bims-bac4me Biomed News
on Microbiome and trained immunity
Issue of 2024‒02‒04
fifty papers selected by
Chun-Chi Chang, University Hospital Zurich

  1. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2024 Feb 02. 34(4): 1-9
      Microorganisms usually coexist as a multifaceted polymicrobial community in the natural habitats and at mucosal sites of the human body. Two opportunistic human pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus commonly coexist in the bacterial infections for hospitalized and/or immunocompromised patients. Here, we observed that autolysis of the P. aeruginosa quorum-sensing (QS) mutant (lasRmvfR) was suppressed by the presence of the S. aureus cells in vitro. The QS mutant still displayed killing against S. aureus cells, suggesting the link between the S. aureus-killing activity and the autolysis suppression. Independent screens of the P. aeruginosa transposon mutants defective in the S. aureus-killing and the S. aureus transposon mutants devoid of the autolysis suppression revealed the genetic link between both phenotypes, suggesting that the iron-dependent metabolism involving S. aureus exoproteins might be central to both phenotypes. The autolysis was suppressed by iron treatment as well. These results suggest that the interaction between P. aeruginosa and S. aureus might be governed by mechanisms that necessitate the QS circuitry as well as the metabolism involving the extracellular iron resources during the polymicrobial infections in the human airway.
    Keywords:  Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Staphylococcus aureus; iron; quorum-sensing; secretome
  2. Rev Med Virol. 2024 Jan;34(1): e2510
      Epidemic peaks of respiratory viruses that co-circulate during the winter-spring seasons can be synchronous or asynchronous. The occurrence of temporal patterns in epidemics caused by some respiratory viruses suggests that they could negatively interact with each other. These negative interactions may result from a programme of innate immune memory, known as trained immunity, which may confer broad protective effects against respiratory viruses. It is suggested that stimulation of innate immune cells by a vaccine or a pathogen could induce their long-term functional reprogramming through an interplay between metabolic and epigenetic changes, which influence the transcriptional response to a secondary challenge. During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the circulation of most respiratory viruses was prevented by non-pharmacological interventions and then resumed at unusual periods once sanitary measures were lifted. With time, respiratory viruses should find again their own ecological niches. This transition period provides an opportunity to study the interactions between respiratory viruses at the population level.
    Keywords:  epidemiology; epigenetic reprogramming; innate immune memory; respiratory viruses; trained immunity; vaccines
  3. J Invest Dermatol. 2024 Jan 31. pii: S0022-202X(24)00092-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Our skin is home to a diverse community of commensal microorganisms integral to cutaneous function. However, microbial dysbiosis and barrier perturbation increase the risk of local and systemic infection. Staphylococcus aureus is a particularly problematic bacterial pathogen, with high levels of antimicrobial resistance and direct association with poor healing outcome. Innovative approaches are needed to selectively kill skin pathogens, such as S. aureus, without harming the resident microbiota. Here we provide important data on the selectivity and efficacy of an S. aureus-targeted endolysin (XZ.700) within the complex living skin/wound microbiome. Initial cross-species comparison using Nanopore long-read sequencing identified the translational potential of porcine, rather than murine, skin for human-relevant microbiome studies. We therefore performed an interventional study in pigs to assess the impact of endolysin administration on the microbiome. XZ.700 selectively inhibited endogenous porcine S. aureus in vivo, restoring microbial diversity and promoting multiple aspects of wound repair. Subsequent mechanistic studies confirmed the importance of this microbiome modulation for effective healing in human skin. Taken together, these findings strongly support further development of S. aureus-targeted endolysins for future clinical management of skin and wound infections.
    Keywords:  Endolysin; Infection; Microbiome; Skin; Wound Healing
  4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Feb 06. 121(6): e2309243121
      Staphylococcus aureus skin colonization and eosinophil infiltration are associated with many inflammatory skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis, bullous pemphigoid, Netherton's syndrome, and prurigo nodularis. However, whether there is a relationship between S. aureus and eosinophils and how this interaction influences skin inflammation is largely undefined. We show in a preclinical mouse model that S. aureus epicutaneous exposure induced eosinophil-recruiting chemokines and eosinophil infiltration into the skin. Remarkably, we found that eosinophils had a comparable contribution to the skin inflammation as T cells, in a manner dependent on eosinophil-derived IL-17A and IL-17F production. Importantly, IL-36R signaling induced CCL7-mediated eosinophil recruitment to the inflamed skin. Last, S. aureus proteases induced IL-36α expression in keratinocytes, which promoted infiltration of IL-17-producing eosinophils. Collectively, we uncovered a mechanism for S. aureus proteases to trigger eosinophil-mediated skin inflammation, which has implications in the pathogenesis of inflammatory skin diseases.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; eosinophils; inflammatory skin diseases; interleukin-17; interleukin-36
  5. Cell. 2024 Jan 22. pii: S0092-8674(24)00001-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Canonically, the complement system is known for its rapid response to remove microbes in the bloodstream. However, relatively little is known about a functioning complement system on intestinal mucosal surfaces. Herein, we report the local synthesis of complement component 3 (C3) in the gut, primarily by stromal cells. C3 is expressed upon commensal colonization and is regulated by the composition of the microbiota in healthy humans and mice, leading to an individual host's specific luminal C3 levels. The absence of membrane attack complex (MAC) components in the gut ensures that C3 deposition does not result in the lysis of commensals. Pathogen infection triggers the immune system to recruit neutrophils to the infection site for pathogen clearance. Basal C3 levels directly correlate with protection against enteric infection. Our study reveals the gut complement system as an innate immune mechanism acting as a vigilant sentinel that combats pathogens and spares commensals.
    Keywords:  complement C3; gut complement system; innate immunity; isolated lymphoid follicles; microbiome; microbiota; stromal cells
  6. Allergy. 2024 Feb 03.
      The skin microbiome is an extensive community of bacteria, fungi, mites, viruses and archaea colonizing the skin. Fluctuations in the composition of the skin microbiome have been observed in atopic dermatitis (AD) and food allergy (FA), particularly in early life, established disease, and associated with therapeutics. However, AD is a multifactorial disease characterized by skin barrier aberrations modulated by genetics, immunology, and environmental influences, thus the skin microbiome is not the sole feature of this disease. Future research should focus on mechanistic understanding of how early-life skin microbial shifts may influence AD and FA onset, to guide potential early intervention strategies or as microbial biomarkers to identify high-risk infants who may benefit from possible microbiome-based biotherapeutic strategies. Harnessing skin microbes as AD biotherapeutics is an emerging field, but more work is needed to investigate whether this approach can lead to sustained clinical responses.
    Keywords:   Staphylococcus aureus ; atopic dermatitis; food allergy; microbiota; skin microbiome
  7. J Leukoc Biol. 2024 Feb 01. pii: qiae026. [Epub ahead of print]
      Innate immune cells play essential roles in modulating both immune defense and inflammation by expressing a diverse array of cytokines and inflammatory mediators, phagocytizing pathogens to promote immune clearance, and assisting with the adaptive immune processes through antigen presentation. Rudimentary innate immune "memory" states such as training, tolerance, and exhaustion develop based on the nature, strength, and duration of immune challenge, thereby enabling dynamic transcriptional reprogramming to alter present and future cell behavior. Underlying transcriptional reprogramming are broad changes to the epigenome, or chromatin alterations above the level of DNA sequence. These changes include direct modification of DNA through cytosine methylation as well as indirect modifications through alterations to histones that comprise the protein core of nucleosomes. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in our understanding of how these epigenetic changes influence the dynamic behavior of the innate immune system during both acute and chronic inflammation, as well as how stable changes to the epigenome result in long-term alterations of innate cell behavior related to pathophysiology.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; Inflammation; epigenetics; histones; innate immune memory; innate immune system
  8. Mol Biol Rep. 2024 Feb 01. 51(1): 269
      Macrophages are critical components of the immune system and play vital roles in pathogen defense, immune regulation, and tissue repair. These cells exhibit different polarization states depending on environmental signals, and the M1/M2 paradigm is a useful tool for comprehending these states. This review article comprehensively presents the underlying mechanisms of M1 and M2 macrophage polarization and examines their polarization in various skin diseases. Additionally, this paper discusses therapeutic strategies that target M1 and M2 macrophage polarization in skin diseases. A more profound understanding of macrophage polarization in skin diseases could provide valuable insights for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  Immune regulation; M1 macrophage; M2 macrophage; Polarization; Skin diseases
  9. mSphere. 2024 Feb 02. e0078123
      The gut microbiota is inextricably linked to human health and disease. It can confer colonization resistance against invading pathogens either through niche occupation and nutrient competition or via its secreted metabolites. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are the primary metabolites in the gut as a result of dietary fiber fermentation by the gut microbiota. In this work, we demonstrate that the interaction of single-species gut commensals on solid media is insufficient for pathogen inhibition, but supernatants from monocultures of these commensal bacteria enriched in acetate confer inhibition against anaerobic growth of the enteric pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae. The three primary SCFAs (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) strongly inhibit the intestinal commensal Escherichia coli Nissle as well as a panel of enteric pathogens besides K. pneumoniae at physiological pH of the cecum and ascending colon. This inhibition was significantly milder on anaerobic gut commensals Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and Bifidobacterium adolescentis previously demonstrated to be associated with microbiota recovery after antibiotic-induced dysbiosis. We describe a general suppression of bacterial membrane potential by these SCFAs at physiological cecum and ascending colonic pH. Furthermore, the strength of bacterial inhibition increases with increasing alkyl chain length. Overall, the insights gained in this study shed light on the potential therapeutic use of SCFAs for conferring colonization resistance against invading pathogens in a dysbiotic gut.IMPORTANCERising antimicrobial resistance has made treatment of bacterial infections increasingly difficult. According to the World Health Organization, it has become a burgeoning threat to hospital and public health systems worldwide. This threat is largely attributed to the global rise of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in recent years, with common hospital-acquired pathogens growing increasingly resistant to last-line antibiotics. Antibiotics disrupt the homeostatic balance of the gut microbiota, resulting in the loss of colonization resistance against enteric pathogens. This work describes the ability of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced by gut microbiota to be effective against a wide panel of enteric pathogens without major impact on common gut commensal species. We also demonstrate a previously undescribed link between alkyl chain length and antibacterial effects of SCFAs. SCFAs, thus, hold promise as an alternative therapeutic option leveraging on the antimicrobial activity of these endogenously produced gut metabolites without disrupting gut microbiota homeostasis.
    Keywords:  Enterobacteriaceae; Klebsiella pneumoniae; bacteriostatic; colonization; intestine; short-chain fatty acids
  10. ACS Infect Dis. 2024 Jan 31.
      The colonizing microbiota on the body surface play a crucial role in barrier function. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a significant contributor to skin infection, and the utilization of colonization resistance of skin commensal microorganisms to counteract the invasion of pathogens is a viable approach. However, most studies on colonization resistance have focused on skin bacteria, with limited research on the resistance of skin fungal communities to pathogenic bacteria. Extracellular vehicles (EVs) play an important role in the colonization of microbial niches and the interaction between distinct strains. This paper explores the impact of Malassezia restricta (M. restricta), the fungus that dominates the normal healthy skin microbiota, on the proliferation of S. aureus by examining the distribution disparities between the two microorganisms. Based on the extraction of EVs, the bacterial growth curve, and biofilm formation, it was determined that the EVs of M. restricta effectively suppressed the growth and biofilm formation of S. aureus. The presence of diverse metabolites was identified as the primary factor responsible for the growth inhibition of S. aureus, specifically in relation to glycerol phospholipid metabolism, ABC transport, and arginine synthesis. These findings offer valuable experimental evidence for understanding microbial symbiosis and interactions within healthy skin.
    Keywords:  Malassezia restricta; Staphylococcus aureus; biofilm; commensal microbiota; extracellular vesicles; nontargeted metabolomics
  11. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 ;13 1303899
      Obesity and asthma are global public health problems. Obesity-related asthma is a special phenotype of asthma with a complex pathogenesis. Its occurrence and development are related to mechanical compression, inflammatory response, metabolic regulation, gene regulation, and vitamin D deficiency. Different treatment strategies used in the process of weight loss have a beneficial impact on asthma. Alterations in gut and airway microbial community structure and their metabolites may also contribute to obesity-related asthma. The role of the Th17/Treg balance in the gut microbiota regulating the immune responses and host metabolism is important. Therapeutic measures associated with the gut microbiota variety may contribute to improving chronic inflammation associated with obesity by regulating the Th17/Treg balance. An early reduction in microbial diversity can predict the development of asthma and lead to allergy through an imbalance of Th2/Th1 responses. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) regulate the differentiation and activation of regulatory T cells, thereby regulating immune homeostasis in the lung to suppress allergic inflammation and weight gain. Therefore, clarifying the microbial mechanism of obesity-related asthma has important guiding significance for clinical treatment. In this review, we used the following terms: "asthma and obesity" and "obesity-related asthma", combining "phenotype", "airway inflammation" and "lung function", and reviewed the characteristics and pathogenesis of obesity-related asthma, the relationship between the gut and airway microbiota and obesity-related asthma, and the current treatment measures for the disease.
    Keywords:  immunity; mechanism; microbiota; obesity-related asthma; treatment
  12. Immunometabolism (Cobham). 2024 Jan;6(1): e00036
      Recent advances shed light on the importance of mitochondrial metabolism in supporting essential neutrophil functions such as trafficking, NETosis, bacterial killing, and modulating inflammatory responses. Mitochondrial metabolism is now recognized to contribute to a number of lung diseases marked by neutrophilic inflammation, including bacterial pneumonia, acute lung injury, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this mini review, we provide an overview of neutrophil metabolism focusing on the role of mitochondrial programs, discuss select neutrophil effector functions that are directly influenced by mitochondrial metabolism, and present what is known about the role for mitochondrial metabolism in lung diseases marked by neutrophilic inflammation.
    Keywords:  infection; inflammation; lung; mitochondrial metabolism; neutrophil; pulmonary
  13. Infect Immun. 2024 Jan 30. e0053623
      Oral streptococci, key players in oral biofilm formation, are implicated in oral dysbiosis and various clinical conditions, including dental caries, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and oral cancer. Specifically, Streptococcus anginosus is associated with esophageal, gastric, and pharyngeal cancers, while Streptococcus mitis is linked to oral cancer. However, no study has investigated the mechanistic links between these Streptococcus species and cancer-related inflammatory responses. As an initial step, we probed the innate immune response triggered by S. anginosus and S. mitis in RAW264.7 macrophages. These bacteria exerted time- and dose-dependent effects on macrophage morphology without affecting cell viability. Compared with untreated macrophages, macrophages infected with S. anginosus exhibited a robust proinflammatory response characterized by significantly increased levels of inflammatory cytokines and mediators, including TNF, IL-6, IL-1β, NOS2, and COX2, accompanied by enhanced NF-κB activation. In contrast, S. mitis-infected macrophages failed to elicit a robust inflammatory response. Seahorse Xfe96 analysis revealed an increased extracellular acidification rate in macrophages infected with S. anginosus compared with S. mitis. At the 24-h time point, the presence of S. anginosus led to reduced extracellular itaconate, while S. mitis triggered increased itaconate levels, highlighting distinct metabolic profiles in macrophages during infection in contrast to aconitate decarboxylase expression observed at the 6-h time point. This initial investigation highlights how S. anginosus and S. mitis, two Gram-positive bacteria from the same genus, can prompt distinct immune responses and metabolic shifts in macrophages during infection.IMPORTANCEThe surge in head and neck cancer cases among individuals devoid of typical risk factors such as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection and tobacco and alcohol use sparks an argumentative discussion around the emerging role of oral microbiota as a novel risk factor in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). While substantial research has dissected the gut microbiome's influence on physiology, the oral microbiome, notably oral streptococci, has been underappreciated during mucosal immunopathogenesis. Streptococcus anginosus, a viridans streptococci group, has been linked to abscess formation and an elevated presence in esophageal cancer and OSCC. The current study aims to probe the innate immune response to S. anginosus compared with the early colonizer Streptococcus mitis as an important first step toward understanding the impact of distinct oral Streptococcus species on the host immune response, which is an understudied determinant of OSCC development and progression.
    Keywords:  S. anginosus; S. mitis; immunometabolism; inflammation; macrophages; oral streptococci
  14. BMC Microbiol. 2024 Jan 29. 24(1): 42
      BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis (AD) patients have high rates of colonization by Staphylococcus aureus, which has been associated with worsening of the disease. This study characterized Staphylococcus spp isolates recovered from nares and feces of pediatric patients with AD in relation to antimicrobial susceptibility, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type, presence of pvl genes and clonality. Besides, gut bacterial community profiles were compared with those of children without AD.RESULTS: All 55 AD patients evaluated had colonization by Staphylococcus spp. Fifty-three (96.4%) patients had colonization in both clinical sites, whereas one patient each was not colonize in the nares or gut. Staphylococcus aureus was identified in the nostrils and feces of 45 (81.8%) and 39 (70.9%) patients, respectively. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. isolates were found in 70.9% of the patients, and 24 (43.6%) had methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). S. aureus (55.6%) and S. epidermidis (26.5%) were the major species found. The prevalent lineages of S. aureus were USA800/SCCmecIV (47.6%) and USA1100/SCCmecIV (21.4%), and 61.9% of the evaluated patients had the same genotype in both sites. Additionally, gut bacterial profile of AD patients exhibits greater dissimilarity from the control group than it does among varying severities of AD.
    CONCLUSIONS: High rates of nasal and intestinal colonization by S. aureus and methicillin-resistant staphylococci isolates were found in AD patients. Besides, gut bacterial profiles of AD patients were distinctly different from those of the control group, emphasizing the importance of monitoring S. aureus colonization and gut microbiome composition in AD patients.
    Keywords:  Antimicrobial resistance; Atopic dermatitis; Clonality; Gut bacterial community; Intestinal colonization; Nasal colonization; Staphylococcus spp
  15. Front Microbiol. 2024 ;15 1302998
      Lactobacillus acidophilus (LA) is a common clinical probiotic that improves ulcerative colitis (UC) by restoring intestinal immune balance. However, the interaction of LA with the gut microbiota and its metabolites in the treatment of UC remains unknown. Therefore, this study seeks to elucidate whether the gut microbiota and its metabolites act as pivotal effectors in LA's therapeutic mechanisms and how precisely they modulate intestinal immunity. In this study, we verified that LA can obviously ameliorate the disease severity, and regulate intestinal immune disorders in UC mice. Subsequently, antibiotic (ABX)-mediated depletion of the gut microflora demonstrated that the therapeutic efficiency of LA was closely associated with gut microbiota. In addition, the results of metabolomics revealed that ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), a metabolite of intestinal flora, may be a potential effector molecule mediating therapeutic effects of LA. Indeed, we found that UDCA can improve the macro pathological characteristics of UC mice, and through a comprehensive set of in vivo and in vitro experiments, we discovered that UDCA exerts dual effects on immune regulation. Firstly, it promotes the differentiation of Treg cells, resulting in increased secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Secondly, UDCA inhibits the polarization of M1 macrophages, effectively reducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, we found that UDCA regulation of immune response is directly related to the RapGap/PI3K-AKT/NF-κB signaling pathway. In conclusion, LA and its metabolite, UDCA, may treat UC by activating the RapGap/PI3K-AKT/NF-κB signaling pathway and modulating Treg cells and M1 macrophages. All in all, our findings highlight the potential of microbial metabolites in enhancing probiotic for UC treatment.
    Keywords:  Lactobacillus acidophilus; M1 macrophages; RapGap/PI3K-AKT/NF-κB pathway; Tregs; ulcerative colitis; ursodeoxycholic acid
  16. J Oral Microbiol. 2024 ;16(1): 2307416
      Dental caries and periodontal disease are amongst the most prevalent global disorders. Their aetiology is rooted in microbial activity within the oral cavity, through the generation of detrimental metabolites and the instigation of potentially adverse host immune responses. Due to the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, alternative approaches to readdress the balance are necessary. Advances in sequencing technologies have established relationships between disease and oral dysbiosis, and commercial enterprises seek to identify probiotic and prebiotic formulations to tackle preventable oral disorders through colonisation with, or promotion of, beneficial microbes. It is the metabolic characteristics and immunomodulatory capabilities of resident species which underlie health status. Research emphasis on the metabolic environment of the oral cavity has elucidated relationships between commensal and pathogenic organisms, for example, the sequential metabolism of fermentable carbohydrates deemed central to acid production in cariogenicity. Therefore, a focus on the preservation of an ecological homeostasis in the oral environment may be the most appropriate approach to health conservation. In this review we discuss an ecological approach to the maintenance of a healthy oral environment and debate the potential use of probiotic and prebiotic supplementation, specifically targeted at sustaining oral niches to preserve the delicately balanced microbiome.
    Keywords:  Metabolomics; caries; oral health; periodontal disease; prebiotics; probiotics
  17. mSphere. 2024 Feb 02. e0063223
      Dr Merve Suzan Zeden works in the field of molecular bacteriology and antibiotic resistance. In this mSphere of Influence article, she reflects on how three papers, entitled "c-di-AMP modulates Listeria monocytogenes central metabolism to regulate growth, antibiotic resistance and osmoregulation," "Amino acid catabolism in Staphylococcus aureus and the function of carbon catabolite repression," and "Evolving MRSA: high-level β-lactam resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is associated with RNA polymerase alterations and fine tuning of gene expression," made an impact on her work on bacterial metabolism and antimicrobial resistance and how it shaped her research in understanding the link in between.
    Keywords:  AMR; ESKAPE; Listeria monocytogenes; MRSA; Staphylococcus aureus; antibiotic resistance; bacterial signalling; beta-lactams; c-di-AMP; central metabolism
  18. J Clin Invest. 2024 Jan 30. pii: e170848. [Epub ahead of print]
      The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against all-cause mortality in children, but the immunological mechanisms mediating these effects are poorly known. We systematically investigated whether MMR can induce long-term functional changes in innate immune cells, a process termed trained immunity, that could at least partially mediate this heterologous protection. In a randomized placebo-controlled trial, 39 healthy adults received either the MMR vaccine or a placebo. By using single-cell RNA-sequencing, we found that MMR caused transcriptomic changes in CD14-positive monocytes and NK cells, but most profoundly in γδ T cells. Monocyte function was not altered by MMR vaccination. In contrast, the function of γδ T cells was markedly enhanced by MMR vaccination, with higher production of TNF and IFNγ, as well as upregulation of cellular metabolic pathways. In conclusion, we describe a trained immunity program characterized by modulation of γδ T cell function induced by MMR vaccination.
    Keywords:  Cellular immune response; Immunology; Innate immunity
  19. Clin Immunol. 2024 Jan 28. pii: S1521-6616(24)00026-3. [Epub ahead of print]260 109915
      The increased risk for acquiring secondary illnesses in people living with HIV (PLWH) has been associated with immune dysfunction. We have previously found that circulating monocytes from PLWH display a trained phenotype. Here, we evaluated the metabolic profile of these cells and found increased mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from PLWH. We additionally found that cART shifted the energy metabolism of MDMs from controls toward increased utilization of mitochondrial respiration. Importantly, both downregulation of IKAROS expression and inhibition of the mTOR pathway reversed the metabolic profile of MDMs from PLWH and cART-treated control-MDMs. Altogether, this study reveals a very specific metabolic adaptation of MDMs from PLWH, which involves an IKAROS/mTOR-dependent increase of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis. We propose that this metabolic adaptation decreases the ability of these cells to respond to environmental cues by "locking" PLWH monocytes in a pro-inflammatory and activated phenotype.
    Keywords:  Cell metabolism; HIV; Human monocytes; IKAROS
  20. Immunohorizons. 2024 Jan 01. 8(1): 122-135
      Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) is an extracellular Gram-negative bacterium that causes infections in the lower respiratory and urinary tracts and the bloodstream. STAT1 is a master transcription factor that acts to maintain T cell quiescence under homeostatic conditions. Although STAT1 helps defend against systemic spread of acute KP intrapulmonary infection, whether STAT1 regulation of T cell homeostasis impacts pulmonary host defense during acute bacterial infection and injury is less clear. Using a clinical KP respiratory isolate and a pneumonia mouse model, we found that STAT1 deficiency led to an early neutrophil-dominant transcriptional profile and neutrophil recruitment in the lung preceding widespread bacterial dissemination and lung injury development. Yet, myeloid cell STAT1 was dispensable for control of KP proliferation and dissemination, because myeloid cell-specific STAT1-deficient (LysMCre/WT;Stat1fl/fl) mice showed bacterial burden in the lung, liver, and kidney similar to that of their wild-type littermates. Surprisingly, IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells infiltrated Stat1-/- murine lungs early during KP infection. The increase in Th17 cells in the lung was not due to preexisting immunity against KP and was consistent with circulating rather than tissue-resident CD4+ T cells. However, blocking global IL-17 signaling with anti-IL-17RC administration led to increased proliferation and dissemination of KP, suggesting that IL-17 provided by other innate immune cells is essential in defense against KP. Contrastingly, depletion of CD4+ T cells reduced Stat1-/- murine lung bacterial burden, indicating that early CD4+ T cell activation in the setting of global STAT1 deficiency is pathogenic. Altogether, our findings suggest that STAT1 employs myeloid cell-extrinsic mechanisms to regulate neutrophil responses and provides protection against invasive KP by restricting nonspecific CD4+ T cell activation and immunopathology in the lung.
  21. Sci Rep. 2024 01 27. 14(1): 2270
      Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the nasal mucosa, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is thought to be an essential process in the pathogenesis of CRSwNP. However, the mechanisms of epithelial and fibroblastic changes at the single-cell level are unclear. In this study, we investigated the epithelial cell, fibroblast, and key gene alterations in the development of CRSwNP. We revealed major cell types involved in CRSwNP and nasal mucosal inflammation formation, then mapped epithelial and fibroblast subpopulations. We showed that the apical and glandular epithelial cells and the ADGRB3+ and POSTN+ fibroblasts were the key cell subtypes in the progression of CRSwNP. Pseudotime and cell cycle analysis identified dynamic changes between epithelial cells and fibroblasts during its development. WFDC2 and CCL26 were identified as the key marker genes involved in the development of CRSwNP and were validated by IHC staining, which may provide a potential novel target for future CRSwNP therapy. ScRNA-seq data provided insights into the cellular landscape and the relationship between epithelial cells and fibroblasts in the progression of CRSwNP. WFDC2 and CCL26 were identified as the key genes involved in the development of CRSwNP and may be the potential markers for gene therapy.
  22. Mycoses. 2024 Jan;67(1):
      Fungal skin infections are distributed worldwide and can be associated with economic and social traits. The immune response related to skin cells is complex and its understanding is essential to the comprehension of each cell's role and the discovery of treatment alternatives. The first studies of trained immunity (TI) described the ability of monocytes, macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells to develop a memory-like response. However, the duration of TI does not reflect the shorter lifespan of these cells. These conclusions supported later studies showing that TI can be observed in stem and haematopoietic cells and, more recently, also in non-immune skin cells such as fibroblasts, highlighting the importance of resident cells in response to skin disorders. Besides, the participation of less studied proinflammatory cytokines in the skin immune response, such as IL-36γ, shed light into a new possibility of inflammatory pathway blockade by drugs. In this review, we will discuss the skin immune response associated with fungal infections, the role of TI in skin and clinical evidence supporting opportunities and challenges of TI and other inflammatory responses in the pathogenesis of fungal skin infections.
    Keywords:  fungal skin infections; immune response; proinflammatory cytokines; tissue inflammation; trained immunity
  23. Nat Commun. 2024 Jan 30. 15(1): 894
      Breast milk contains human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) that cannot be digested by infants, yet nourish their developing gut microbiome. While Bifidobacterium are the best-known utilizers of individual HMOs, a longitudinal study examining the evolving microbial community at high-resolution coupled with mothers' milk HMO composition is lacking. Here, we developed a high-throughput method to quantify Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (BL. infantis), a proficient HMO-utilizer, and applied it to a longitudinal cohort consisting of 21 mother-infant dyads. We observed substantial changes in the infant gut microbiome over the course of several months, while the HMO composition in mothers' milk remained relatively stable. Although Bifidobacterium species significantly influenced sample variation, no specific HMOs correlated with Bifidobacterium species abundance. Surprisingly, we found that BL. infantis colonization began late in the breastfeeding period both in our cohort and in other geographic locations, highlighting the importance of focusing on BL. infantis dynamics in the infant gut.
  24. mSphere. 2024 Jan 30. e0067323
      Staphylococcus aureus produces various hemolysins regulated by the Agr-QS system, except β-hemolysin encoded by the gene hlb. A classical laboratory S. aureus strain RN4220 displays only the β-hemolysin phenotype. It was suspected that the 8A mutation at the end of its agrA gene delayed the expressions of hla and RNAIII, then failed to express α- and δ-hemolysins. However, hla gene expression was detected at the later culture time without α-hemolysin phenotype, the reason for such a phenotype has not been clearly understood. We created hlb knockout and complementary mutants via homologous recombination in RN4220 and NRS049, two strains that normally produce β-hemolysin and carry agrA mutation. We found interestingly that the presence or absence of α-hemolysin phenotype in such strains depended on the expression of β-hemolysin instead of agrA mutations, which only inhibited δ-hemolysin expression. The hemolysis phenotype was verified by the Christie-Atkinson-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) test. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR was carried out to evaluate the relative gene expressions of hlb, hla, and RNAIII. The construction of mutants did not affect the agrA mutation status. We demonstrate that the absence of α-hemolysin in S. aureus RN4220 and NRS049 strains is attributed to their production of β-hemolysin instead of agrA mutation. Our findings broaden the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control hemolysin expression in S. aureus that is crucial for the development of new therapeutic strategies to combat S. aureus infections.IMPORTANCEα-Hemolysin is a critical virulence factor in Staphylococcus aureus and its expression is largely controlled by the Agr-QS system. Nonetheless, the hemolysis phenotype and the regulation of the Agr-QS system in S. aureus still hold many mysteries. Our study finds that it is the expression of β- hemolysin rather than the agrA mutation that inhibits the function of the α-hemolysin in an important S. aureus strain RN4220 and a clinical strain presents a similar phenotype, which clarifies the misunderstood hemolytic phenotype and mechanism of S. aureus. Our findings highlight the interactions among different toxins and their biological roles, combined with QS system regulation, which is ultimately the true underlying cause of its virulence. This emphasizes the importance of considering the collaborative action of various factors in the infection process caused by this significant human pathogen.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; agrA; α-hemolysin; β-hemolysin; δ-hemolysin
  25. Int Immunopharmacol. 2024 Jan 30. pii: S1567-5769(24)00113-9. [Epub ahead of print]129 111595
      Cathelicidins are an important family of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) involved in the innate immunity in vertebrates. The mammalian cathelicidins have been well characterized, but the relationship between structure and function in amphibian cathelicidins is still not well understood. In this study, a novel 29-residue cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (BugaCATH) was identified from the skin of Bufo gargarizans. Unlike other AMPs, BugaCATH does not display any direct antimicrobial effects in vitro. However, it effectively promotes full-thickness wound repair in mice. Following injury, BugaCATH initiates and expedites the inflammatory stage by recruiting neutrophils and macrophages to the wound site. BugaCATH not only regulates neutrophil phagocytic activity but also stimulates the generation of cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β) and chemokines (CXCL1, CXCL2, CCL2, and CCL3) in macrophages and in mice. Furthermore, it promotes macrophage M2 polarization that facilitates the conversion from a pro-inflammatory macrophage-dominated wound environment to an anti-inflammatory one during the mid to late stages, which is crucial for reducing inflammation and effective wound repair. The MAPK (ERK, JNK, and p38) and NF-κB-NLRP3 signaling pathways are involved in the activity. Moreover, BugaCATH directly enhances the migration of keratinocytes and vascular endothelial cells without affecting their proliferation. Notably, BugaCATH significantly improves the proliferation of keratinocytes and endothelial cells in the presence of macrophages. The current study revealed that in addition to proliferation of keratinocytes and endothelial cells, BugaCATH possesses the ability to modulate inflammatory processes during skin injury through its regulatory effect on phagocytes. The combination of these capabilities makes BugaCATH a potent candidate for skin wound therapy.
    Keywords:  Amphibian; Bufo gargarizans; Cathelicidin; Skin; Wound healing
  26. bioRxiv. 2024 Jan 18. pii: 2024.01.17.576097. [Epub ahead of print]
      Gonorrhea, caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Gc), is characterized by neutrophil influx to infection sites. Gc has developed mechanisms to resist killing by neutrophils that include modifications to its surface lipooligosaccharide (LOS). One such LOS modification is sialylation: Gc sialylates its terminal LOS sugars with cytidine-5'-monophosphate- N -acetylneuraminic acid (CMP-NANA) scavenged from the host using LOS sialyltransferase (Lst), since Gc cannot make its own sialic acid. Sialylation enables sensitive strains of Gc to resist complement-mediated killing in a serum-dependent manner. However, little is known about the contribution of sialylation to complement-independent, direct Gc-neutrophil interactions. In the absence of complement, we found sialylated Gc expressing opacity-associated (Opa) proteins decreased the oxidative burst and granule exocytosis from primary human neutrophils. In addition, sialylated Opa+ Gc survived better than vehicle treated or Δ lst Gc when challenged with neutrophils. However, Gc sialylation did not significantly affect Opa-dependent association with or internalization of Gc by neutrophils. Previous studies have implicated sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-type lectins (Siglecs) in modulating neutrophil interactions with sialylated Gc. Blocking neutrophil Siglecs with antibodies that bind to their extracellular domains eliminated the ability of sialylated Opa+ Gc to suppress oxidative burst and resist neutrophil killing. These findings highlight a new role for sialylation in Gc evasion of human innate immunity, with implications for the development of vaccines and therapeutics for gonorrhea.IMPORTANCE: Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes gonorrhea, is an urgent global health concern due to increasing infection rates, widespread antibiotic resistance, and its ability to thwart protective immune responses. The mechanisms by which Gc subvert protective immune responses remain poorly characterized. One way N. gonorrhoeae evades human immunity is by adding sialic acid that is scavenged from the host onto its lipooligosaccharide, using the sialyltransferase Lst. Here, we found that sialylation enhances N. gonorrhoeae survival from neutrophil assault and inhibits neutrophil activation, independently of the complement system. Our results implicate bacterial binding of sialic acid-binding lectins (Siglecs) on the neutrophil surface, which dampen neutrophil antimicrobial responses. This work identifies a new role for sialylation in protecting N. gonorrhoeae from cellular innate immunity, which can be targeted to enhance the human immune response in gonorrhea.
  27. Clin Exp Immunol. 2024 Jan 27. pii: uxae004. [Epub ahead of print]
      The intertwined interactions various immune cells have with epithelial cells in our body require sophisticated experimental approaches to be studied. Due to the limitations of immortalised cell lines and animal models, there is an increasing demand for human in vitro model systems to investigate the microenvironment of immune cells in normal and in pathological conditions. Organoids, which are self-renewing, 3D cellular structures that are derived from stem cells, have started to provide gap-filling tissue modelling solutions. In this review, we first demonstrate with some of the available examples how organoid-based immune cell co-culture experiments can advance disease modelling of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and tissue regeneration. Then, we argue that to achieve both complexity and scale, organ-on-chip models combined with cutting-edge microfluidics-based technologies can provide more precise manipulation and readouts. Finally, we discuss how genome editing techniques and the use of patient-derived organoids and immune cells can improve disease modelling and facilitate precision medicine. To achieve maximum impact and efficiency, these efforts should be supported by novel infrastructures such as organoid biobanks, organoid facilities, as well as drug screening and host-microbe interaction testing platforms. All these together or in combination can allow researchers to shed more detailed, and often patient-specific, light on the crosstalk between immune cells and epithelial cells in health and disease.
    Keywords:  Immune cells; Organoids; diseases modelling; drug screening; organ-on-chip; personalised medicine
  28. Commun Biol. 2024 01 30. 7(1): 139
      The nasal cavity harbors diverse microbiota that contributes to human health and respiratory diseases. However, whether and to what extent the host genome shapes the nasal microbiome remains largely unknown. Here, by dissecting the human genome and nasal metagenome data from 1401 healthy individuals, we demonstrated that the top three host genetic principal components strongly correlated with the nasal microbiota diversity and composition. The genetic association analyses identified 63 genome-wide significant loci affecting the nasal microbial taxa and functions, of which 2 loci reached study-wide significance (p < 1.7 × 10-10): rs73268759 within CAMK2A associated with genus Actinomyces and family Actinomycetaceae; and rs35211877 near POM121L12 with Gemella asaccharolytica. In addition to respiratory-related diseases, the associated loci are mainly implicated in cardiometabolic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Functional analysis showed the associated genes were most significantly expressed in the nasal airway epithelium tissue and enriched in the calcium signaling and hippo signaling pathway. Further observational correlation and Mendelian randomization analyses consistently suggested the causal effects of Serratia grimesii and Yokenella regensburgei on cardiometabolic biomarkers (cystine, glutamic acid, and creatine). This study suggested that the host genome plays an important role in shaping the nasal microbiome.
  29. Immunity. 2024 Jan 24. pii: S1074-7613(24)00027-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tuft cells in mucosal tissues are key regulators of type 2 immunity. Here, we examined the impact of the microbiota on tuft cell biology in the intestine. Succinate induction of tuft cells and type 2 innate lymphoid cells was elevated with loss of gut microbiota. Colonization with butyrate-producing bacteria or treatment with butyrate suppressed this effect and reduced intestinal histone deacetylase activity. Epithelial-intrinsic deletion of the epigenetic-modifying enzyme histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) inhibited tuft cell expansion in vivo and impaired type 2 immune responses during helminth infection. Butyrate restricted stem cell differentiation into tuft cells, and inhibition of HDAC3 in adult mice and human intestinal organoids blocked tuft cell expansion. Collectively, these data define a HDAC3 mechanism in stem cells for tuft cell differentiation that is dampened by a commensal metabolite, revealing a pathway whereby the microbiota calibrate intestinal type 2 immunity.
    Keywords:  HDAC3; butyrate; development; epigenetics; intestine; microbiota; organoid; stem cell; tuft cell; type 2 immunity
  30. Mol Biol Rep. 2024 Feb 01. 51(1): 246
      Macrophage receptor with collagen structure (MARCO) is a member of scavenger receptor class A (SR-A) and shares structural and functional similarities with SR-A1. In recent years, many studies have shown that MARCO can trigger an immune response and has therapeutic potential as a target for immunotherapy. Studies have shown that alterations in MARCO expression following pathogen infection cause changes in the functions of innate and adaptive immune cells, including macrophages, dendritic cells, B cells, and T cells, affecting the body's immune response to invading pathogens; thus, MARCO plays a crucial role in triggering the immune response, bridging innate and adaptive immunity, and eliminating pathogens. This paper is a comprehensive summary of the recent research on MARCO. This review focuses on the multiple functions of MARCO, including adhesion, migration, phagocytosis, and cytokine secretion with special emphasis on the complex interactions between MARCO and various types of cells involved in the immune response, as well as possible immune-related mechanisms. In summary, in this review, we discuss the structure and function of MARCO and its role in the immune response and highlight the therapeutic potential of MARCO as a target for immunotherapy. We hope that this review provides a theoretical basis for future research on MARCO.
    Keywords:  Immune cell activation; Immune response; Immunotherapy; MARCO; Signaling pathway
  31. PLoS One. 2024 ;19(2): e0295312
      Alveolar macrophages (AM) perform a primary defense mechanism in the lung through phagocytosis of inhaled particles and microorganisms. AM are known to be relatively immunosuppressive consistent with the aim to limit alveolar inflammation and maintain effective gas exchange in the face of these constant challenges. How AM respond to T cell derived cytokine signals, which are critical to the defense against inhaled pathogens, is less well understood. For example, successful containment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in lung macrophages is highly dependent on IFN-γ secreted by Th-1 lymphocytes, however, the proteomic IFN-γ response profile in AM remains mostly unknown. In this study, we measured IFN-γ induced protein abundance changes in human AM and autologous blood monocytes (MN). AM cells were activated by IFN-γ stimulation resulting in STAT1 phosphorylation and production of MIG/CXCL9 chemokine. However, the global proteomic response to IFN-γ in AM was dramatically limited in comparison to that of MN (9 AM vs 89 MN differentially abundant proteins). AM hypo-responsiveness was not explained by reduced JAK-STAT1 signaling nor increased SOCS1 expression. These findings suggest that AM have a tightly regulated response to IFN-γ which may prevent excessive pulmonary inflammation but may also provide a niche for the initial survival and growth of Mtb and other intracellular pathogens in the lung.
  32. Elife. 2024 Feb 02. pii: RP92420. [Epub ahead of print]12
      One primary metabolic manifestation of inflammation is the diversion of cis-aconitate within the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle to synthesize the immunometabolite itaconate. Itaconate is well established to possess immunomodulatory and metabolic effects within myeloid cells and lymphocytes, however, its effects in other organ systems during sepsis remain less clear. Utilizing Acod1 knockout mice that are deficient in synthesizing itaconate, we aimed to understand the metabolic role of itaconate in the liver and systemically during sepsis. We find itaconate aids in lipid metabolism during sepsis. Specifically, Acod1 KO mice develop a heightened level of hepatic steatosis when induced with polymicrobial sepsis. Proteomics analysis reveals enhanced expression of enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation in following 4-octyl itaconate (4-OI) treatment in vitro. Downstream analysis reveals itaconate stabilizes the expression of the mitochondrial fatty acid uptake enzyme CPT1a, mediated by its hypoubiquitination. Chemoproteomic analysis revealed itaconate interacts with proteins involved in protein ubiquitination as a potential mechanism underlying its stabilizing effect on CPT1a. From a systemic perspective, we find itaconate deficiency triggers a hypothermic response following endotoxin stimulation, potentially mediated by brown adipose tissue (BAT) dysfunction. Finally, by use of metabolic cage studies, we demonstrate Acod1 KO mice rely more heavily on carbohydrates versus fatty acid sources for systemic fuel utilization in response to endotoxin treatment. Our data reveal a novel metabolic role of itaconate in modulating fatty acid oxidation during polymicrobial sepsis.
    Keywords:  fatty acid oxidation; immunology; inflammation; itaconate; mouse
  33. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1274378
      Background: Neutrophils are an important source of pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokines. This makes neutrophils efficient drivers of interactions with immune and non-immune cells to maintain homeostasis and modulate the inflammatory process by notably regulating the release of cytokines. Ca2+-dependent regulatory mechanism encompassing cytokine secretion by neutrophils are not still identified. In this context, we propose to define new insights on the role of Ca2+-binding proteins S100A8/A9 and on the regulatory role of miRNA-132-5p, which was identified as a regulator of S100A8/A9 expression, on IL-8 secretion.Methods: Differentiated HL-60 cells, a human promyelocytic leukemia cell line that can be induced to differentiate into neutrophil-like cells, were used as a model of human neutrophils and treated with N- formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLF), a bacterial peptide that activates neutrophils. shRNA knockdown was used to define the role of selected targets (S100A8/A9 and miRNA-132-5p) on IL-8 secretion.
    Results and discussion: Different types of cytokines engage different signaling pathways in the secretion process. IL-8 release is tightly regulated by Ca2+ binding proteins S100A8/A9. miRNA-132-5p is up-regulated over time upon fMLF stimulation and decreases S100A8/A9 expression and IL-8 secretion.
    Conclusion: These findings reveal a novel regulatory loop involving S100A8/A9 and miRNA-132-5p that modulates IL-8 secretion by neutrophils in inflammatory conditions. This loop could be a potential target for therapeutic intervention in inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  Ca2+ signaling; S100A8/A9; cytokines; inflammation; miRNA; neutrophils
  34. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2024 Jan 30.
      Early-life respiratory virus infections have been correlated with enhanced development of childhood asthma. In particular, significant numbers of RSV-hospitalized infants go on to develop lung disease. It has been suggested that early-life viral infections may lead to altered lung development or repair that negatively impacts lung function later in life. Our data demonstrate that early-life RSV infection modifies lung structure, leading to decreased lung function. At 5 weeks post-neonatal RSV infection, significant defects are observed in baseline pulmonary function test (PFT) parameters consistent with decreased lung function as well as enlarged alveolar spaces. Lung function changes in the early-life RSV-infected group continue at 3 months of age. The altered PFT and structural changes induced by early-life RSV were mitigated in TSLPR-/- mice that have previously been shown to have reduced immune cell accumulation associated with a persistent Th2 environment. Importantly, long-term effects were demonstrated using a secondary RSV infection 3 months following the initial early-life RSV infection and led to significant additional defects in lung function, with severe mucus deposition within the airways, and consolidation of the alveolar spaces. These studies suggest that early-life respiratory viral infection leads to alterations in lung structure/repair that predispose to diminished lung function later in life.
    Keywords:  Lung function; RSV
  35. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2024 Jan 27. pii: S0925-4439(24)00025-5. [Epub ahead of print]1870(3): 167040
      Asthma is quite heterogenous and can be categorized as eosinophilic, mixed granulocytic (presence of both eosinophils and neutrophils in the airways) and neutrophilic. Clinically, mixed granulocytic asthma (MGA) often tends to be severe and requires large doses of corticosteroids. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is one of the epithelium-derived alarmins that contributes to type 2 inflammation and asthma. This study was aimed to investigate the role of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) in modulation of airway epithelial HMGB1 production in MGA. Induced sputum and bronchial biopsy specimens were obtained from healthy subjects and asthma patients. BALB/c mice, the airway epithelial cell line BEAS-2B, or primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) were immunized with allergens. Intracellular and extracellular HMGB1 were both detected. The role of GLUT1 was assessed by using a pharmacological antagonist BAY876. MGA patients have a significant higher sputum HMGB1 level than the health and subjects with other inflammatory phenotypes. Nuclear-to-cytoplasmic translocation of HMGB1 was also observed in the bronchial epithelia. Allergen exposure markedly induced GLUT1 expression in murine lungs and cultured epithelial cells. Pharmacological antagonism of GLUT1 with BAY876 dramatically decreased airway hyperresponsiveness, neutrophil and eosinophil accumulation, as well as type 2 inflammation in murine models of MGA. Besides, the allergen-induced up-regulation of HMGB1 was also partly recovered by BAY876, accompanied by inhibited secretion into the airway lumen. In vitro, treatment with BAY876 relieved the allergen-induced over-expression and secretion of HMGB1 in airway epithelia. Taken together, our data indicated that GLUT1 mediates bronchial epithelial HMGB1 release in MGA.
    Keywords:  Airway epithelium; GLUT1; HMGB1; Mixed granulocytic asthma
  36. J Exp Med. 2024 Mar 04. pii: e20231237. [Epub ahead of print]221(3):
      The intestinal epithelium is the first line of defense against enteric pathogens. Removal of infected cells by exfoliation prevents mucosal translocation and systemic infection in the adult host, but is less commonly observed in the neonatal intestine. Instead, here, we describe non-professional efferocytosis of Salmonella-infected enterocytes by neighboring epithelial cells in the neonatal intestine. Intestinal epithelial stem cell organoid cocultures of neonatal and adult cell monolayers with damaged enterocytes replicated this observation, confirmed the age-dependent ability of intestinal epithelial cells for efferocytosis, and identified the involvement of the "eat-me" signals and adaptors phosphatidylserine and C1q as well as the "eat-me" receptors integrin-αv (CD51) and CD36 in cellular uptake. Consistent with this, massive epithelial cell membrane protrusions and CD36 accumulation at the contact site with apoptotic cells were observed in the infected neonatal host in vivo. Efferocytosis of infected small intestinal enterocytes by neighboring epithelial cells may represent a previously unrecognized mechanism of neonatal antimicrobial host defense to maintain barrier integrity.
  37. Commun Biol. 2024 01 27. 7(1): 135
      Clostridioides difficile is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated infectious diarrhea. The development of C.difficile infection is tied to perturbations of the bacterial community in the gastrointestinal tract, called the gastrointestinal microbiota. Repairing the gastrointestinal microbiota by introducing lab-designed bacterial communities, or defined microbial communities, has recently shown promise as therapeutics against C.difficile infection, however, the mechanisms of action of defined microbial communities remain unclear. Using an antibiotic- C.difficile mouse model, we report the ability of an 18-member community and a refined 4-member community to protect mice from two ribotypes of C.difficile (CD027, CD078; p < 0.05). Furthermore, bacteria-free supernatant delivered orally to mice from the 4-member community proteolyzed C.difficile toxins in vitro and protected mice from C.difficile infection in vivo (p < 0.05). This study demonstrates that bacteria-free supernatant is sufficient to protect mice from C.difficile; and could be further explored as a therapeutic strategy against C.difficile infection.
  38. Free Radic Biol Med. 2024 Jan 30. pii: S0891-5849(24)00037-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      M1 (LPS) macrophages are characterized by a high expression of pro-inflammatory mediators, and distinct metabolic features that comprise increased glycolysis, a broken TCA cycle, or impaired OXPHOS with augmented mitochondrial ROS production. This study investigated whether the phytochemical sulforaphane (Sfn) influences mitochondrial reprogramming during M1 polarization, as well as to what extent this can contribute to Sfn-mediated inhibition of M1 marker expression in murine macrophages. The use of extracellular flux-, metabolite-, and immunoblot analyses as well as fluorescent dyes indicative for mitochondrial morphology, membrane potential or superoxide production, demonstrated that M1 (LPS/Sfn) macrophages maintain an unbroken TCA cycle, higher OXPHOS rate, boosted fusion dynamics, lower membrane potential, and less superoxide production in their mitochondria when compared to control M1 (LPS) cells. Sustained OXPHOS and TCA activity but not the concomitantly observed high dependency on fatty acids as fuel appeared necessary for M1 (LPS/Sfn) macrophages to reduce expression of nos2, il1β, il6 and tnfα. M1 (LPS/Sfn) macrophages also displayed lower nucleo/cytosolic acetyl-CoA levels in association with lower global and site-specific histone acetylation at selected pro-inflammatory gene promoters than M1 (LPS), evident in colorimetric coupled enzyme assays, immunoblot and ChIP-qPCR analyses, respectively. Supplementation with acetate or citrate was able to rescue both histone acetylation and mRNA expression of the investigated M1 marker genes in Sfn-treated cells. Overall, Sfn preserves mitochondrial functionality and restricts indispensable nuclear acetyl-CoA for histone acetylation and M1 marker expression in LPS-stimulated macrophages.
    Keywords:  Fatty acid synthesis; Histone acetylation; Immunometabolism; M1 macrophages; Mitochondria; Sulforaphane
  39. Physiol Rep. 2024 Feb;12(3): e15921
      In this study, we compared 12 mm cell culture inserts with permeable polyester membranes (0.4 μm pores) from two different manufacturers: CELLTREAT® and Corning®. Physical dimensions and masses of the inserts were found to be very similar between the two brands, with CELLTREAT® inserts having a slightly smaller diameter and growth area (11.91 mm; 1.11 cm2 ) compared to Corning® Transwells® (12 mm; 1.13 cm2 ). We compared cell differentiation outcomes of human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) at air-liquid interface grown on inserts from the two different manufacturers, including trans-epithelial electrical resistance, ciliary beat frequency, ciliated area, and gene expression. HNECs from three male donors were used for all endpoints. No statistically significant differences were observed between paired cultures grown on different brands of insert. In conclusion, these inserts are comparable for use with airway epithelial cell model systems and likely do not impact cellular differentiation or cell culture quality.
    Keywords:  air-liquid interface; airway epithelial cells; permeable inserts; primary cell culture
  40. mBio. 2024 Jan 30. e0253523
      The gut microbiome engenders colonization resistance against the diarrheal pathogen Clostridioides difficile, but the molecular basis of this colonization resistance is incompletely understood. A prominent class of gut microbiome-produced metabolites important for colonization resistance against C. difficile is short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). In particular, one SCFA (butyrate) decreases the fitness of C. difficile in vitro and is correlated with C. difficile-inhospitable gut environments, both in mice and in humans. Here, we demonstrate that butyrate-dependent growth inhibition in C. difficile occurs under conditions where C. difficile also produces butyrate as a metabolic end product. Furthermore, we show that exogenous butyrate is internalized into C. difficile cells and is incorporated into intracellular CoA pools where it is metabolized in a reverse (energetically unfavorable) direction to crotonyl-CoA and (S)-3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA and/or 4-hydroxybutyryl-CoA. This internalization of butyrate and reverse metabolic flow of a butyrogenic pathway(s) in C. difficile coincides with alterations in toxin release and sporulation. Together, this work highlights butyrate as a marker of a C. difficile-inhospitable environment to which C. difficile responds by releasing its diarrheagenic toxins and producing environmentally resistant spores necessary for transmission between hosts. These findings provide foundational data for understanding the molecular and genetic basis of how C. difficile growth is inhibited by butyrate and how butyrate alters C. difficile virulence in the face of a highly competitive and dynamic gut environment.IMPORTANCEThe gut microbiome engenders colonization resistance against the diarrheal pathogen Clostridioides difficile, but the molecular basis of this colonization resistance is incompletely understood, which hinders the development of novel therapeutic interventions for C. difficile infection (CDI). We investigated how C. difficile responds to butyrate, an end-product of gut microbiome community metabolism which inhibits C. difficile growth. We show that exogenously produced butyrate is internalized into C. difficile, which inhibits C. difficile growth by interfering with its own butyrate production. This growth inhibition coincides with increased toxin release from C. difficile cells and the production of environmentally resistant spores necessary for transmission between hosts. Future work to disentangle the molecular mechanisms underlying these growth and virulence phenotypes will likely lead to new strategies to restrict C. difficile growth in the gut and minimize its pathogenesis during CDI.
    Keywords:  enteric pathogens; gram-positive bacteria; metabolism; pathogenesis
  41. Clin Infect Dis. 2024 Feb 01. pii: ciad737. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  antibiotic stewardship; end of life care; palliative care
  42. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1349867
      Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infections pose a global public health challenge. Despite extensive research on this disease, the intricate mechanisms underlying persistent HBV infection require further in-depth elucidation. Recent studies have revealed the pivotal roles of immunometabolism and epigenetic reprogramming in chronic HBV infection. Immunometabolism have identified as the process, which link cell metabolic status with innate immunity functions in response to HBV infection, ultimately contributing to the immune system's inability to resolve Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB). Within hepatocytes, HBV replication leads to a stable viral covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) minichromosome located in the nucleus, and epigenetic modifications in cccDNA enable persistence of infection. Additionally, the accumulation or depletion of metabolites not only directly affects the function and homeostasis of immune cells but also serves as a substrate for regulating epigenetic modifications, subsequently influencing the expression of antiviral immune genes and facilitating the occurrence of sustained HBV infection. The interaction between immunometabolism and epigenetic modifications has led to a new research field, known as metabolic epigenomics, which may form a mutually reinforcing relationship with CHB. Herein, we review the recent studies on immunometabolism and epigenetic reprogramming in CHB infection and discuss the potential mechanisms of persistent HBV infection. A deeper understanding of these mechanisms will offer novel insights and targets for intervention strategies against chronic HBV infection, thereby providing new hope for the treatment of related diseases.
    Keywords:  antiviral immunity; chronic hepatitis B infection; epigenetic modification; hepatic immune microenvironment; immunometabolism reprogramming
  43. Biofilm. 2024 Jun;7 100174
      In vitro studies show that DNase can inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. This study used an RNA-sequencing transcriptomic approach to investigate the mechanism by which DNase I inhibits early P. aeruginosa and S. aureus biofilm formation on a transcriptional level, respectively. A total of 1171 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in P. aeruginosa and 1016 DEGs in S. aureus enriched in a variety of biological processes and pathways were identified, respectively. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses revealed that the DEGs were primarily involved in P. aeruginosa two-component system, biofilm formation, and flagellar assembly and in S. aureus biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, microbial metabolism in diverse environments, and biosynthesis of amino acids, respectively. The transcriptional data were validated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and the expression profiles of 22 major genes remained consistent. These findings suggested that DNase I may inhibit early biofilm formation by downregulating the expression of P. aeruginosa genes associated with flagellar assembly and the type VI secretion system, and by downregulating S. aureus capsular polysaccharide and amino acids metabolism gene expression, respectively. This study offers insights into the mechanisms of DNase treatment-based inhibition of early P. aeruginosa and S. aureus biofilm formation.
    Keywords:  Biofilm; DNase; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Staphylococcus aureus; Transcriptome analysis
  44. Trends Immunol. 2024 Jan 27. pii: S1471-4906(23)00264-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Historically, the study of innate immune detection of bacterial infections has focused on the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) from bacteria growing as single cells in planktonic phase. However, over the past two decades, studies have highlighted an adaptive advantage of bacteria: the formation of biofilms. These structures are complex fortresses that stand against a hostile environment, including antibiotics and immune responses. Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is a crucial component of the matrix of most known biofilms. In this opinion article, I propose that eDNA is a universal PAMP that the immune system uses to recognize biofilms. Outstanding questions concern the discrimination between biofilm-associated eDNA and DNA from planktonic bacteria, the innate receptors involved, and the immune response to biofilms.
    Keywords:  PAMPs; bacterial biofilms; eDNA; immune recognition