bims-bac4me Biomed News
on Microbiome and trained immunity
Issue of 2024‒02‒25
sixty-two papers selected by
Chun-Chi Chang, University Hospital Zurich

  1. bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 14. pii: 2024.02.10.579753. [Epub ahead of print]
      Staphylococcus aureus, the most frequent cause of skin infections, is more common in men than women and selectively colonizes the skin during inflammation. Yet, the specific cues that drive infection in these settings remain unclear. Here we show that the host androgens testosterone and dihydrotestosterone promote S. aureus pathogenesis and skin infection. Without the secretion of these hormones, skin infection in vivo is limited. Testosterone activates S. aureus virulence in a concentration dependent manner through stimulation of the agr quorum sensing system, with the capacity to circumvent other inhibitory signals in the environment. Taken together, our work defines a previously uncharacterized inter-kingdom signal between the skin and the opportunistic pathogen S. aureus and identifies the mechanism of sex-dependent differences in S. aureus skin infection.One-Sentence Summary: Testosterone promotes S. aureus pathogenesis through activation of the agr quorum sensing system.
  2. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1373468
    Keywords:  cross talk; immunometabolism; macrophage; metabolic pathway; microenvironment; myeloid cell; tissue niche
  3. J Dermatol Sci. 2024 Jan 30. pii: S0923-1811(24)00014-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Various bacterial species form a microbiome in the skin. In the past, dead Staphylococcus aureus derived from atopic dermatitis (AD) are taken up by keratinocytes; however, whether live S. aureus can be taken up by keratinocytes is unknown.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine whether live AD strains of S. aureus internalize into the keratinocytes and how the internalization changes under conditions in which other bacterial species including S. epidermidis are present.
    METHODS: HaCaT cells were cultured with live S. aureus and S. epidermidis (live or heat-treated) or their culture supernatants. After coculture, the change in the amount of S. aureus in the cytoplasm of HaCaT cells was analyzed using, a high-throughput imaging system, Opera Phenix™.
    RESULTS: Live S. aureus were taken up in the cytoplasm of HaCaT cells. Coculturing live S. aureus with live S. epidermidis or the culture supernatants decreased the abundance of S. aureus in the cytoplasm. The heat-treated culture supernatants of live S. epidermidis or culture supernatants of other S. strains did not decrease the abundance of S. aureus in the cytoplasm.
    CONCLUSION: Live S. aureus was internalized into the cytoplasm of HaCaT cells as does heat-treated S. aureus. In addition, the heat-sensitive substances secreted by coculture with S. epidermidis and keratinocytes inhibited the uptake of S. aureus by keratinocytes.
    Keywords:  Atopic dermatitis; Internalization; Keratinocyte; Skin microbiome; Staphylococcus aureus; Staphylococcus epidermidis
  4. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2024 Feb 22.
      Airway epithelial cells play an indispensable role in protecting the lung from inhaled pathogens and allergens by releasing an array of mediators that orchestrate inflammatory and immune responses when confronted with harmful environmental triggers. While this process is undoubtedly important for containing the effects of various harmful insults, dysregulation of the inflammatory response can cause lung diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis. A key cellular mechanism that underlies the inflammatory responses in the airway is calcium signaling, which stimulates the production and release of chemokines, cytokines, and prostaglandins from the airway epithelium. In this review, we discuss the role of major Ca2+ signaling pathways found in airway epithelial cells and their roles in mediating airway inflammation, mucociliary clearance, and surfactant production. We highlight the importance of store-operated Ca2+ entry as a major signaling hub in these processes and discuss therapeutic implications of targeting Ca2+ signaling for airway inflammation.
    Keywords:  asthma; chemokine; cytokine; epithelium; inflammation
  5. J Inflamm Res. 2024 ;17 1057-1082
      As the body's largest organ, the skin harbors a highly diverse microbiota, playing a crucial role in resisting foreign pathogens, nurturing the immune system, and metabolizing natural products. The dysregulation of human skin microbiota is implicated in immune dysregulation and inflammatory responses. This review delineates the microbial alterations and immune dysregulation features in common Inflammatory Skin Diseases (ISDs) such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis(AD), seborrheic dermatitis(SD), diaper dermatitis(DD), and Malassezia folliculitis(MF).The skin microbiota, a complex and evolving community, undergoes changes in composition and function that can compromise the skin microbial barrier. These alterations induce water loss and abnormal lipid metabolism, contributing to the onset of ISDs. Additionally, microorganisms release toxins, like Staphylococcus aureus secreted α toxins and proteases, which may dissolve the stratum corneum, impairing skin barrier function and allowing entry into the bloodstream. Microbes entering the bloodstream activate molecular signals, leading to immune disorders and subsequent skin inflammatory responses. For instance, Malassezia stimulates dendritic cells(DCs) to release IL-12 and IL-23, differentiating into a Th17 cell population and producing proinflammatory mediators such as IL-17, IL-22, TNF-α, and IFN-α.This review offers new insights into the role of the human skin microbiota in ISDs, paving the way for future skin microbiome-specific targeted therapies.
    Keywords:  Malassezia folliculitis; acne; atopic dermatitis; diaper dermatitis; inflammatory skin diseases; psoriasis; rosacea; seborrheic dermatitis; skin microbiota
  6. Biomolecules. 2024 Feb 15. pii: 225. [Epub ahead of print]14(2):
      The growth of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections necessitates focusing on host-derived immunotherapies. γδ T cells are an unconventional T cell subset, making up a relatively small portion of healthy circulating lymphocytes but a substantially increased proportion in mucosal and epithelial tissues. γδ T cells are activated and expanded in response to bacterial infection, having the capability to produce proinflammatory cytokines to recruit neutrophils and clear infection. They also play a significant role in dampening immune response to control inflammation and protecting the host against secondary challenge, making them promising targets when developing immunotherapy. Importantly, γδ T cells have differential metabolic states influencing their cytokine profile and subsequent inflammatory capacity. Though these differential metabolic states have not been well studied or reviewed in the context of bacterial infection, they are critical in understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the host's innate immune response. Therefore, this review will focus on the context-specific host defense conferred by γδ T cells during infection with Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Listeria monocytogenes, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
    Keywords:  bacterial infection; immunometabolism; γδ T cells
  7. Indian J Dermatol. 2023 Nov-Dec;68(6):68(6): 619-627
      Background: Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition common in early childhood. Acute exacerbation is frequently associated with Staphylococcus aureus colonization.Aims and Objectives: This study aims to explore the relationship between S. aureus skin and nasal colonization with pediatric atopic dermatitis.
    Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted by comparing atopic dermatitis patients aged ≤18 years and nondiseased controls. A random-effects model was used to obtain the pooled prevalence and odds ratio of S. aureus colonization at eczematous skin, nonlesional skin, and nasal cavity. Subgroup analyses for colonization with methicillin-resistant S. aureus were also evaluated.
    Results: A total of 2,670 cases and 1,224 controls from 26 studies were included in the meta-analysis. S. aureus colonization at eczematous skin and nasal cavity is significantly higher in atopic dermatitis compared to control with odds ratios of 10.55 (95% confidence interval [CI]; 4.85-22.92, P < .001) and 2.38 (nasal cavity; 95% CI; 1.46-3.90, P < .001), respectively. The pooled prevalence of skin and nasal colonization were 55.0% (eczematous skin; 95% CI; 38.3-71.7), 23.3% (nonlesional skin; 95% CI; 12.6-33.9), and 56.3% (95% CI; 43.2-69.4), respectively. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus strain was obtained from the nares and eczematous skin with rates of 11.6% (95% CI; 6.5-16.7) and 8.5% (95% CI; 4.3-12.8), respectively.
    Conclusion: Children with atopic dermatitis are more prone to skin and nasal colonization by S. aureus compared to nondiseased individuals.
    Keywords:  Adolescent; Staphylococcus aureus; atopic dermatitis; childhood; colonization
  8. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1369896
    Keywords:  NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease); OXPHOS (oxidative phosphorylation); amino acid metabolism; immunometabolism; lipid metabolism; macrophage
  9. Nat Commun. 2024 Feb 23. 15(1): 1666
      Both monocytes and macrophages are heterogeneous populations. It was traditionally understood that Ly6Chi classical (inflammatory) monocytes differentiate into pro-inflammatory Ly6Chi macrophages. Accumulating evidence has suggested that Ly6Chi classical monocytes can also differentiate into Ly6Clo pro-resolving macrophages under certain conditions, while their differentiation trajectory remains to be fully elucidated. The present study with scRNA-seq and flow cytometric analyses reveals that Ly6ChiPD-L2lo classical monocytes recruited to the allergic skin lesion sequentially differentiate into Ly6CloPD-L2hi pro-resolving macrophages, via intermediate Ly6ChiPD-L2hi macrophages but not Ly6Clo non-classical monocytes, in an IL-4 receptor-dependent manner. Along the differentiation, classical monocyte-derived macrophages display anti-inflammatory signatures followed by metabolic rewiring concordant with their ability to phagocytose apoptotic neutrophils and allergens, therefore contributing to the resolution of inflammation. The failure in the generation of these pro-resolving macrophages drives the IL-1α-mediated cycle of inflammation with abscess-like accumulation of necrotic neutrophils. Thus, we clarify the stepwise differentiation trajectory from Ly6Chi classical monocytes toward Ly6Clo pro-resolving macrophages that restrain neutrophilic aggravation of skin allergic inflammation.
  10. bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 09. pii: 2024.02.08.579566. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) is a uniquely adapted human pathogen and the etiological agent of gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease. Ng has developed numerous mechanisms to avoid and actively suppress innate and adaptive immune responses. Ng successfully colonizes and establishes topologically distinct colonies in human macrophages and avoids phagocytic killing. During colonization, Ng manipulates the actin cytoskeleton to invade and create an intracellular niche supportive of bacterial replication. The cellular reservoir(s) supporting bacterial replication and persistence in gonorrhea infections are poorly defined. The manner in which gonococci colonize macrophages points to this innate immune phagocyte as a strong candidate for a cellular niche during natural infection. Here we investigate whether nutrients availability and immunological polarization alter macrophage colonization by Ng . Differentiation of macrophages in pro-inflammatory (M1-like) and tolerogenic (M2-like) phenotypes prior to infection reveals that Ng can invade macrophages in all activation states, albeit with lower efficiency in M1-like macrophages. These results suggest that during natural infection, bacteria could invade and grow within macrophages regardless of the nutrients availability and the macrophage immune activation status.
  11. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1355910
      Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) are vital for the promotion of barrier immunity. The lung, a tissue constantly exposed to foreign pathogenic or non-pathogenic antigens, is not devoid of these cells. Lung TRM cells have been considered major players in either the protection against respiratory viral infections or the pathogenesis of lung allergies. Establishment of lung TRM cells rely on intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Among the extrinsic regulators of lung TRM cells, the magnitude of the impact of factors such as the route of antigen entry or the antigen natural tropism for the lung is not entirely clear. In this perspective, we provide a summary of the literature covering this subject and present some preliminary results on this potential dichotomy between antigen location versus antigen type. Finally, we propose a hypothesis to synthesize the potential contributions of these two variables for lung TRM cell development.
    Keywords:  T cells; antigen tropism; lung; route of immunization; tissue-resident memory CD4(+) T cells; tissue-resident memory CD8(+) T cells
  12. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Feb 13. pii: 2229. [Epub ahead of print]25(4):
      Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a multifactorial infection of the nasal cavity and sinuses. In this study, nasal swabs from control donors (N = 128) and patients with CRS (N = 246) were analysed. Culture methods and metagenomics revealed no obvious differences in the composition of the bacterial communities between the two groups. However, at the functional level, several metabolic pathways were significantly enriched in the CRS group compared to the control group. Pathways such as carbohydrate transport metabolism, ATP synthesis, cofactors and vitamins, photosynthesis and transcription were highly enriched in CRS. In contrast, pathways related to lipid metabolism were more representative in the control microbiome. As S. aureus is one of the main species found in the nasal cavity, staphylococcal isolates from control and CRS samples were analysed by microarray and functional assays. Although no significant genetic differences were detected by microarray, S. aureus from CRS induced less cytotoxicity to lung cells and lower rates of glycolysis in host cells than control isolates. These results suggest the differential modulation of staphylococcal virulence by the environment created by other microorganisms and their interactions with host cells in control and CRS samples. These changes were reflected in the differential expression of cytokines and in the expression of Agr, the most important quorum-sensing regulator of virulence in S. aureus. In addition, the CRS isolates remained stable in their cytotoxicity, whereas the cytotoxic activity of S. aureus isolated from control subjects decreased over time during in vitro passage. These results suggest that host factors influence the virulence of S. aureus and promote its adaptation to the nasal environment during CRS.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; chronic rhinosinusitis; microbiome
  13. Thorax. 2024 Feb 19. pii: thorax-2023-220230. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: In patients with asthma, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections can cause disease exacerbation by infecting the epithelial layer of the airways, inducing subsequent immune response. The type I interferon antiviral response of epithelial cells upon RSV infection is found to be reduced in asthma in most-but not all-studies. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms causing the differences in the asthmatic bronchial epithelium in response to viral infection are poorly understood.METHODS: Here, we investigated the transcriptional response to RSV infection of primary bronchial epithelial cells (pBECs) from patients with asthma (n=8) and healthy donors (n=8). The pBECs obtained from bronchial brushes were differentiated in air-liquid interface conditions and infected with RSV. After 3 days, cells were processed for single-cell RNA sequencing.
    RESULTS: A strong antiviral response to RSV was observed for all cell types, for all samples (p<1e-48). Most (1045) differentially regulated genes following RSV infection were found in cells transitioning to secretory cells. Goblet cells from patients with asthma showed lower expression of genes involved in the interferon response (false discovery rate <0.05), including OASL, ICAM1 and TNFAIP3. In multiciliated cells, an impairment of the signalling pathways involved in the response to RSV in asthma was observed.
    CONCLUSION: Our results highlight that the response to RSV infection of the bronchial epithelium in asthma and healthy airways was largely similar. However, in asthma, the response of goblet and multiciliated cells is impaired, highlighting the need for studying airway epithelial cells at high resolution in the context of asthma exacerbation.
    Keywords:  Airway Epithelium; Asthma; Viral infection
  14. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1336813
      Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces potent cell activation via Toll-like receptor 4/myeloid differentiation protein 2 (TLR4/MD-2), often leading to septic death and cytokine storm. TLR4 signaling is diverted to the classical acute innate immune, inflammation-driving pathway in conjunction with the classical NF-κB pivot of MyD88, leading to epigenetic linkage shifts in nuclear pro-inflammatory transcription and chromatin structure-function; in addition, TLR4 signaling to the TIR domain-containing adapter-induced IFN-β (TRIF) apparatus and to nuclear pivots that signal the association of interferons alpha and beta (IFN-α and IFN-β) with acute inflammation, often coupled with oxidants favor inhibition or resistance to tissue injury. Although the immune response to LPS, which causes sepsis, has been clarified in this manner, there are still many current gaps in sepsis immunology to reduce mortality. Recently, selective agonists and inhibitors of LPS signals have been reported, and there are scattered reports on LPS tolerance and control of sepsis development. In particular, IRF3 signaling has been reported to be involved not only in sepsis but also in increased pathogen clearance associated with changes in the gut microbiota. Here, we summarize the LPS recognition system, main findings related to the IRF3, and finally immunological gaps in sepsis.
    Keywords:  IRF3 signaling; MyD88-depending pathway; TLR4 signaling; lipopolysaccharide (LPS); sepsis control
  15. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Feb 07. pii: 2021. [Epub ahead of print]25(4):
      Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a diverse population of lymphocytes classified into natural killer (NK) cells, ILC1s, ILC2s, ILC3s, and ILCregs, broadly following the cytokine secretion and transcription factor profiles of classical T cell subsets. Nonetheless, the ILC lineage does not have rearranged antigen-specific receptors and possesses distinct characteristics. ILCs are found in barrier tissues such as the skin, lungs, and intestines, where they play a role between acquired immune cells and myeloid cells. Within the skin, ILCs are activated by the microbiota and, in turn, may influence the microbiome composition and modulate immune function through cytokine secretion or direct cellular interactions. In particular, ILC3s provide epithelial protection against extracellular bacteria. However, the mechanism by which these cells modulate skin health and homeostasis in response to microbiome changes is unclear. To better understand how ILC3s function against microbiota perturbations in the skin, we propose a role for these cells in response to Cutibacterium acnes, a predominant commensal bacterium linked to the inflammatory skin condition, acne vulgaris. In this article, we review current evidence describing the role of ILC3s in the skin and suggest functional roles by drawing parallels with ILC3s from other organs. We emphasize the limited understanding and knowledge gaps of ILC3s in the skin and discuss the potential impact of ILC3-microbiota crosstalk in select skin diseases. Exploring the dialogue between the microbiota and ILC3s may lead to novel strategies to ameliorate skin immunity.
    Keywords:  Cutibacterium acnes; ILC3s; ILCs; acne vulgaris; innate lymphoid cells; microbiome; skin diseases; skin microbiome; skin microbiota; type 3 innate lymphoid cells
  16. Clin Pract. 2024 Jan 24. 14(1): 198-213
      Tuberculosis (TB), a respiratory disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is a significant cause of mortality worldwide. The lung, a breeding ground for Mtb, was once thought to be a sterile environment, but has now been found to host its own profile of microbes. These microbes are critical in the development of the host immune system and can produce metabolites that aid in host defense against various pathogens. Mtb infection as well as antibiotics can shift the microbial profile, causing dysbiosis and dampening the host immune response. Additionally, increasing cases of drug resistant TB have impacted the success rates of the traditional therapies of isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol. Recent years have produced tremendous research into the human microbiome and its role in contributing to or attenuating disease processes. Potential treatments aimed at altering the gut-lung bacterial axis may offer promising results against drug resistant TB and help mitigate the effects of TB.
    Keywords:  Mycobacterium tuberculosis; dysbiosis; microbiome; tuberculosis
  17. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2024 Feb 16. pii: S0091-6749(24)00182-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      The epithelial lining of the respiratory tract and intestine provides a critical physical barrier to protect host tissues against environmental insults including dietary antigens, allergens, chemicals, and microorganisms. In addition, specialized epithelial cells directly communicate with hematopoietic and neuronal cells. These epithelial-immune and epithelial-neuronal interactions control host immune responses and have important implications for inflammatory conditions associated with defects in the epithelial barrier, including asthma, allergy, and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). In this review, we discuss emerging research that identifies the mechanisms and impact of epithelial-immune and epithelial-neuronal crosstalk in regulating immunity, inflammation, and tissue homeostasis at mucosal barrier surfaces. Understanding the regulation and impact of these pathways could provide new therapeutic targets for inflammatory diseases at mucosal sites.
    Keywords:  airway inflammation; allergy; asthma; epithelium; immune regulation; intestinal inflammation; mucosal immunity; neuroimmunity
  18. PLoS Pathog. 2024 Feb 20. 20(2): e1011502
      Host resistance to a common protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii relies on a coordinated immune response involving multiple cell types, including macrophages. Embryonically seeded tissue-resident macrophages (TRMs) play a critical role in maintaining tissue homeostasis, but their role in parasite clearance is poorly understood. In this study, we uncovered a crucial aspect of host defense against T. gondii mediated by TRMs. Through the use of neutralizing antibodies and conditional IFN-γ receptor-deficient mice, we demonstrated that IFN-γ directly mediated the elimination of TRMs. Mechanistically, IFN-γ stimulation in vivo rendered macrophages unresponsive to macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and inactivated mTOR signaling by causing the shedding of CD115 (CSFR1), the receptor for M-CSF. Further experiments revealed the essential role of macrophage IFN-γ responsiveness in host resistance to T. gondii. The elimination of peritoneal TRMs emerged as an additional host defense mechanism aimed at limiting the parasite's reservoir. The identified mechanism, involving IFN-γ-induced suppression of CD115-dependent mTOR signaling in macrophages, provides insights into the adaptation of macrophage subsets during infection and highlights a crucial aspect of host defense against intracellular pathogens.
  19. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Feb 15. pii: 2312. [Epub ahead of print]25(4):
      Acquisition of immunological memory is an important evolutionary strategy that evolved to protect the host from repetitive challenges from infectious agents. It was believed for a long time that memory formation exclusively occurs in the adaptive part of the immune system with the formation of highly specific memory T cells and B cells. In the past 10-15 years, it has become clear that innate immune cells, such as monocytes, natural killer cells, or neutrophil granulocytes, also have the ability to generate some kind of memory. After the exposure of innate immune cells to certain stimuli, these cells develop an enhanced secondary response with increased cytokine secretion even after an encounter with an unrelated stimulus. This phenomenon has been termed trained innate immunity (TI) and is associated with epigenetic modifications (histone methylation, acetylation) and metabolic alterations (elevated glycolysis, lactate production). TI has been observed in tissue-resident or circulating immune cells but also in bone marrow progenitors. Risk-factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) which are associated with low-grade inflammation, such as hyperglycemia, obesity, or high salt, can also induce TI with a profound impact on the development and progression of CVDs. In this review, we briefly describe basic mechanisms of TI and summarize animal studies which specifically focus on TI in the context of CVDs.
    Keywords:  animal models; bone marrow; cardiovascular diseases; monocytes; trained innate immunity
  20. Arch Microbiol. 2024 Feb 18. 206(3): 107
      The highly diverse microbial ecosystem of the human body colonizes the gastrointestinal tract has a profound impact on the host's immune, metabolic, endocrine, and other physiological processes, which are all interconnected. Specifically, gut microbiota has been found to play a crucial role in facilitating the adaptation and initiation of immune regulatory response through the gastrointestinal tract affecting the other distal mucosal sites such as lungs. A tightly regulated lung-gut axis during respiratory ailments may influence the various molecular patterns that instructs priming the disease severity to dysregulate the normal function. This review provides a comprehensive summary of current research on gut microbiota dysbiosis in respiratory diseases including asthma, pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, COPD during infections and cancer. A complex-interaction among gut microbiome, associated metabolites, cytokines, and chemokines regulates the protective immune response activating the mucosal humoral and cellular response. This potential mechanism bridges the regulation patterns through the gut-lung axis. This paper aims to advance the understanding of the crosstalk of gut-lung microbiome during infection, could lead to strategize to modulate the gut microbiome as a treatment plan to improve bad prognosis in various respiratory diseases.
    Keywords:  Gut microbiota; Gut-lung axis; Inflammation; Intestinal microecology; Mechanism; Respiratory diseases
  21. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2024 ;14 1296295
      Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate among all cancers worldwide. The 5-year overall survival rate for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is estimated at around 26%, whereas for small cell lung cancer (SCLC), the survival rate is only approximately 7%. This disease places a significant financial and psychological burden on individuals worldwide. The symbiotic microbiota in the human body has been significantly associated with the occurrence, progression, and prognosis of various diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. Studies have demonstrated that respiratory symbiotic microorganisms and their metabolites play a crucial role in modulating immune function and contributing to the pathophysiology of lung cancer through their interactions with the host. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the microbial characteristics associated with lung cancer, with a focus on the respiratory tract microbiota from different locations, including saliva, sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), bronchial brush samples, and tissue. We describe the respiratory tract microbiota's biodiversity characteristics by anatomical region, elucidating distinct pathological features, staging, metastasis, host chromosomal mutations, immune therapies, and the differentiated symbiotic microbiota under the influence of environmental factors. Our exploration investigates the intrinsic mechanisms linking the microbiota and its host. Furthermore, we have also provided a comprehensive review of the immune mechanisms by which microbiota are implicated in the development of lung cancer. Dysbiosis of the respiratory microbiota can promote or inhibit tumor progression through various mechanisms, including DNA damage and genomic instability, activation and regulation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, and stimulation of epithelial cells leading to the upregulation of carcinogenesis-related pathways.
    Keywords:  chromosome aberration; commensal microbiome dysbiosis; immune mechanisms; lung cancer; respiratory tract
  22. mSphere. 2024 Feb 21. e0000624
      Iron acquisition is a key feature dictating the success of pathogen colonization and infection. Pathogens scavenging iron from the host must contend with other members of the microbiome similarly competing for the limited pool of bioavailable iron, often in the form of heme. In this study, we identify a beneficial role for the heme-binding protein hemophilin (Hpl) produced by the non-pathogenic bacterium Haemophilus haemolyticus against its close relative, the opportunistic respiratory tract pathogen non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Using a mouse model, we found that pre-exposure to H. haemolyticus significantly reduced NTHi colonization of the upper airway and impaired NTHi infection of the lungs in an Hpl-dependent manner. Further, treatment with recombinant Hpl was sufficient to decrease airway burdens of NTHi without exacerbating lung immunopathology or systemic inflammation. Instead, mucosal production of the neutrophil chemokine CXCL2, lung myeloperoxidase, and serum pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFα were lower in Hpl-treated mice. Mechanistically, H. haemolyticus suppressed NTHi growth and adherence to human respiratory tract epithelial cells through the expression of Hpl, and recombinant Hpl could recapitulate these effects. Together, these findings indicate that heme sequestration by non-pathogenic, Hpl-producing H. haemolyticus is protective against NTHi colonization and infection.IMPORTANCEThe microbiome provides a critical layer of protection against infection with bacterial pathogens. This protection is accomplished through a variety of mechanisms, including interference with pathogen growth and adherence to host cells. In terms of immune defense, another way to prevent pathogens from establishing infections is by limiting the availability of nutrients, referred to as nutritional immunity. Restricting pathogen access to iron is a central component of this approach. Here, we uncovered an example where these two strategies intersect to impede infection with the respiratory tract bacterial pathogen Haemophilus influenzae. Specifically, we find that a non-pathogenic (commensal) bacterium closely related to H. influenzae called Haemophilus haemolyticus improves protection against H. influenzae by limiting the ability of this pathogen to access iron. These findings suggest that beneficial members of the microbiome improve protection against pathogen infection by effectively contributing to host nutritional immunity.
    Keywords:  Haemophilus haemolyticus; Haemophilus influenzae; heme; hemophilin; hemophore; lung infection; microbiome; nasopharyngeal colonization; nutritional immunity
  23. Front Nutr. 2024 ;11 1355542
      The gut microbiota and immune system interaction play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics have emerged as promising therapeutic approaches to positively influence this complex axis and enhance health outcomes. Probiotics, as live bacteria, promote the growth of immune cells, shape immune responses, and maintain gut barrier integrity. They modify the gut microbiota by fostering beneficial bacteria while suppressing harmful ones. Additionally, probiotics interact with the immune system, increasing immune cell activity and anti-inflammatory cytokine production. Prebiotics, as indigestible fibers, selectively nourish beneficial microorganisms in the gut, enhancing gut microbial diversity and activity. This, in turn, improves gut health and boosts immune responses while controlling inflammation through its immunomodulatory properties. Postbiotics, produced during probiotic fermentation, such as short-chain fatty acids and antimicrobial peptides, positively impact gut health and modulate immune responses. Ensuring quality control and standardization will be essential for successful clinical implementation of these interventions. Overall, understanding and harnessing the gut microbiota-immune system interplay offer promising avenues for improving digestive and immunological health.
    Keywords:  immune system; metabolites; microbiota; postbiotics; probiotics
  24. Allergy. 2024 Feb 19.
      Tight junction (TJ) proteins establish a physical barrier between epithelial cells, playing a crucial role in maintaining tissue homeostasis by safeguarding host tissues against pathogens, allergens, antigens, irritants, etc. Recently, an increasing number of studies have demonstrated that abnormal expression of TJs plays an essential role in the development and progression of inflammatory airway diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) with or without nasal polyps. Among them, CRS with nasal polyps is a prevalent chronic inflammatory disease that affects the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, leading to a poor prognosis and significantly impacting patients' quality of life. Its pathogenesis primarily involves dysfunction of the nasal epithelial barrier, impaired mucociliary clearance, disordered immune response, and excessive tissue remodeling. Numerous studies have elucidated the pivotal role of TJs in both the pathogenesis and response to traditional therapies in CRS. We therefore to review and discuss potential factors contributing to impair and repair of TJs in the nasal epithelium based on their structure, function, and formation process.
    Keywords:  chronic rhinosinusitis; epithelial barrier theory; nasal epithelial cells; nasal polyps; tight junctions
  25. Nutrients. 2024 Feb 06. pii: 465. [Epub ahead of print]16(4):
      The aim of this scoping review was to investigate and synthesize existing evidence on the airway microbiome of preterm infants to outline the prognostic and therapeutic significance of these microbiomes within the preterm population and identify gaps in current knowledge, proposing avenues for future research. We performed a scoping review of the literature following the Arskey and O'Malley framework. In accordance with our inclusion criteria and the intended purpose of this scoping review, we identified a total of 21 articles. The investigation of the airway microbiome in preterm infants has revealed new insights into its unique characteristics, highlighting distinct dynamics when compared to term infants. Perinatal factors, such as the mode of delivery, chorioamnionitis, the respiratory support, and antibiotic treatment, could impact the composition of the airway microbiome. The 'gut-lung axis', examining the link between the lung and gut microbiome as well as modifications in respiratory microbiome across different sites and over time, has also been explored. Furthermore, correlations between the airway microbiome and adverse outcomes, such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), have been established. Additional research in neonatal care is essential to understand the early colonization of infants' airways and explore methods for its optimization. The critical opportunity to shape long-term health through microbiome-mediated effects likely lies within the neonatal period.
    Keywords:  airway microbiome; lung microbiome; preterm infants
  26. Nature. 2024 Feb 21.
      Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a key anti-inflammatory cytokine that can limit immune cell activation and cytokine production in innate immune cell types1. Loss of IL-10 signalling results in life-threatening inflammatory bowel disease in humans and mice-however, the exact mechanism by which IL-10 signalling subdues inflammation remains unclear2-5. Here we find that increased saturated very long chain (VLC) ceramides are critical for the heightened inflammatory gene expression that is a hallmark of IL-10 deficiency. Accordingly, genetic deletion of ceramide synthase 2 (encoded by Cers2), the enzyme responsible for VLC ceramide production, limited the exacerbated inflammatory gene expression programme associated with IL-10 deficiency both in vitro and in vivo. The accumulation of saturated VLC ceramides was regulated by a decrease in metabolic flux through the de novo mono-unsaturated fatty acid synthesis pathway. Restoring mono-unsaturated fatty acid availability to cells deficient in IL-10 signalling limited saturated VLC ceramide production and the associated inflammation. Mechanistically, we find that persistent inflammation mediated by VLC ceramides is largely dependent on sustained activity of REL, an immuno-modulatory transcription factor. Together, these data indicate that an IL-10-driven fatty acid desaturation programme rewires VLC ceramide accumulation and aberrant activation of REL. These studies support the idea that fatty acid homeostasis in innate immune cells serves as a key regulatory node to control pathologic inflammation and suggests that 'metabolic correction' of VLC homeostasis could be an important strategy to normalize dysregulated inflammation caused by the absence of IL-10.
  27. Nat Commun. 2024 Feb 17. 15(1): 1470
      Disrupted host-microbe interactions at the mucosal level are key to the pathophysiology of IBD. This study aimed to comprehensively examine crosstalk between mucosal gene expression and microbiota in patients with IBD. To study tissue-specific interactions, we perform transcriptomic (RNA-seq) and microbial (16S-rRNA-seq) profiling of 697 intestinal biopsies (645 derived from 335 patients with IBD and 52 from 16 non-IBD controls). Mucosal gene expression patterns in IBD are mainly determined by tissue location and inflammation, whereas the mucosal microbiota composition shows a high degree of individual specificity. Analysis of transcript-bacteria interactions identifies six distinct groups of inflammation-related pathways that are associated with intestinal microbiota (adjusted P < 0.05). An increased abundance of Bifidobacterium is associated with higher expression of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism, while Bacteroides correlates with increased metallothionein signaling. In patients with fibrostenosis, a transcriptional network dominated by immunoregulatory genes is associated with Lachnoclostridium bacteria in non-stenotic tissue (adjusted P < 0.05), while being absent in CD without fibrostenosis. In patients using TNF-α-antagonists, a transcriptional network dominated by fatty acid metabolism genes is linked to Ruminococcaceae (adjusted P < 0.05). Mucosal microbiota composition correlates with enrichment of intestinal epithelial cells, macrophages, and NK-cells. Overall, these data demonstrate the presence of context-specific mucosal host-microbe interactions in IBD, revealing significantly altered inflammation-associated gene-taxa modules, particularly in patients with fibrostenotic CD and patients using TNF-α-antagonists. This study provides compelling insights into host-microbe interactions that may guide microbiota-directed precision medicine and fuels the rationale for microbiota-targeted therapeutics as a strategy to alter disease course in IBD.
  28. Microb Pathog. 2024 Feb 20. pii: S0882-4010(24)00060-3. [Epub ahead of print] 106593
      Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) are closely related pathogenic mycobacteria known to cause chronic pulmonary infections in both humans and animals. Despite sharing nearly identical genomes and virulence factors, these two bacteria display variations in host tropism, epidemiology, and clinical presentations. M. bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is an attenuated strain of M. bovis commonly utilized as a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB). Nevertheless, the molecular underpinnings of these distinctions and the intricacies of host-pathogen interactions remain areas of ongoing research. In this study, a comparative transcriptomic analysis was conducted on human leukemia macrophages (THP-1) infected with either MTB H37Rv or M. bovis BCG (Tokyo strain) to elucidate common and strain-specific responses at the transcriptional level. RNA sequencing was utilized to characterize the transcriptomes of human primary macrophages infected with MTB or BCG at 6 and 24 h post-infection. The findings indicate that both MTB and BCG induce substantial and dynamic alterations in the transcriptomes of THP-1, with a notable overlap in the quantity and extent of differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Moreover, gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis unveiled shared pathways related to immune response, cytokine signaling, and apoptosis. The immune response of macrophages to bacterial infections at 6 h exhibited significantly greater intensity compared to that at 24 h. Furthermore, distinct gene sets displaying notable variances between MTB and BCG infections were identified. The profound impact of MTB infection on macrophage gene expression, particularly within the initial 6 h, was evident. Additionally, downregulation of pathways such as Focal adhesion, Rap1 signaling pathway, and Regulation of actin cytoskeleton was observed. The pathways associated with inflammation reactions and cell apoptosis exhibited significant differences, with BCG triggering macrophage apoptosis and MTB enhancing the survival of intracellular bacteria. Our findings reveal that MTB and BCG provoke similar yet distinct transcriptional responses in human macrophages, indicating variations in their pathogenesis and ability to adapt to host environments. These results offer novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing host-pathogen interactions and may contribute to a deeper understanding of TB pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Bacillus Calmette–Guérin; Macrophages; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Transcriptomics
  29. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Feb 18. pii: 2407. [Epub ahead of print]25(4):
      The complexity of macrophage (MΦ) plasticity and polarization states, which include classically activated pro-inflammatory (M1) and alternatively activated anti-inflammatory (M2) MΦ phenotypes, is becoming increasingly appreciated. Within the M2 MΦ polarization state, M2a, M2b, M2c, and M2d MΦ subcategories have been defined based on their expression of specific cell surface receptors, secreted cytokines, and specialized immune effector functions. The importance of immunometabolic networks in mediating the function and regulation of MΦ immune responses is also being increasingly recognized, although the exact mechanisms and extent of metabolic modulation of MΦ subtype phenotypes and functions remain incompletely understood. In this study, proton (1H) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomics was employed to determine the polar metabolomes of M2 MΦ subtypes and to investigate the relationship between aqueous metabolite profiles and M2 MΦ functional phenotypes. Results from this study demonstrate that M2a MΦs are most distinct from M2b, M2c, and M2d MΦ subtypes, and that M2b MΦs display several metabolic traits associated with an M1-like MΦ phenotype. The significance of metabolome differences for metabolites implicated in glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, phospholipid metabolism, and creatine-phosphocreatine cycling is discussed. Altogether, this study provides biochemical insights into the role of metabolism in mediating the specialized effector functions of distinct M2 MΦ subtypes and supports the concept of a continuum of macrophage activation states rather than two well-separated and functionally distinct M1/M2 MΦ classes, as originally proposed within a classical M1/M2 MΦ framework.
    Keywords:  M2 macrophage subtypes; M2a; M2b; M2c; M2d; NMR metabolomics; central metabolism; immunometabolism; multivariate statistical analysis; primary human macrophages
  30. Nat Rev Immunol. 2024 Feb 19.
      Inflammasomes are supramolecular complexes that form in the cytosol in response to pathogen-associated and damage-associated stimuli, as well as other danger signals that perturb cellular homoeostasis, resulting in host defence responses in the form of cytokine release and programmed cell death (pyroptosis). Inflammasome activity is closely associated with numerous human disorders, including rare genetic syndromes of autoinflammation, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration and cancer. In recent years, a range of inflammasome components and their functions have been discovered, contributing to our knowledge of the overall machinery. Here, we review the latest advances in inflammasome biology from the perspective of structural and mechanistic studies. We focus on the most well-studied components of the canonical inflammasome - NAIP-NLRC4, NLRP3, NLRP1, CARD8 and caspase-1 - as well as caspase-4, caspase-5 and caspase-11 of the noncanonical inflammasome, and the inflammasome effectors GSDMD and NINJ1. These structural studies reveal important insights into how inflammasomes are assembled and regulated, and how they elicit the release of IL-1 family cytokines and induce membrane rupture in pyroptosis.
  31. Rhinology. 2024 Feb 19.
      In this edition of Rhinology we feature the work of Connell and colleagues from Australia on chronic rhinosinusitis that describes an interesting new pipeline to characterize the bacterial composition of microbiota. We are constantly exposed to a multitude of micro-organisms in the environment and our immune system has the important task discerning and fighting off potential threats. In most people the immune system is doing its job properly and prevents anything untoward from happening. On occasion, a microbe slips by the first (innate) level of defense and we might suffer from an infection. This then activates the second layer of (the adaptive) defense tasked to clear this infection. Sometimes the immune system gets its wrong and starts a full-out defense against something harmless, and an allergy is born. The task of the immune system of doing what is right is even more difficult than it might seem at first sight. In addition to these incidental potential threats, our mucosal surfaces are lined with commensal bacteria which contributes to the complexity of our environment. This collection of bacteria or microbiome has become a major focus of research, as the composition of this microbiome seems related to the health state of the individual. Originally the relationship between the gut microbiome and the development of asthma and allergy was the main focus. In recent years, the focus has been broadened to include the microbiome of the upper and lower airways. In addition to allergy, our field has also been given more and more attention to studying the microbiome in chronic rhinosinusitis.
  32. Toxicology. 2024 Feb 16. pii: S0300-483X(24)00037-4. [Epub ahead of print] 153756
      Chemical Respiratory Allergy (CRA) is triggered after exposure to Low Molecular Weight (LMW) sensitizers and manifests clinically as asthma and rhinitis. From a risk/toxicity assessment point of view, there are few methods, none of them validated, for evaluating the respiratory sensitization potential of chemicals once the in vivo-based models usually employed for inhalation toxicity addressment do not comprise allergenicity endpoints specifically. Based on that, we developed, characterized, and evaluated the applicability of a 3D-tetraculture airway model reconstructed with bronchial epithelial, fibroblasts, endothelial and monocytic cell lines. Moreover, we exposed the tissue to maleic anhydride (MA) aerosols to challenge the model and subsequently assessed inflammatory and functional aspects of the tissue. The reconstructed tissue presented phenotypic biomarkers compatible with human bronchial epithelium, and MA aerosol exposure triggered an increased IL-8 and IL-6 production, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, and apoptosis of epithelial cells. Besides, augmented IL-8 production by monocytic cells was also found, correlating with dendritic cell activation within the co-culture model after MA exposure. Our results demonstrated that the 3D-tetraculture bronchial model presents hallmarks related to human airways' structure and function. Additionally, exposure to a respiratory sensitizer induced inflammatory and functional alterations in the reconstructed tissue, rendering it a valuable tool for exploring the mechanistic framework of chemically induced respiratory sensitization.
    Keywords:  Chemical respiratory allergy; air-liquid interface; new approach methodologies; pulmonary toxicity; respiratory sensitization
  33. Infect Drug Resist. 2024 ;17 623-639
      Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) remains a significant contributor to healthcare costs and morbidity due to high rates of recurrence. Currently, available antibiotic treatment strategies further disrupt the fecal microbiome and do not address the alterations in commensal flora (dysbiosis) that set the stage for CDI. Advances in microbiome-based research have resulted in the development of new agents, classified as live biotherapeutic products (LBPs), for preventing recurrent CDI (rCDI) by restoring eubiosis. Prior to the LBPs, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) was available for this purpose; however, lack of large-scale availability and safety concerns have remained barriers to its widespread use. The LBPs are an exciting development, but questions remain. Some are derived directly from human stool while other developmental products contain a defined microbial consortium manufactured ex vivo, and they may be composed of either living bacteria or their spores, making it difficult to compare members of this heterogenous drug class to one another. None have been studied head-to head or against FMT in preventing rCDI. As a class, they have considerable variability in their biologic composition, biopharmaceutic science, route of administration, stages of development, and clinical trial data. This review will start by explaining the role of dysbiosis in CDI, then give the details of the biopharmaceutical components for the LBPs which are approved or in development including how they differ from FMT and from one another. We then discuss the clinical trials of the LBPs currently approved for rCDI and end with the future clinical directions of LBPs beyond C. difficile.
    Keywords:  Clostridioides difficile infection; indirect treatment comparison; microbiome; microbiome therapeutic
  34. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Feb 19. pii: 2426. [Epub ahead of print]25(4):
      Skin microbiota, such as acne-related Cutibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus aureus, and fungal Candida albicans, can form polymicrobial biofilms with greater antimicrobial tolerance to traditional antimicrobial agents and host immune systems. In this study, the phytopigment shikonin was investigated against single-species and multispecies biofilms under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of shikonin were 10 µg/mL against C. acnes, S. aureus, and C. albicans, and at 1-5 µg/mL, shikonin efficiently inhibited single biofilm formation and multispecies biofilm development by these three microbes. Shikonin increased porphyrin production in C. acnes, inhibited cell aggregation and hyphal formation by C. albicans, decreased lipase production, and increased hydrophilicity in S. aureus. In addition, shikonin at 5 or 10 µg/mL repressed the transcription of various biofilm-related genes and virulence-related genes in C. acnes and downregulated the gene expression levels of the quorum-sensing agrA and RNAIII, α-hemolysin hla, and nuclease nuc1 in S. aureus, supporting biofilm inhibition. In addition, shikonin prevented multispecies biofilm development on porcine skin, and the antimicrobial efficacy of shikonin was recapitulated in a mouse infection model, in which it promoted skin regeneration. The study shows that shikonin inhibits multispecies biofilm development by acne-related skin microbes and might be useful for controlling bacterial infections.
    Keywords:  Candida albicans; Cutibacterium acnes; Staphylococcus aureus; polymicrobial biofilms; shikonin
  35. PLoS Pathog. 2024 Feb;20(2): e1011996
      Vacuolar pathogens reside in membrane-bound compartments within host cells. Maintaining the integrity of this compartment is paramount to bacterial survival and replication as it protects against certain host surveillance mechanisms that function to eradicate invading pathogens. Preserving this compartment during bacterial replication requires expansion of the vacuole membrane to accommodate the increasing number of bacteria, and yet, how this is accomplished remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the vacuolar pathogen Legionella pneumophila exploits multiple sources of host cell fatty acids, including inducing host cell fatty acid scavenging pathways, in order to promote expansion of the replication vacuole and bacteria growth. Conversely, when exogenous lipids are limited, the decrease in host lipid availability restricts expansion of the replication vacuole membrane, resulting in a higher density of bacteria within the vacuole. Modifying the architecture of the vacuole prioritizes bacterial growth by allowing the greatest number of bacteria to remain protected by the vacuole membrane despite limited resources for its expansion. However, this trade-off is not without risk, as it can lead to vacuole destabilization, which is detrimental to the pathogen. However, when host lipid resources become extremely scarce, for example by inhibiting host lipid scavenging, de novo biosynthetic pathways, and/or diverting host fatty acids to storage compartments, bacterial replication becomes severely impaired, indicating that host cell fatty acid availability also directly regulates L. pneumophila growth. Collectively, these data demonstrate dual roles for host cell fatty acids in replication vacuole expansion and bacterial proliferation, revealing the central functions for these molecules and their metabolic pathways in L. pneumophila pathogenesis.
  36. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Feb 08. pii: 2087. [Epub ahead of print]25(4):
      It is widely agreed that microbial biofilms play a major role in promoting infection and delaying healing of chronic wounds. In the era of microbial resistance, probiotic strains or their metabolic products are emerging as an innovative approach for the treatment of hard-to-heal (chronic) wounds due to their antimicrobial, healing, and host immune-modulatory effects. In this study, we aimed to investigate the potential of cell-free supernatants (CFS) from Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG against mono- and dual-species biofilms of wound pathogens in a 3D in vitro infection model. Mature biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus were obtained on collagen scaffolds in the presence of a simulant wound fluid (SWF) and treated with CFS at different doses and time intervals. At 1:4 dilution in SWF, CFS caused a marked reduction in the colony forming-unit (CFU) numbers of bacteria embedded in mono-species biofilms as well as bacteria released by the biofilms in the supernatant. CFU count and electron microscopy imaging also demonstrated a marked antibiofilm effect against dual-species biofilms starting from 8 h of incubation. Furthermore, CFS exhibited acceptable levels of cytotoxicity at 24 h of incubation against HaCaT cells and, differently from ciprofloxacin, failed to induce resistance after 15 passages at sub-inhibitory concentrations. Overall, the results obtained point to L. rhamnosus GG postbiotics as a promising strategy for the treatment of wound biofilms.
    Keywords:  Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Staphylococcus aureus; biofilm; cell-free supernatants; postbiotics; resistance induction; wound infections; wound model
  37. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2024 Feb 20.
      Excessive or persistent inflammation may have detrimental effects on lung structure and function. Currently, our understanding of conserved host mechanisms that control the inflammatory response remains incompletely understood. In this study, we investigated the role of type I interferon signaling in the inflammatory response against diverse clinically relevant stimuli. Using mice deficient in type I interferon signaling (IFNAR1-/-), we demonstrate that the absence of interferon signaling resulted in a robust and persistent inflammatory response against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, lipopolysaccharide, and chemotherapeutic agent bleomycin. The elevated inflammatory response in IFNAR1-/- mice was manifested as elevated myeloid cells such as macrophages and neutrophils, in the broncho-alveolar lavage. The inflammatory cell response in the IFNAR1-/- mice persisted to 14 days and there is impaired recovery and fibrotic remodeling of the lung in IFNAR1-/- mice after bleomycin injury. In the Pseudomonas infection model, the elevated inflammatory cell response led to improved bacterial clearance in IFNAR1-/- mice, although there was similar lung injury and survival. We performed RNA-sequencing of lung tissue in wildtype and IFNAR1-/- mice after LPS and bleomycin injury. Our unbiased analysis identified differentially expressed genes between IFNAR1-/- and wild-type mice, including previously unknown regulation of NOD-like receptor signaling, RIG-I signaling, and necroptosis pathway by type I interferon signaling in both models. These data provide novel insights into the conserved anti-inflammatory mechanisms of the type I interferon signaling.
    Keywords:  Bleomycin; Interferon; LPS; Lung inflammation; Pseudomonas
  38. Nat Commun. 2024 Feb 21. 15(1): 1605
      Gut microbiota can adapt to their host environment by rapidly acquiring new mutations. However, the dynamics of this process are difficult to characterize in dominant gut species in their complex in vivo environment. Here we show that the fine-scale dynamics of genome-wide transposon libraries can enable quantitative inferences of these in vivo evolutionary forces. By analyzing >400,000 lineages across four human Bacteroides strains in gnotobiotic mice, we observed positive selection on thousands of cryptic variants - most of which were unrelated to their original gene knockouts. The spectrum of fitness benefits varied between species, and displayed diverse tradeoffs over time and in different dietary conditions, enabling inferences of their underlying function. These results suggest that within-host adaptations arise from an intense competition between numerous contending variants, which can strongly influence their emergent evolutionary tradeoffs.
  39. J Exp Med. 2024 Apr 01. pii: e20231425. [Epub ahead of print]221(4):
      The skin provides an essential barrier for host defense through rapid action of multiple resident and recruited cell types, but the complex communication network governing these processes is incompletely understood. To define these cell-cell interactions more clearly, we performed an unbiased network analysis of mouse skin during invasive S. aureus infection and revealed a dominant role for CXCL12+ fibroblast subsets in neutrophil communication. These subsets predominantly reside in the reticular dermis, express adipocyte lineage markers, detect IL-17 and TNFα, and promote robust neutrophil recruitment through NFKBIZ-dependent release of CXCR2 ligands and CXCL12. Targeted deletion of Il17ra in mouse fibroblasts resulted in greatly reduced neutrophil recruitment and increased infection by S. aureus. Analogous human CXCL12+ fibroblast subsets abundantly express neutrophil chemotactic factors in psoriatic skin that are subsequently decreased upon therapeutic targeting of IL-17. These findings show that CXCL12+ dermal immune acting fibroblast subsets play a critical role in cutaneous neutrophil recruitment and host defense.
  40. Microbiology (Reading). 2024 Feb;170(2):
      The mammalian colon is one of the most densely populated habitats currently recognised, with 1011-1013 commensal bacteria per gram of colonic contents. Enteric pathogens must compete with the resident intestinal microbiota to cause infection. Among these enteric pathogens are Shigella species which cause approximately 125 million infections annually, of which over 90 % are caused by Shigella flexneri and Shigella sonnei. Shigella sonnei was previously reported to use a Type VI Secretion System (T6SS) to outcompete E. coli and S. flexneri in in vitro and in vivo experiments. S. sonnei strains have also been reported to harbour colicinogenic plasmids, which are an alternative anti-bacterial mechanism that could provide a competitive advantage against the intestinal microbiota. We sought to determine the contribution of both T6SS and colicins to the anti-bacterial killing activity of S. sonnei. We reveal that whilst the T6SS operon is present in S. sonnei, there is evidence of functional degradation of the system through SNPs, indels and IS within key components of the system. We created strains with synthetically inducible T6SS operons but were still unable to demonstrate anti-bacterial activity of the T6SS. We demonstrate that the anti-bacterial activity observed in our in vitro assays was due to colicin activity. We show that S. sonnei no longer displayed anti-bacterial activity against bacteria that were resistant to colicins, and removal of the colicin plasmid from S. sonnei abrogated anti-bacterial activity of S. sonnei. We propose that the anti-bacterial activity demonstrated by colicins may be sufficient for niche competition by S. sonnei within the gastrointestinal environment.
    Keywords:  Interbacterial competition; Shigella; T6SS; anti-bacterial activity; colicins; polymicrobial
  41. Bioengineering (Basel). 2024 Feb 15. pii: 187. [Epub ahead of print]11(2):
      Different studies suggest an impact of biofilms on carcinogenic lesion formation in varying human tissues. However, the mechanisms of cancer formation are difficult to examine in vivo as well as in vitro. Cell culture approaches, in most cases, are unable to keep a bacterial steady state without any overgrowth. In our approach, we aimed to develop an immunocompetent 3D tissue model which can mitigate bacterial outgrowth. We established a three-dimensional (3D) co-culture of human primary fibroblasts with pre-differentiated THP-1-derived macrophages on an SIS-muc scaffold which was derived by decellularisation of a porcine intestine. After establishment, we exposed the tissue models to define the biofilms of the Pseudomonas spec. and Staphylococcus spec. cultivated on implant mesh material. After 3 days of incubation, the cell culture medium in models with M0 and M2 pre-differentiated macrophages presented a noticeable turbidity, while models with M1 macrophages presented no noticeable bacterial growth. These results were validated by optical density measurements and a streak test. Immunohistology and immunofluorescent staining of the tissue presented a positive impact of the M1 macrophages on the structural integrity of the tissue model. Furthermore, multiplex ELISA highlighted the increased release of inflammatory cytokines for all the three model types, suggesting the immunocompetence of the developed model. Overall, in this proof-of-principle study, we were able to mitigate bacterial overgrowth and prepared a first step for the development of more complex 3D tissue models to understand the impact of biofilms on carcinogenic lesion formation.
    Keywords:  biofilm; human 3D tissue model; immunocompetent; macrophages; primary cells; tissue engineering
  42. Microbes Infect. 2024 Feb 16. pii: S1286-4579(24)00033-9. [Epub ahead of print] 105313
      Single-cell genomics provide researchers with tools to assess host-pathogen interactions at a resolution previously inaccessible. Transcriptome analysis, epigenome analysis, and immune profiling techniques allow for a better comprehension of the heterogeneity underlying both the host response and infectious agents. Here, we highlight technological advancements and data analysis workflows that increase our understanding of host-pathogen interactions at the single-cell level. We review various studies that have used these tools to better understand host-pathogen dynamics in a variety of infectious disease contexts, including viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. We conclude by discussing how single-cell genomics can advance our understanding of host-pathogen interactions.
    Keywords:  Infectious disease biology; host-pathogen interaction; single-cell RNA sequencing; single-cell genomics
  43. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1295168
      Candida albicans remains the predominant cause of fungal infections, where adhered microbial cells form biofilms - densely packed communities. The central feature of C. albicans biofilms is the production of an extracellular matrix (ECM) consisting of polymers and extracellular nucleic acids (eDNA, eRNA), which significantly impedes the infiltration of host cells. Neutrophils, as crucial players in the innate host defense, employ several mechanisms to eradicate the fungal infection, including NETosis, endocytosis, or the release of granules containing, among others, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). The main representative of these is the positively charged peptide LL-37 formed from an inactive precursor (hCAP18). In addition to its antimicrobial functions, this peptide possesses a propensity to interact with negatively charged molecules, including nucleic acids. Our in vitro studies have demonstrated that LL-37 contacting with C. albicans nucleic acids, isolated from biofilm, are complexed by the peptide and its shorter derivatives, as confirmed by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. We indicated that the generation of the complexes induces discernible alterations in the neutrophil response to fungal nucleic acids compared to the effects of unconjugated molecules. Our analyses involving fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, and Western blotting revealed that stimulation of neutrophils with DNA:LL-37 or RNA:LL-37 complexes hamper the activation of pro-apoptotic caspases 3 and 7 and fosters increased activation of anti-apoptotic pathways mediated by the Mcl-1 protein. Furthermore, the formation of complexes elicits a dual effect on neutrophil immune response. Firstly, they facilitate increased nucleic acid uptake, as evidenced by microscopic observations, and enhance the pro-inflammatory response, promoting IL-8 production. Secondly, the complexes detection suppresses the production of reactive oxygen species and attenuates NETosis activation. In conclusion, these findings may imply that the neutrophil immune response shifts toward mobilizing the immune system as a whole, rather than inactivating the pathogen locally. Our findings shed new light on the intricate interplay between the constituents of the C. albicans biofilm and the host's immune response and indicate possible reasons for the elimination of NETosis from the arsenal of the neutrophil response during contact with the fungal biofilm.
    Keywords:  Candida albicans; LL-37; NETs; biofilm; neutrophils
  44. Biomedicines. 2024 Feb 14. pii: 431. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
      BACKGROUND: Electronic nose (eNose) technology can be used to characterize volatile organic compound (VOC) mixes in breath. While previous reports have shown that eNose can detect lung infections with pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus (SA) in people with cystic fibrosis (CF), the clinical utility of eNose for longitudinally monitoring SA infection status is unknown.METHODS: In this longitudinal study, a cloud-connected eNose, the SpiroNose, was used for the breath profile analysis of children with CF at two stable visits and compared based on changes in SA infection status between visits. Data analysis involved advanced sensor signal processing, ambient correction, and statistics based on the comparison of breath profiles between baseline and follow-up visits.
    RESULTS: Seventy-two children with CF, with a mean (IQR) age of 13.8 (9.8-16.4) years, were studied. In those with SA-positive airway cultures at baseline but SA-negative cultures at follow-up (n = 19), significant signal differences were detected between Baseline and Follow-up at three distinct eNose sensors, i.e., S4 (p = 0.047), S6 (p = 0.014), and S7 (p = 0.014). Sensor signal changes with the clearance of SA from airways were unrelated to antibiotic treatment. No changes in sensor signals were seen in patients with unchanged infection status between visits.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate the potential applicability of the eNose as a non-invasive clinical tool to longitudinally monitor pulmonary SA infection status in children with CF.
    Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus; cystic fibrosis; electronic nose; respiratory disease; respiratory infections; volatile organic compounds
  45. Elife. 2024 Feb 21. pii: e83690. [Epub ahead of print]13
      The microbial community composition in the human gut has a profound effect on human health. This observation has lead to extensive use of microbiome therapies, including over-the-counter 'probiotic' treatments intended to alter the composition of the microbiome. Despite so much promise and commercial interest, the factors that contribute to the success or failure of microbiome-targeted treatments remain unclear. We investigate the biotic interactions that lead to successful engraftment of a novel bacterial strain introduced to the microbiome as in probiotic treatments. We use pairwise genome-scale metabolic modeling with a generalized resource allocation constraint to build a network of interactions between taxa that appear in an experimental engraftment study. We create induced sub-graphs using the taxa present in individual samples and assess the likelihood of invader engraftment based on network structure. To do so, we use a generalized Lotka-Volterra model, which we show has strong ability to predict if a particular invader or probiotic will successfully engraft into an individual's microbiome. Furthermore, we show that the mechanistic nature of the model is useful for revealing which microbe-microbe interactions potentially drive engraftment.
    Keywords:  computational biology; systems biology
  46. JCI Insight. 2024 Feb 22. pii: e164400. [Epub ahead of print]9(4):
      The lipidome of immune cells during infection has remained unexplored, although evidence of the importance of lipids in the context of immunity is mounting. In this study, we performed untargeted lipidomic analysis of blood monocytes and neutrophils from patients hospitalized for pneumonia and age- and sex-matched noninfectious control volunteers. We annotated 521 and 706 lipids in monocytes and neutrophils, respectively, which were normalized to an extensive set of internal standards per lipid class. The cellular lipidomes were profoundly altered in patients, with both common and distinct changes between the cell types. Changes involved every level of the cellular lipidome: differential lipid species, class-wide shifts, and altered saturation patterns. Overall, differential lipids were mainly less abundant in monocytes and more abundant in neutrophils from patients. One month after hospital admission, lipidomic changes were fully resolved in monocytes and partially in neutrophils. Integration of lipidomic and concurrently collected transcriptomic data highlighted altered sphingolipid metabolism in both cell types. Inhibition of ceramide and sphingosine-1-phosphate synthesis in healthy monocytes and neutrophils resulted in blunted cytokine responses upon stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. These data reveal major lipidomic remodeling in immune cells during infection, and link the cellular lipidome to immune functionality.
    Keywords:  Immunology; Infectious disease; Innate immunity; Molecular biology; Neutrophils
  47. Virulence. 2024 Dec;15(1): 2316459
      Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP) is an important pathogen of the porcine respiratory disease complex, which leads to huge economic losses worldwide. We previously demonstrated that Pichia pastoris-producing bovine neutrophil β-defensin-5 (B5) could resist the infection by the bovine intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium bovis. In this study, the roles of synthetic B5 in regulating mucosal innate immune response and protecting against extracellular APP infection were further investigated using a mouse model. Results showed that B5 promoted the production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and interferon (IFN)-β in macrophages as well as dendritic cells (DC) and enhanced DC maturation in vitro. Importantly, intranasal B5 was safe and conferred effective protection against APP via reducing the bacterial load in lungs and alleviating pulmonary inflammatory damage. Furthermore, in the early stage of APP infection, we found that intranasal B5 up-regulated the secretion of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-17, and IL-22; enhanced the rapid recruitment of macrophages, neutrophils, and DC; and facilitated the generation of group 3 innate lymphoid cells in lungs. In addition, B5 activated signalling pathways associated with cellular response to IFN-β and activation of innate immune response in APP-challenged lungs. Collectively, B5 via the intranasal route can effectively ameliorate the immune suppression caused by early APP infection and provide protection against APP. The immunization strategy may be applied to animals or human respiratory bacterial infectious diseases. Our findings highlight the potential importance of B5, enhancing mucosal defence against intracellular bacteria like APP which causes early-phase immune suppression.
    Keywords:  Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae; Group 3 innate lymphoid cells; bovine neutrophil β-defensin-5; immune suppression; mucosal defence
  48. Cell Rep. 2024 Feb 15. pii: S2211-1247(24)00123-2. [Epub ahead of print]43(2): 113795
      Activation of endosomal Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7, TLR9, and TLR11/12 is a key event in the resistance against the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Endosomal TLR engagement leads to expression of interleukin (IL)-12 via the myddosome, a protein complex containing MyD88 and IL-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) 4 in addition to IRAK1 or IRAK2. In murine macrophages, IRAK2 is essential for IL-12 production via endosomal TLRs but, surprisingly, Irak2-/- mice are only slightly susceptible to T. gondii infection, similar to Irak1-/- mice. Here, we report that upon T. gondii infection IL-12 production by different cell populations requires either IRAK1 or IRAK2, with conventional dendritic cells (DCs) requiring IRAK1 and monocyte-derived DCs (MO-DCs) requiring IRAK2. In both populations, we identify interferon regulatory factor 5 as the main transcription factor driving the myddosome-dependent IL-12 production during T. gondii infection. Consistent with a redundant role of DCs and MO-DCs, mutations that affect IL-12 production in both cell populations show high susceptibility to infection in vivo.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; CP: Microbiology; IL-12; IRAK; IRF5; Toll-like receptors; Toxoplasma gondii; cell signaling; dendritic cells; innate immunity; monocytes; myddosome
  49. Int J Biol Sci. 2024 ;20(4): 1529-1546
      Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) expand during sepsis and contribute to the development of persistent inflammation-immunosuppression-catabolism syndrome. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Exploring the mechanisms of MDSCs generation may provide therapeutic targets for improving immune status in sepsis. Here, a sepsis mouse model is established by cecal ligation and perforation. Bone marrow cells at different sepsis time points are harvested to detect the proportion of MDSCs and search for differentially expressed genes by RNA-sequence. In lethal models of sepsis, polymorphonuclear-MDSCs (PMN-MDSCs) decrease in early but increase and become activated in late sepsis, which is contrary to the expression of metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (Malat1). In vivo, Malat1 inhibitor significantly increases the mortality in mice with late sepsis. And in vitro, Malat1 down-regulation increases the proportion of PMN-MDSCs and enhanced its immunosuppressive ability. Mechanistically, Malat1 limits the differentiation of PMN-MDSCs by accelerating the degradation of phosphorylated STAT3. Furthermore, Stattic, an inhibitor of STAT3 phosphorylation, improves the survival of septic mice by inhibiting PMN-MDSCs. Overall, the study identifies a novel insight into the mechanism of sepsis-induced MDSCs and provides more evidence for targeting MDSCs in the treatment of sepsis.
    Keywords:  Experimental sepsis; Malat1; Polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cell; STAT3 pathway; Ubiquitination
  50. J Alzheimers Dis. 2024 Feb 20.
      Vaccines such as Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) can apparently defer dementia onset with an efficacy better than all drugs known to date, as initially reported by Gofrit et al. (PLoS One14, e0224433), now confirmed by other studies. Understanding how and why is of immense importance because it could represent a sea-change in how we manage patients with mild cognitive impairment through to dementia. Given that infection and/or inflammation are likely to contribute to the development of dementias such as Alzheimer's disease (Part II of this work), we provide a historical and molecular background to how vaccines, adjuvants, and their component molecules can elicit broad-spectrum protective effects against diverse agents. We review early studies in which poxvirus, herpes virus, and tuberculosis (TB) infections afford cross-protection against unrelated pathogens, a concept known as 'trained immunity'. We then focus on the attenuated TB vaccine, BCG, that was introduced to protect against the causative agent of TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We trace the development of BCG in the 1920 s through to the discovery, by Freund and McDermott in the 1940 s, that extracts of mycobacteria can themselves exert potent immunostimulating (adjuvant) activity; Freund's complete adjuvant based on mycobacteria remains the most potent immunopotentiator reported to date. We then discuss whether the beneficial effects of BCG require long-term persistence of live bacteria, before focusing on the specific mycobacterial molecules, notably muramyl dipeptides, that mediate immunopotentiation, as well as the receptors involved. Part II addresses evidence that immunopotentiation by BCG and other vaccines can protect against dementia development.
    Keywords:  Adjuvant; Alzheimer’s disease; Bacille Calmette–Guérin; Freund; NOD2; YB-1; immunopotentiation; muramyl dipeptide; mycobacteria; trained immunity; vaccine
  51. Int J Med Microbiol. 2024 Jan 18. pii: S1438-4221(24)00008-0. [Epub ahead of print]314 151604
      Staphylococcus aureus and other staphylococcal species are resident and transient multihost colonizers as well as conditional pathogens. Especially S. aureus represents an excellent model bacterium for the "One Health" concept because of its dynamics at the human-animal interface and versatility with respect to host adaptation. The development of antimicrobial resistance plays another integral part. This overview will focus on studies at the human-animal interface with respect to livestock farming and to companion animals, as well as on staphylococci in wildlife. In this context transmissions of staphylococci and of antimicrobial resistance genes between animals and humans are of particular significance.
    Keywords:  Host specificity; Interhost transmission of antimicrobial resistance; One health; Zoonotic staphylococcal infections
  52. Trends Biotechnol. 2024 Feb 16. pii: S0167-7799(24)00005-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Combining microbiome science and biointegrated design offers opportunities to help address the intertwined challenges of urban ecosystem degradation and human disease. Biointegrated materials have the potential to combat superbugs and remediate pollution while inoculating landscape materials with microbiota can promote human immunoregulation and biodiverse green infrastructure, contributing to 'probiotic cities'.
    Keywords:  biointegrated design; bioremediation; microbial inoculants; urban biodiversity; urban microbiome
  53. Elife. 2024 Feb 19. pii: RP88686. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Septic shock is characterized by an excessive inflammatory response depicted in a cytokine storm that results from invasive bacterial, fungi, protozoa, and viral infections. Non-canonical inflammasome activation is crucial in the development of septic shock promoting pyroptosis and proinflammatory cytokine production via caspase-11 and gasdermin D (GSDMD). Here, we show that NAD+ treatment protected mice toward bacterial and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxic shock by blocking the non-canonical inflammasome specifically. NAD+ administration impeded systemic IL-1β and IL-18 production and GSDMD-mediated pyroptosis of macrophages via the IFN-β/STAT-1 signaling machinery. More importantly, NAD+ administration not only improved casp-11 KO (knockout) survival but rendered wild type (WT) mice completely resistant to septic shock via the IL-10 signaling pathway that was independent from the non-canonical inflammasome. Here, we delineated a two-sided effect of NAD+ blocking septic shock through a specific inhibition of the non-canonical inflammasome and promoting immune homeostasis via IL-10, underscoring its unique therapeutic potential.
    Keywords:  E. coli; cell biology; gasdermin D; immunology; inflammasome; inflammation; interleukin 10; nicotinamide dinucleotide; septic shock
  54. mBio. 2024 Feb 20. e0333823
      Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) play a critical role in maintaining intestinal health in homeostatic and diseased conditions. During Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), IL-33 activates ILC2 to protect from colonic damage and mortality. The function of IL-33 and ILC is tightly regulated by the intestinal microbiota. We set out to determine the impact of antibiotic-induced disruption of the microbiome on ILC function. Our goal was to understand antibiotic-induced changes in ILC function on susceptibility to C. difficile colitis in a mouse model. We utilized high-throughput single-cell RNAseq to investigate the phenotypic features of colonic ILC at baseline, after antibiotic administration with or without IL-33 treatment. We identified a heterogeneous landscape of colonic ILCs with gene signatures of inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, migratory, progenitor, plastic, and antigen-presenting ILCs. Antibiotic treatment decreased ILC2 while coordinately increasing ILC1 and ILC3 phenotypes. Notably, Ifng+, Ccl5+, and Il23r+ ILC increased after antibiotics. IL-33 treatment counteracted the antibiotic effect by downregulating ILC1 and ILC3 and activating ILC2. In addition, IL-33 treatment markedly induced the expression of type 2 genes, including Areg and Il5. Finally, we identified amphiregulin, produced by ILC2, as protective during C. difficile infection. Together, our data expand our understanding of how antibiotics induce susceptibility to C. difficile colitis through their impact on ILC subsets and function.IMPORTANCEClostridium difficile infection (CDI) accounts for around 500,000 symptomatic cases and over 20,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. A major risk factor of CDI is antibiotic-induced dysbiosis of the gut. Microbiota-regulated IL-33 and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are important in determining the outcomes of C. difficile infection. Understanding how antibiotic and IL-33 treatment alter the phenotype of colon ILCs is important to identify potential therapeutics. Here, we performed single-cell RNAseq of mouse colon ILCs collected at baseline, after antibiotic treatment, and after IL-33 treatment. We identified heterogeneous subpopulations of all three ILC subtypes in the mouse colon. Our analysis revealed several potential pathways of antibiotic-mediated increased susceptibility to intestinal infection. Our discovery that Areg is abundantly expressed by ILCs, and the protection of mice from CDI by amphiregulin treatment, suggests that the amphiregulin-epidermal growth factor receptor pathway is a potential therapeutic target for treating intestinal colitis.
    Keywords:  Clostridioides difficile; colitis; host immune response; innate lymphoid cells; single-cell RNAseq
  55. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1217098
      Background: Efforts to control tuberculosis (TB), caused by the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), have been hampered by the immense variability in protection from BCG vaccination. While BCG protects young children from some forms of TB disease, long-term protection against pulmonary disease is more limited, suggesting a poor memory response. New vaccines or vaccination strategies are required to have a realistic chance of eliminating TB disease. In TB endemic areas, routine immunization occurs during the neonatal period and as such, we hypothesized that inadequate protective immunity elicited by BCG vaccination could be the result of the unique early-life immune landscape. Interleukin (IL)-27 is a heterodimeric cytokine with immune suppressive activity that is elevated in the neonatal period.Objective: We investigated the impact of IL-27 on regulation of immune responses during neonatal BCG vaccination and protection against Mtb.
    Methods: Here, we used a novel model of neonatal vaccination and adult aerosol challenge that models the human timeline of vaccine delivery and disease transmission.
    Results: Overall, we observed improved control of Mtb in mice unresponsive to IL-27 (IL-27Rα-/-) that was consistent with altered expression patterns of IFN-γ and IL-17 in the lungs. The balance of these cytokines with TNF-α expression may be key to effective bacterial clearance.
    Conclusions: Our findings suggest the importance of evaluating new vaccines and approaches to combat TB in the neonatal population most likely to receive them as part of global vaccination campaigns. They further indicate that temporal strategies to antagonize IL-27 during early life vaccination may improve protection.
    Keywords:  BCG; cytokine; interleukin-27; neonate; tuberculosis; vaccination; vaccine
  56. Biomedicines. 2024 Feb 18. pii: 457. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
      Multiple lines of evidence have shown that lactate-mediated pH alterations in the brains of patients with neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia (SCZ), Alzheimer's disease (AD) and autism may be attributed to mitochondrial dysfunction and changes in energy metabolism. While neuronal activity is associated with reduction in brain pH, astrocytes are responsible for rebalancing the pH to maintain the equilibrium. As lactate level is the main determinant of brain pH, neuronal activities are impacted by pH changes due to the binding of protons (H+) to various types of proteins, altering their structure and function in the neuronal and non-neuronal cells of the brain. Lactate and pH could affect diverse types of epigenetic modifications, including histone lactylation, which is linked to histone acetylation and DNA methylation. In this review, we discuss the importance of pH homeostasis in normal brain function, the role of lactate as an essential epigenetic regulatory molecule and its contributions to brain pH abnormalities in neuropsychiatric diseases, and shed light on lactate-based and pH-modulating therapies in neuropsychiatric diseases by targeting epigenetic modifications. In conclusion, we attempt to highlight the potentials and challenges of translating lactate-pH-modulating therapies to clinics for the treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; histone acetylation; lactate; lactylation; microbiome; neuropsychiatric diseases; pH
  57. Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2024 Feb 17.
      The virulence factors, antibiotic resistance patterns, and the associated genetic elements have been investigated in Staphylococcus species. A total of 100 strains has been isolated from clinical samples in the Microbiology Laboratory of Hesperia Hospital, Modena, Italy, and identified as Staphylococcus aureus (65), Staphylococcus epidermidis (24), Staphylococcus hominis (3), Staphylococcus saprophyticus (3), and Staphylococcus warneri (5). All the strains were analyzed to determine phenotypic and genotypic characters, notably the virulence factors, the antibiotics susceptibility, and the genetic determinants. The highest percentage of resistance in Staphylococcus spp. was found for erythromycin and benzylpenicillin (87% and 85%, respectively). All S. aureus, two S. epidermidis (8.3%), and one S. saprophyticus (33.3%) strains were resistant to oxacillin. The methicillin resistance gene (mecA) was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification in 65 S. aureus strains and in 3 coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) (8.6%). With regard to the virulence characteristics, all the S. aureus were positive to all virulence tests, except for slime test. Among the CoNS isolates, 19 (79.1%) S. epidermidis and one (33.3%) S. saprophyticus strains resulted positive for the slime test only. The results obtained are useful for a more in-depth understanding of the function and contribution of S. aureus and CoNS antibiotic resistance and virulence factors to staphylococcal infections. In particular, the production of slime is very important for CoNS, a virulence factor frequently found in infections caused by these strains. Further investigations on the genetic relatedness among strains of different sources will be useful for epidemiological and monitoring purposes and will enable us to develop new strategies to counteract the diffusion of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and CoNS strains not only in clinical field, but also in other related environments.
    Keywords:  Antibiotic resistance; CoNS; MRSA; Staphylococcus spp.; Virulence factors
  58. J Transl Med. 2024 Feb 18. 22(1): 176
      BACKGROUND: The need for radiotherapy among the elderly rises with increasing life expectancy and a corresponding increase of elderly cancer patients. Radiation-induced skin injury is one of the most frequent adverse effects in radiotherapy patients, severely limiting their life quality. Re-epithelialization and collagen deposition have essential roles in the recovery of skin injuries induced by high doses of ionizing radiation. At the same time, radiation-induced senescent cells accumulate in irradiated tissues. However, the effects and mechanisms of senescent cells on re-epithelialization and collagen deposition in radiation-induced skin injury have not been fully elucidated.RESULTS: Here, we identified a role for a population of senescent cells expressing p16 in promoting re-epithelialization and collagen deposition in radiation-induced skin injury. Targeted ablation of p16+ senescent cells or treatment with Senolytics resulted in the disruption of collagen structure and the retardation of epidermal coverage. By analyzing a publicly available single-cell sequencing dataset, we identified fibroblasts as a major contributor to the promotion of re-epithelialization and collagen deposition in senescent cells. Notably, our analysis of publicly available transcriptome sequencing data highlighted IL-33 as a key senescence-associated secretory phenotype produced by senescent fibroblasts. Neutralizing IL-33 significantly impedes the healing process. Finally, we found that the effect of IL-33 was partly due to the modulation of macrophage polarization.
    CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our data suggested that senescent fibroblasts accumulated in radiation-induced skin injury sites participated in wound healing mainly by secreting IL-33. This secretion regulated the local immune microenvironment and macrophage polarization, thus emphasizing the importance of precise regulation of senescent cells in a phased manner.
    Keywords:  IL-33; Macrophages; Radiation-induced skin injury; Senescence
  59. Helicobacter. 2024 Jan-Feb;29(1):29(1): e13058
      Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is one of the most prevalent human pathogens and the leading cause of chronic infection in almost half of the population in the world (~59%). The bacterium is a major leading cause of chronic gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and two type of malignancies, gastric adenocarcinoma and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. Despite the immune responses mounted by the host, the bacteria are not cleared from the body resulting in a chronic infection accompanied by a chronic inflammation. Herein, a review of the literature discussing H. pylori antigens modulating the immune responses is presented. The mechanisms that are involved in the modulation of innate immune response, include modulation of recognition by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as modulation of recognition by toll like receptors (TLR)4 and TLR5, modulation of phagocytic function, and modulation of phagocytic killing mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO). On the other hands, H. pylori modulates acquired immune response by the induction of tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs), modulation of apoptosis, induction of regulatory T cells, modulation of T helper (Th)1 response, and modulation of Th17 response.
    Keywords:   H. Pylori ; adaptive immune response; antigen; immunomodulation; innate immune response
  60. Pharmacol Ther. 2024 Feb 15. pii: S0163-7258(24)00025-1. [Epub ahead of print] 108605
      Microbial metabolites have emerged as key players in the interplay between diet, the gut microbiome, and host health. Two major classes, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and tryptophan (Trp) metabolites, are recognized to regulate inflammatory, immune, and metabolic responses within the host. Given that many human diseases are associated with dysbiosis of the gut microbiome and consequent reductions in microbial metabolite production, the administration of these metabolites represents a direct, multi-targeted treatment. While a multitude of preclinical studies showcase the therapeutic potential of both SCFAs and Trp metabolites, they often rely on high doses and frequent dosing regimens to achieve systemic effects, thereby constraining their clinical applicability. To address these limitations, a variety of pharmaceutical formulations approaches that enable targeted, delayed, and/or sustained microbial metabolite delivery have been developed. These approaches, including enteric encapsulations, esterification to dietary fiber, prodrugs, and nanoformulations, pave the way for the next generation of microbial metabolite-based therapeutics. In this review, we first provide an overview of the roles of microbial metabolites in maintaining host homeostasis and outline how compromised metabolite production contributes to the pathogenesis of inflammatory, metabolic, autoimmune, allergic, infectious, and cancerous diseases. Additionally, we explore the therapeutic potential of metabolites in these disease contexts. Then, we provide a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the pharmaceutical strategies that have been employed to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of microbial metabolites, with a focus on SCFAs and Trp metabolites.
    Keywords:  Controlled release; Drug delivery systems; Immune modulation; Microbial metabolites; Microbiome; Nanoparticles; Pharmaceutical dosage forms; Pharmacokinetics; Postbiotics; Prodrugs; Short-chain fatty acids; Tryptophan metabolites