upper and lower airways are referred to as a single, integrated entity in the unified airway paradigm. When an allergen exposure occurs, the body responds locally and systemically, causing inflammation in other respiratory sites. As a result, asthmatic lower airway inflammation frequently coexists with upper airway inflammation, such as allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngologists are in a unique position to detect undiagnosed lower airway illness, start the proper therapy, and improve patient outcomes since they regularly encounter patients with upper airway problems.
    Keywords:  Allergic rhinitis; Asthma; Inflammation; Shared immunity; Unified airway
  21. Immunohorizons. 2023 Sep 01. 7(9): 626-634
      The bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, administered to prevent tuberculosis, is a well-studied inducer of trained immunity in human and mouse monocytes. We have previously demonstrated that aerosol BCG administration induces innate training in calves. The current study aimed to determine whether s.c. BCG administration could induce innate training, identify the cell type involved, and determine whether innate training promoted resistance to bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) infection, a major cause of bovine respiratory disease in preweaned calves. A total of 24 calves were enrolled at 1-3 d of age and blocked by age into two treatment groups (BCG, n = 12; control, n = 12). BCG was given s.c. to preweaned calves. The control calves received PBS. We observed a trained phenotype, demonstrated by enhanced cytokine production in response to in vitro stimulation with LPS (TLR-4 agonist) in PBMCs and CD14+ monocytes from the BCG group 2 wk (IL-1β, p = 0.002) and 4 wk (IL-1β, p = 0.005; IL-6, p = 0.013) after BCG administration, respectively. Calves were experimentally infected via aerosol inoculation with BRSV strain 375 at 5 wk after BCG administration and necropsied on day 8 postinfection. There were no differences in disease manifestation between the treatment groups. Restimulation of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells isolated on day 8 after BRSV infection revealed enhanced IL-1β (p = 0.014) and IL-6 (p = 0.010) production by the BCG group compared with controls. In conclusion, results from our study show that s.c. administration of the BCG vaccine can induce trained immunity in bovine monocytes and influence cytokine production in the lung environment after BRSV infection.
  22. JCI Insight. 2023 Sep 22. pii: e166860. [Epub ahead of print]8(18):
      Lung contusion and gastric aspiration (LC and GA) are major risk factors for developing acute respiratory distress following trauma. Hypoxia from lung injury is mainly regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). Published data from our group indicate that HIF-1α regulation in airway epithelial cells (AEC) drives the acute inflammatory response following LC and GA. Metabolomic profiling and metabolic flux of Type II AEC following LC revealed marked increases in glycolytic and TCA intermediates in vivo and in vitro that were HIF-1α dependent. GLUT-1/4 expression was also increased in HIF-1α+/+ mice, suggesting that increased glucose entry may contribute to increased intermediates. Importantly, lactate incubation in vitro on Type II cells did not significantly increase the inflammatory byproduct IL-1β. Contrastingly, succinate had a direct proinflammatory effect on human small AEC by IL-1β generation in vitro. This effect was reversed by dimethylmalonate, suggesting an important role for succinate dehydrogenase in mediating HIF-1α effects. We confirmed the presence of the only known receptor for succinate binding, SUCNR1, on Type II AEC. These results support the hypothesis that succinate drives HIF-1α-mediated airway inflammation following LC. This is the first report to our knowledge of direct proinflammatory activation of succinate in nonimmune cells such as Type II AEC in direct lung injury models.
    Keywords:  Hypoxia; Inflammation; Macrophages; Pulmonology
  23. Respir Res. 2023 Sep 22. 24(1): 225
      Sensitization to Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins A (SEA) and B (SEB) has been associated with asthma severity, exacerbations, and disease control. Our study aimed to investigate if there are differences in serum SEA-IgE and SEB-IgE levels between patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and controls, and to assess the association between SE sensitization and COPD clinical parameters and Th2 inflammation biomarkers in two well-defined COPD cohorts. Our findings suggest that COPD patients do not exhibit higher SEA and SEB sensitization compared to asthma patients and controls. However, in COPD patients, the presence of atopy and allergy is associated with positivity for SEA-IgE and SEB-IgE. Consequently, these allergens may aid in identifying atopic or allergic subgroups within the COPD population, but they are not directly associated with the diagnosis of COPD, elevated circulating blood eosinophils, or fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) levels.
    Keywords:  Allergy; Asthma; Atopy; COPD; IgE; Staphylococcal enterotoxin A and B; Staphylococcus aureus
  24. J Invest Dermatol. 2023 Sep 15. pii: S0022-202X(23)02574-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  Corynebacterium; Prevotella; acne inversa; bacteria; microbiota; tunnels
  25. PLoS Biol. 2023 Sep;21(9): e3002289
      Dietary emulsifiers, including carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and polysorbate 80 (P80), perturb gut microbiota composition and gene expression, resulting in a microbiota with enhanced capacity to activate host pro-inflammatory gene expression and invade the intestine's inner mucus layer. Such microbiota alterations promote intestinal inflammation, which can have a variety of phenotypic consequences including increased adiposity. Bacterial flagellin is a key mediator of emulsifiers' impact in that this molecule enables motility and is itself a pro-inflammatory agonist. Hence, we reasoned that training the adaptive mucosal immune system to exclude microbes that express flagellin might protect against emulsifiers. Investigating this notion found that immunizing mice with flagellin elicited an increase in mucosal anti-flagellin IgA and IgA-coated microbiota that would have otherwise developed in response to CMC and P80 consumption. Yet, eliciting these responses in advance via flagellin immunization prevented CMC/P80-induced increases in microbiota expression of pro-inflammatory agonists including LPS and flagellin. Furthermore, such immunization prevented CMC/P80-induced microbiota encroachment and deleterious pro-inflammatory consequences associated therewith, including colon shortening and increased adiposity. Hence, eliciting mucosal immune responses to pathobiont surface components, including flagellin, may be a means of combatting the array of inflammatory diseases that are promoted by emulsifiers and perhaps other modern microbiota stressors.
  26. J Cell Biol. 2023 Dec 04. pii: e202303066. [Epub ahead of print]222(12):
      Peroxisomes are organelles involved in many metabolic processes including lipid metabolism, reactive oxygen species (ROS) turnover, and antimicrobial immune responses. However, the cellular mechanisms by which peroxisomes contribute to bacterial elimination in macrophages remain elusive. Here, we investigated peroxisome function in iPSC-derived human macrophages (iPSDM) during infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). We discovered that Mtb-triggered peroxisome biogenesis requires the ESX-1 type 7 secretion system, critical for cytosolic access. iPSDM lacking peroxisomes were permissive to Mtb wild-type (WT) replication but were able to restrict an Mtb mutant missing functional ESX-1, suggesting a role for peroxisomes in the control of cytosolic but not phagosomal Mtb. Using genetically encoded localization-dependent ROS probes, we found peroxisomes increased ROS levels during Mtb WT infection. Thus, human macrophages respond to the infection by increasing peroxisomes that generate ROS primarily to restrict cytosolic Mtb. Our data uncover a peroxisome-controlled, ROS-mediated mechanism that contributes to the restriction of cytosolic bacteria.
  27. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Sep 26. 120(39): e2307899120
      The human blood-brain barrier (BBB) comprises a single layer of brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) protecting the brain from bloodborne pathogens. Meningitis is among the most serious diseases, but the mechanisms by which major meningitis-causing bacterial pathogens cross the BBB to reach the brain remain poorly understood. We found that Streptococcus pneumoniae, group B Streptococcus, and neonatal meningitis Escherichia coli commonly exploit a unique vesicle fusion mechanism to hitchhike on transferrin receptor (TfR) transcytosis to cross the BBB and illustrated the details of this process in human BBB model in vitro and mouse model. Toll-like receptor signals emanating from bacteria-containing vesicles (BCVs) trigger K33-linked polyubiquitination at Lys168 and Lys181 of the innate immune regulator TRAF3 and then activate the formation of a protein complex containing the guanine nucleotide exchange factor RCC2, the small GTPase RalA and exocyst subcomplex I (SC I) on BCVs. The distinct function of SEC6 in SC I, interacting directly with RalA on BCVs and the SNARE protein SNAP23 on TfR vesicles, tethers these two vesicles and initiates the fusion. Our results reveal that innate immunity triggers a unique modification of TRAF3 and the formation of the HBMEC-specific protein complex on BCVs to authenticate the precise recognition and selection of TfR vesicles to fuse with and facilitate bacterial penetration of the BBB.
    Keywords:  bacterial meningitis; host–pathogen interactions; penetration of the BBB; transferrin receptor transcytosis; vesicle fusion
  28. Tuberc Respir Dis (Seoul). 2023 Sep 20.
      Tumor immune evasion is a complex process that involves various mechanisms, such as antigen recognition restriction, immune system suppression, and T cell exhaustion. The tumor microenvironment contains various immune cells involved in immune evasion. Recent studies have demonstrated that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) induce immune evasion in lung cancer by modulating neutrophils and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Here we describe the origin and function of G-CSF and GM-CSF, particularly their role in immune evasion in lung cancer. In addition, their effects on programmed death-ligand 1 expression and clinical implications are discussed.
    Keywords:  G-CSF; GM-CSF; MDSC; PD-L1; immune evasion; neutrophils
  29. Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech. 2023 Sep 16. pii: S1874-9399(23)00081-0. [Epub ahead of print] 194986
      Differential expression of genes involved in certain processes is a collaborative outcome of crosstalk between signalling molecules and epigenetic modifiers. In response to environmental stimulus, interplay between transcription factors and epigenetic modifiers together dictates the regulation of genes. MLLs and KDM5A are functionally antagonistic proteins, as one acts as a writer and the other erases the active chromatin mark, i.e., H3K4me3. KDM5A influences the process of EMT by binding to both epithelial and mesenchymal gene promoters. Through this work, we show that when bound to E-cadherin promoter, KDM5A acts as a classical repressor by demethylating H3K4me3, but on mesenchymal markers, it acts as a transcriptional activator by inhibiting the activity of HDACs and increasing H3K18ac. Further, through our chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, we observed a co-occupancy of KDM5A with MLLs, we tested whether KDM5A might physically interact with MLLs and WDR5, and here we provide experimental evidence that KDM5A indeed interacts with MLLs and WDR5.
    Keywords:  COMPASS; Epigenetic signalling; H3K4me3; HDACs; Histone demethylases