bims-bac4me Biomed News
on Microbiome and trained immunity
Issue of 2024‒03‒31
forty-six papers selected by
Chun-Chi Chang, University Hospital Zurich

  1. Immunol Rev. 2024 Mar 29.
      Over the past decade, compelling evidence has unveiled previously overlooked adaptive characteristics of innate immune cells. Beyond their traditional role in providing short, non-specific protection against pathogens, innate immune cells can acquire antigen-agnostic memory, exhibiting increased responsiveness to secondary stimulation. This long-term de-facto innate immune memory, also termed trained immunity, is mediated through extensive metabolic rewiring and epigenetic modifications. While the upregulation of trained immunity proves advantageous in countering immune paralysis, its overactivation contributes to the pathogenesis of autoinflammatory and autoimmune disorders. In this review, we present the latest advancements in the field of innate immune memory followed by a description of the fundamental mechanisms underpinning trained immunity generation and different cell types that mediate it. Furthermore, we explore its implications for various diseases and examine current limitations and its potential therapeutic targeting in immune-related disorders.
    Keywords:  epigenetics; inflammation; innate immune memory; vaccines
  2. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2024 Feb 16. pii: S1526-0542(24)00017-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      The advent of next generation sequencing has rapidly challenged the paediatric respiratory physician's understanding of lung microbiology and the role of the lung microbiome in host health and disease. In particular, the role of "microbial key players" in paediatric respiratory disease is yet to be fully explained. Accurate profiling of the lung microbiome in children is challenging since the ability to obtain lower airway samples coupled with processing "low-biomass specimens" are both technically difficult. Many studies provide conflicting results. Early microbiota-host relationships may be predictive of the development of chronic respiratory disease but attempts to correlate lower airway microbiota in premature infants and risk of developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) have produced mixed results. There are differences in lung microbiota in asthma and cystic fibrosis (CF). The increased abundance of oral taxa in the lungs may (or may not) promote disease processes in asthma and CF. In CF, correlation between microbiota diversity and respiratory decline is commonly observed. When one considers other pathogens beyond the bacterial kingdom, the contribution and interplay of fungi and viruses within the lung microbiome further increase complexity. Similarly, the interaction between microbial communities in different body sites, such as the gut-lung axis, and the influence of environmental factors, including diet, make the co-existence of host and microbes ever more complicated. Future, multi-omics approaches may help uncover novel microbiome-based biomarkers and therapeutic targets in respiratory disease and explain how we can live in harmony with our microbial companions.
    Keywords:  Children; Chronic Respiratory Disease; Gut-Lung Axis; Lung Microbiome; Nasopharyngeal-lung Axis
  3. J Invest Dermatol. 2024 Mar 26. pii: S0022-202X(24)00082-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial, heterogeneous disease characterized by epidermal barrier dysfunction, immune system dysregulation, and skin microbiome alterations. Skin microbiome studies in AD have demonstrated that disease flares are associated with microbial shifts, particularly Staphylococcus aureus predominance. AD-associated S. aureus strains differ from those in healthy individuals across various genomic loci, including virulence factors, adhesion proteins, and proinflammatory molecules-which may contribute to complex microbiome barrier-immune system interactions in AD. Different microbially based treatments for AD have been explored, and their future therapeutic successes will depend on a deeper understanding of the potential microbial contributions to the disease.
    Keywords:  Atopic dermatitis; Bacteria; Microbiome; Skin; Staphylococcus
  4. Cell Rep. 2024 Mar 22. pii: S2211-1247(24)00332-2. [Epub ahead of print]43(4): 114004
      During infections, host cells are exposed to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and virulence factors that stimulate multiple signaling pathways that interact additively, synergistically, or antagonistically. The net effect of such higher-order interactions is a vital determinant of the outcome of host-pathogen interactions. Here, we demonstrate one such complex interplay between bacterial exotoxin- and PAMP-induced innate immune pathways. We show that two caspases activated during enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infection by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Shiga toxin (Stx) interact in a functionally antagonistic manner; cytosolic LPS-activated caspase-11 cleaves full-length gasdermin D (GSDMD), generating an active pore-forming N-terminal fragment (NT-GSDMD); subsequently, caspase-3 activated by EHEC Stx cleaves the caspase-11-generated NT-GSDMD to render it nonfunctional, thereby inhibiting pyroptosis and interleukin-1β maturation. Bacteria typically subvert inflammasomes by targeting upstream components such as NLR sensors or full-length GSDMD but not active NT-GSDMD. Thus, our findings uncover a distinct immune evasion strategy where a bacterial toxin disables active NT-GSDMD by co-opting caspase-3.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; CP: Microbiology; EHEC; Shiga toxin; caspase-11; caspase-3; enterohemorrhagic E. coli; gasdermin D; noncanonical inflammasome; pyroptosis
  5. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1374670
      Introduction: Allergic asthma has been mainly attributed to T helper type 2 (Th2) and proinflammatory responses but many cellular processes remain elusive. There is increasing evidence for distinct roles for macrophage and dendritic cell (DC) subsets in allergic airway inflammation (AAI). At the same time, there are various mouse models for allergic asthma that have been of utmost importance in identifying key inflammatory pathways in AAI but that differ in the allergen and/or route of sensitization. It is unclear whether and how the accumulation and activation of specialized macrophage and DC subsets depend on the experimental model chosen for analyses.Methods: In our study, we employed high-parameter spectral flow cytometry to comprehensively assess the accumulation and phenotypic alterations of different macrophage- and DC-subsets in the lung in an OVA- and an HDM-mediated mouse model of AAI.
    Results: We observed subset-specific as well as model-specific characteristics with respect to cell numbers and functional marker expression. Generally, alveolar as opposed to interstitial macrophages showed increased MHCII surface expression in AAI. Between the models, we observed significantly increased numbers of alveolar macrophages, CD103+ DC and CD11b+ DC in HDM-mediated AAI, concurrent with significantly increased airway interleukin-4 but decreased total serum IgE levels. Further, increased expression of CD80 and CD86 on DC was exclusively detected in HDM-mediated AAI.
    Discussion: Our study demonstrates a model-specific involvement of macrophage and DC subsets in AAI. It further highlights spectral flow cytometry as a valuable tool for their comprehensive analysis under inflammatory conditions in the lung.
    Keywords:  allergic airway inflammation; allergic asthma; dendritic cells; macrophages; murine model; spectral flow cytometry
  6. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1324552
      Air pollution plays an important role in the mortality and morbidity of chronic airway diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Particulate matter (PM) is a significant fraction of air pollutants, and studies have demonstrated that it can cause airway inflammation and injury. The airway epithelium forms the first barrier of defense against inhaled toxicants, such as PM. Airway epithelial cells clear airways from inhaled irritants and orchestrate the inflammatory response of airways to these irritants by secreting various lipid mediators, growth factors, chemokines, and cytokines. Studies suggest that PM plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic airway diseases by impairing mucociliary function, deteriorating epithelial barrier integrity, and inducing the production of inflammatory mediators while modulating the proliferation and death of airway epithelial cells. Furthermore, PM can modulate epithelial plasticity and airway remodeling, which play central roles in asthma and COPD. This review focuses on the effects of PM on airway injury and epithelial plasticity, and the underlying mechanisms involving mucociliary activity, epithelial barrier function, airway inflammation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, mesenchymal-epithelial transition, and airway remodeling.
    Keywords:  COPD; airway inflammation; airway remodeling; asthma; epithelial barrier integrity; epithelial plasticity; mucociliary clearance; particulate matter (PM)
  7. Microbiol Res. 2024 Mar 09. pii: S0944-5013(24)00081-8. [Epub ahead of print]283 127680
      In cystic fibrosis (CF), Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection plays a critical role in disease progression. Although multiple studies suggest that airway commensals might be able to interfere with pathogenic bacteria, the role of the distinct commensals in the polymicrobial lung infections is largely unknown. In this study, we aimed to identify airway commensal bacteria that may inhibit the growth of P. aeruginosa. Through a screening study with more than 80 CF commensal strains across 21 species, more than 30 commensal strains from various species have been identified to be able to inhibit the growth of P. aeruginosa. The underlying mechanisms were investigated via genomic, metabolic and functional analysis, revealing that the inhibitory commensals may affect the growth of P. aeruginosa by releasing a large amount of acetic acid. The data provide information about the distinct roles of airway commensals and provide insights into novel strategies for controlling airway infections.
    Keywords:  Airway microbiome; Commensal-Pathogen interaction; Cystic fibrosis; Growth inhibition; Infection control; Respiratory infection
  8. Nat Commun. 2024 Mar 22. 15(1): 2584
      Mutations in mexZ, encoding a negative regulator of the expression of the mexXY efflux pump genes, are frequently acquired by Pseudomonas aeruginosa at early stages of lung infection. Although traditionally related to resistance to the first-line drug tobramycin, mexZ mutations are associated with low-level aminoglycoside resistance when determined in the laboratory, suggesting that their selection during infection may not be necessarily, or only, related to tobramycin therapy. Here, we show that mexZ-mutated bacteria tend to accumulate inside the epithelial barrier of a human airway infection model, thus colonising the epithelium while being protected against diverse antibiotics. This phenotype is mediated by overexpression of lecA, a quorum sensing-controlled gene, encoding a lectin involved in P. aeruginosa tissue invasiveness. We find that lecA overexpression is caused by a disrupted equilibrium between the overproduced MexXY and another efflux pump, MexAB, which extrudes quorum sensing signals. Our results indicate that mexZ mutations affect the expression of quorum sensing-regulated pathways, thus promoting tissue invasiveness and protecting bacteria from the action of antibiotics within patients, something unnoticeable using standard laboratory tests.
  9. mBio. 2024 Mar 28. e0045324
      Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen responsible for the majority of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). S. aureus colonizes the anterior nares of approximately 20%-30% of the population and transiently colonizes the skin, thereby increasing the risk of developing SSTIs and more serious infections. Current laboratory models that mimic the skin surface environment are expensive, require substantial infrastructure, and limit the scope of bacterial physiology studies under human skin conditions. To overcome these limitations, we developed a cost-effective, open-source, chemically defined media recipe termed skin-like medium (SLM) that incorporates key aspects of the human skin surface environment and supports growth of several staphylococcal species. We utilized SLM to investigate the transcriptional response of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) following growth in SLM compared to a commonly used laboratory media. Through RNA-seq analysis, we observed the upregulation of several virulence factors, including genes encoding functions involved in adhesion, proteolysis, and cytotoxicity. To further explore these findings, we conducted quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) experiments to determine the influence of media composition, pH, and temperature on the transcriptional response of key factors involved in adhesion and virulence. We also demonstrated that MRSA primed in SLM adhered better to human corneocytes and demonstrated adhesin-specific phenotypes that previously required genetic manipulation. This improved adherence to corneocytes was dependent on both acidic pH and growth in SLM. These results support the potential utility of SLM as an in vitro model for assessing staphylococcal physiology and metabolism on human skin.IMPORTANCE: Staphylococcus aureus is the major cause of skin diseases, and its increased prevalence in skin colonization and infections present a need to understand its physiology in this environment. The work presented here outlines S. aureus upregulation of colonization and virulence factors using a newly developed medium that strives to replicate the human skin surface environment and demonstrates roles for adhesins clumping factor A (ClfA), serine-rich repeat glycoprotein adhesin (SraP), and the fibronectin binding proteins (Fnbps) in human corneocyte adherence.
    Keywords:  RNA-seq; Staphylcoccus aureus; Staphylococcus; adherence; skin colonization; skin-like media; transcriptional regulation
  10. Sci Immunol. 2024 Mar 26. eadn1452
      Plasma membrane perforation elicited by caspase cleavage of the gasdermin D (GSDMD) N-terminal domain (GSDMD-NT) triggers pyroptosis. The mechanisms underlying GSDMD membrane translocation and pore formation are not fully understood. Here, using a proteomics approach, we identified fatty acid synthase (FASN) as a GSDMD-binding partner. S-palmitoylation of GSDMD at Cys191/192 (human/mouse), catalyzed by palmitoyl acyltransferases ZDHHC5 and ZDHHC9 and facilitated by reactive oxygen species (ROS), directly mediated membrane translocation of GSDMD-NT but not full-length GSDMD (GSDMD-FL). Palmitoylation of GSDMD-FL could be induced before inflammasome activation by stimuli such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), consequently serving as an essential molecular event in macrophage priming. Inhibition of GSDMD palmitoylation suppressed macrophage pyroptosis and IL-1β release, mitigated organ damage, and enhanced the survival of septic mice. Thus, GSDMD-NT palmitoylation is a key regulatory mechanism controlling GSDMD membrane localization and activation, which may offer an additional target for modulating immune activity in infectious and inflammatory diseases.
  11. Microbiome. 2024 Mar 25. 12(1): 63
      BACKGROUND: Chronic infection and consequent airway inflammation are the leading causes of morbidity and early mortality for people living with cystic fibrosis (CF). However, lower airway infections across a range of chronic respiratory diseases, including in CF, do not follow classical 'one microbe, one disease' concepts of infection pathogenesis. Instead, they are comprised of diverse and temporally dynamic lung infection microbiota. Consequently, temporal dynamics need to be considered when attempting to associate lung microbiota with changes in disease status. Set within an island biogeography framework, we aimed to determine the ecological patterns and processes of temporal turnover within the lung microbiota of 30 paediatric and adult CF patients prospectively sampled over a 3-year period. Moreover, we aimed to ascertain the contributions of constituent chronic and intermittent colonizers on turnover within the wider microbiota.RESULTS: The lung microbiota within individual patients was partitioned into constituent chronic and intermittent colonizing groups using the Leeds criteria and visualised with persistence-abundance relationships. This revealed bacteria chronically infecting a patient were both persistent and common through time, whereas intermittently infecting taxa were infrequent and rare; respectively representing the resident and transient portions of the wider microbiota. It also indicated that the extent of chronic colonization was far greater than could be appreciated with microbiological culture alone. Using species-time relationships to measure temporal turnover and Vellend's rationalized ecological processes demonstrated turnover in the resident chronic infecting groups was conserved and underpinned principally by the deterministic process of homogenizing dispersal. Conversely, intermittent colonizing groups, representing newly arrived immigrants and transient species, drove turnover in the wider microbiota and were predominately underpinned by the stochastic process of drift. For adult patients, homogenizing dispersal and drift were found to be significantly associated with lung function. Where a greater frequency of homogenizing dispersal was observed with worsening lung function and conversely drift increased with better lung function.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our work provides a novel ecological framework for understanding the temporal dynamics of polymicrobial infection in CF that has translational potential to guide and improve therapeutic targeting of lung microbiota in CF and across a range of chronic airway diseases. Video Abstract.
    Keywords:  Chronic infection; Cystic fibrosis; Ecological patterns and processes; Island biogeography; Lung ecology; Lung microbiome; Microbiome ecology; Respiratory microbiome; Species-time relationships; Temporal dynamics
  12. J Clin Med. 2024 Mar 17. pii: 1726. [Epub ahead of print]13(6):
      Probiotics are live microorganisms that induce health benefits to the host. The consumption of probiotics can result in both prophylactic and therapeutic effects. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is an inflammatory condition that has a significant health and economic impact worldwide. Despite its great burden on the health-care system and patients' quality of life, the variety of therapy options for CRS is currently limited. Inflammation, mucociliary dysfunction and changes in the microbial environment are thought to be the main factors causing the disease. Probiotics are a relatively new intervention, with a focus on the probiotic qualities and adaptive elements required for a bacterial strain to have a positive impact on CRS. The aim of this review was to review studies evaluating the potential beneficial effects of probiotics in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. Future prospects and difficulties for probiotics in CRS are also highlighted.
    Keywords:  chronic rhinosinusitis; dysbiosis; microbiome; paediatrics; probiotic supplementation
  13. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2024 Mar 26.
      Alveolar macrophages (AMs) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) orchestrate persistent inflammation in the airway. However, sub-populations of AMs participating in the chronic inflammation have been poorly characterized. We previously reported that Siglec-1 expression on AMs, which is important for bacteria engulfment, was decreased in COPD. Here, we show that Siglec-1-negative AMs isolated from COPD lung tissues exhibit a pro-inflammatory phenotype and is associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with COPD. Using flow-cytometry, we segregated three subsets of AMs based on the expression of Siglec-1 and their side scattergram (SSC) and forward scattergram (FSC) properties: Siglec-1+SSChiFSChi, Siglec-1-SSChiFSChi and Siglec-1-SSCloFSClo subsets. The Siglec-1-SSCloFSClo subset number was increased in COPD. RNA-sequencing revealed upregulation of multiple pro-inflammatory signaling pathways and emphysema-associated matrix metalloproteases in the Siglec-1-SSCloFSClo subset. Gene set enrichment analysis indicated that the Siglec-1-SSCloFSClo subset adopted intermediate phenotypes between monocytes and mature alveolar macrophages. Functionally, these cells produced TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-8 at baseline, and these cytokines were significantly increased in response to viral RNA. The increase in Siglec-1-negative AMs in induced sputum is associated with future exacerbation risk and lung function decline in patients with COPD. Collectively, the novel Siglec-1-SSCloFSClo subset of AMs display pro-inflammatory properties, and their emergence in COPD airways may be associated with poor clinical outcomes.
    Keywords:  Alveolar macrophages; COPD; Exacerbation; Siglec-1
  14. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2024 Mar 27.
      Lung fibrosis is a dysregulated repair process caused by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix that can severely affect respiratory function. Macrophages are a group of immune cells that have multiple functions and can perform a variety of roles. Lung fibrosis develops with the involvement of pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic factors secreted by macrophages. The balance between M1 and M2 macrophages has been proposed to play a role in determining the trend and severity of lung fibrosis. New avenues and concepts for preventing and treating lung fibrosis have emerged in recent years through research on mitochondria, Gab proteins, and exosomes. The main topic of this essay is the impact that mitochondria, Gab proteins, and exosomes have on macrophage polarization. In addition, the potential of these factors as targets to enhance lung fibrosis is also explored. We have also collated the functions and mechanisms of signaling pathways associated with the regulation of macrophage polarization such as Notch, TGF-β/Smad, JAK-STAT and cGAS-STING. The goal of this article is to explain the potential benefits of focusing on macrophage polarization as a way to relieve lung fibrosis. We aspire to provide valuable insights that could lead to enhancements in the treatment of this condition.
    Keywords:  M1-type macrophages; M2-type macrophages; Macrophage polarization; Macrophages; Pulmonary fibrosis
  15. Elife. 2024 Mar 25. pii: e86493. [Epub ahead of print]13
      During embryogenesis, the fetal liver becomes the main hematopoietic organ, where stem and progenitor cells as well as immature and mature immune cells form an intricate cellular network. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in a specialized niche, which is essential for their proliferation and differentiation. However, the cellular and molecular determinants contributing to this fetal HSC niche remain largely unknown. Macrophages are the first differentiated hematopoietic cells found in the developing liver, where they are important for fetal erythropoiesis by promoting erythrocyte maturation and phagocytosing expelled nuclei. Yet, whether macrophages play a role in fetal hematopoiesis beyond serving as a niche for maturing erythroblasts remains elusive. Here, we investigate the heterogeneity of macrophage populations in the murine fetal liver to define their specific roles during hematopoiesis. Using a single-cell omics approach combined with spatial proteomics and genetic fate-mapping models, we found that fetal liver macrophages cluster into distinct yolk sac-derived subpopulations and that long-term HSCs are interacting preferentially with one of the macrophage subpopulations. Fetal livers lacking macrophages show a delay in erythropoiesis and have an increased number of granulocytes, which can be attributed to transcriptional reprogramming and altered differentiation potential of long-term HSCs. Together, our data provide a detailed map of fetal liver macrophage subpopulations and implicate macrophages as part of the fetal HSC niche.
    Keywords:  developmental biology; immunology; inflammation; mouse
  16. mBio. 2024 Mar 26. e0055024
      Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a primary cause of acute respiratory infection, yet there are no approved vaccines or antiviral therapies for HMPV. Early host responses to HMPV are poorly characterized, and further understanding could identify important antiviral pathways. Type III interferon (IFN-λ) displays potent antiviral activity against respiratory viruses and is being investigated for therapeutic use. However, its role in HMPV infection remains largely unknown. Here, we show that IFN-λ is highly upregulated during HMPV infection in vitro in human and mouse airway epithelial cells and in vivo in mice. We found through several immunological and molecular assays that type II alveolar cells are the primary producers of IFN-λ. Using mouse models, we show that IFN-λ limits lung HMPV replication and restricts virus spread from upper to lower airways but does not contribute to clinical disease. Moreover, we show that IFN-λ signaling is predominantly mediated by CD45- non-immune cells. Mice lacking IFN-λ signaling showed diminished loss of ciliated epithelial cells and decreased recruitment of lung macrophages in early HMPV infection along with higher inflammatory cytokine and interferon-stimulated gene expression, suggesting that IFN-λ may maintain immunomodulatory responses. Administration of IFN-λ for prophylaxis or post-infection treatment in mice reduced viral load without inflammation-driven weight loss or clinical disease. These data offer clinical promise for IFN-λ in HMPV treatment.IMPORTANCE: Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a common respiratory pathogen and often contributes to severe disease, particularly in children, immunocompromised people, and the elderly. There are currently no licensed HMPV antiviral treatments or vaccines. Here, we report novel roles of host factor IFN-λ in HMPV disease that highlight therapeutic potential. We show that IFN-λ promotes lung antiviral responses by restricting lung HMPV replication and spread from upper to lower airways but does so without inducing lung immunopathology. Our data uncover recruitment of lung macrophages, regulation of ciliated epithelial cells, and modulation of inflammatory cytokines and interferon-stimulated genes as likely contributors. Moreover, we found these roles to be distinct and non-redundant, as they are not observed with knockout of, or treatment with, type I IFN. These data elucidate unique antiviral functions of IFN-λ and suggest IFN-λ augmentation as a promising therapeutic for treating HMPV disease and promoting effective vaccine responses.
    Keywords:  host-pathogen immunity; human metapneumovirus; interferon; respiratory infection
  17. Immunol Rev. 2024 Mar 29.
      The discovery of toll-like receptors (TLRs) and the subsequent recognition that endogenous nucleic acids (NAs) could serve as TLR ligands have led to essential insights into mechanisms of healthy immune responses as well as pathogenic mechanisms relevant to systemic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, NA-containing immune complexes serve as TLR ligands, with distinct implications depending on the additional immune stimuli available. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), the robust producers of type I interferon (IFN-I), are providing critical insights relevant to TLR-mediated healthy immune responses and tissue repair, as well as generation of inflammation, autoimmunity and fibrosis, processes central to the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases. In this review, we describe recent data characterizing the role of platelets and NA-binding chemokines in modulation of TLR signaling in pDCs, as well as implications for how the IFN-I products of pDCs contribute to the generation of inflammation and wound healing responses by monocyte/macrophages. Chemokine modulators of TLR-mediated B cell tolerance mechanisms and interactions between TLR signaling and metabolic pathways are also considered. The modulators of TLR signaling and their contribution to the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases suggest new opportunities for identification of novel therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  chemokines; plasmacytoid dendritic cells; platelets; toll‐like receptors; type I interferon; wound healing
  18. Microorganisms. 2024 Feb 21. pii: 441. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      The microbiota in the oral cavity has a strict connection to its host. Its imbalance may determine oral diseases and can also have an impact on the systemic health. Probiotic strains may help in the restoration of a balanced condition. For this purpose, we screened the antibacterial and antiadhesive activities of many viable probiotic strains (Lactobacillus acidophilus PBS066, Lactobacillus crispatus LCR030, Lactobacillus gasseri LG050, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum PBS067, Limosilactobacillus reuteri PBS072, Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus LRH020, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BL050, Lacticaseibacillus paracasei LPC 1101, L. paracasei LPC 1082, and L. paracasei LPC 1114) against two main oral pathogens, Streptococcus mutans and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, involved in dental caries and periodontal disease development and progression. Considering both the agar overlay preventive and treatment models, seven probiotics determined greater inhibition zones against the tested pathogens. This behavior was further analyzed by the plate count method and scanning electron microscope imaging. L. plantarum PBS067, L. rhamnosus LRH020, L. paracasei LPC 1101, L. paracasei LPC 1082, and L. paracasei LPC 1114 prevent the growth and adhesion of oral pathogens in a strain-specific manner (p < 0.0001). These probiotics might be considered as an alternative effective adjuvant to improve oral and systemic well-being for future personalized treatments.
    Keywords:  dysbiosis; host interaction; infection; microbiota; oral; pathogens; probiotics
  19. Life Sci Alliance. 2024 Jun;pii: e202302399. [Epub ahead of print]7(6):
      Inflammasomes are immune complexes whose activation leads to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-18 and IL-1β. Type I IFNs play a role in fighting infection and stimulate the expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) involved in inflammation. Despite the importance of these cytokines in inflammation, the regulation of inflammasomes by type I IFNs remains poorly understood. Here, we analysed RNA-sequencing data from patients with monogenic interferonopathies and found an up-regulation of several inflammasome-related genes. To investigate the effect of type I IFN on the inflammasome, we treated human monocyte-derived macrophages with IFN-α and observed an increase in CASP1 and GSDMD mRNA levels over time, whereas IL1B and NLRP3 were not directly correlated to IFN-α exposure time. IFN-α treatment reduced the release of mature IL-1β and IL-18, but not caspase-1, in response to ATP-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation, suggesting regulation occurs at cytokine expression levels and not the inflammasome itself. However, more studies are required to investigate how regulation by IFN-α occurs and impacts NLRP3 and other inflammasomes at both transcriptional and post-translational levels.
  20. Int Immunopharmacol. 2024 Mar 27. pii: S1567-5769(24)00388-6. [Epub ahead of print]132 111870
      Extracellular histones have been determined as important mediators of sepsis, which induce excessive inflammatory responses in macrophages and impair innate immunity. Magnesium (Mg2+), one of the essential nutrients of the human body, contributes to the proper regulation of immune function. However, no reports indicate whether extracellular histones affect survival and bacterial phagocytosis in macrophages and whether Mg2+ is protective against histone-induced macrophage damage. Our clinical data revealed a negative correlation between circulating histone and monocyte levels in septic patients, and in vitro experiments confirmed that histones induced mitochondria-associated apoptosis and defective bacterial phagocytosis in macrophages. Interestingly, our clinical data also indicated an association between lower serum Mg2+ levels and reduced monocyte levels in septic patients. Moreover, in vitro experiments demonstrated that Mg2+ attenuated histone-induced apoptosis and defective bacterial phagocytosis in macrophages through the PLC/IP3R/STIM-mediated calcium signaling pathway. Importantly, further animal experiments proved that Mg2+ significantly improved survival and attenuated histone-mediated lung injury and macrophage damage in histone-stimulated mice. Additionally, in a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) + histone-induced injury mouse model, Mg2+ inhibited histone-mediated apoptosis and defective phagocytosis in macrophages and further reduced bacterial load. Overall, these results suggest that Mg2+ supplementation may be a promising treatment for extracellular histone-mediated macrophage damage in sepsis.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Extracellular histone; Macrophage; Magnesium; Phagocytosis; Sepsis
  21. J Immunol Res. 2024 ;2024 8553447
      Background: Serine proteinase inhibitors, clade B, member 3 (SerpinB3) and B4 are highly similar in amino acid sequences and associated with inflammation regulation. We investigated SerpinB3 and B4 expression and their roles in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP).Methods: The expression of SerpinB3 and B4 in nasal mucosa tissues, brush cells, and secretions from CRSwNP patients was measured, and their regulation by inflammatory cytokines were investigated. Their functions were also analyzed using air-liquid interface (ALI)-cultured primary human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) and transcriptomic analysis.
    Results: Both SerpinB3 and B4 expression was higher in nasal mucosa, brush cells, and secretions from eosinophilic (E) CRSwNP and nonECRSwNP patients than in healthy controls. Immunofluorescence staining indicated that SerpinB3 and B4 were primarily expressed in epithelial cells and their expression was higher in CRSwNP patients. SerpinB3 and B4 expression was upregulated by interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-6, and IL-17a. Transcriptomic analysis identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to recombinant SerpinB3 and B4 stimulation. Both the DEGs of SerpinB3 and B4 were associated with disease genes of nasal polyps and inflammation in DisGeNET database. Pathway enrichment indicated that downregulated DEGs of SerpinB3 and B4 were both enriched in cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions, with CXCL8 as the hub gene in the protein-protein interaction networks. Furthermore, CXCL8/IL-8 expression was downregulated by recombinant SerpinB3 and B4 protein in ALI-cultured HNECs, and upregulated when knockdown of SerpinB3/B4.
    Conclusion: SerpinB3/B4 expression is upregulated in nasal mucosa of CRSwNP patients. SerpinB3/B4 may play an anti-inflammatory role in CRSwNP by inhibiting the expression of epithelial cell-derived CXCL8/IL-8.
  22. Cell Rep Med. 2024 Mar 21. pii: S2666-3791(24)00133-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101487
      The gut microbiota influences anti-tumor immunity and can induce or inhibit response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Therefore, microbiome features are being studied as predictive/prognostic biomarkers of patient response to ICIs, and microbiome-based interventions are attractive adjuvant treatments in combination with ICIs. Specific gut-resident bacteria can influence the effectiveness of immunotherapy; however, the mechanism of action on how these bacteria affect anti-tumor immunity and response to ICIs is not fully understood. Nevertheless, early bacterial-based therapeutic strategies have demonstrated that targeting the gut microbiome through various methods can enhance the effectiveness of ICIs, resulting in improved clinical responses in patients with a diverse range of cancers. Therefore, understanding the microbiota-driven mechanisms of response to immunotherapy can augment the success of these interventions, particularly in patients with treatment-refractory cancers.
    Keywords:  antibiotics; bacterial consortia; fecal microbiota transplantation; gut microbiota; immune checkpoint inhibitors; immunotherapy; probiotics bacteria
  23. FASEB J. 2024 Apr 15. 38(7): e23569
      Early in sepsis, a hyperinflammatory response is dominant, but later, an immunosuppressive phase dominates, and the host is susceptible to opportunistic infections. Anti-inflammatory agents may accelerate the host into immunosuppression, and few agents can reverse immunosuppression without causing inflammation. Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) such as resolvin D2 (RvD2) have been reported to resolve inflammation without being immunosuppressive, but little work has been conducted to examine their effects on immunosuppression. To assess the effects of RvD2 on immunosuppression, we established a model of macrophage exhaustion using two lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatments or hits. THP-1 monocyte-derived macrophages were first treated with RvD2 or vehicle for 1 h. One LPS hit increased NF-κB activity 11-fold and TNF-α release 60-fold compared to unstimulated macrophages. RvD2 decreased LPS-induced NF-κB activity and TNF-α production but increased bacterial clearance. Two LPS hits reduced macrophage bacterial clearance and decreased macrophage NF-κB activity (45%) and TNF-α release (75%) compared to one LPS hit, demonstrating exhaustion. RvD2 increased NF-κB activity, TNF-α release, and bacterial clearance following two LPS hits compared to controls. TLR2 inhibition abolished RvD2-mediated changes. In a mouse sepsis model, splenic macrophage response to exogenous LPS was reduced compared to controls and was restored by in vivo administration of RvD2, supporting the in vitro results. If RvD2 was added to monocytes before differentiation into macrophages, however, RvD2 reduced LPS responses and increased bacterial clearance following both one and two LPS hits. The results show that RvD2 attenuated macrophage suppression in vitro and in vivo and that this effect was macrophage-specific.
    Keywords:   Pseudomonas aeruginosa ; NF‐κB; THP‐1 cells; immunosuppression; sepsis
  24. mBio. 2024 Mar 26. e0288923
      Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus are a leading cause of mortality worldwide. S. aureus infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are particularly difficult to treat due to their resistance to next-generation β-lactams (NGBs) such as methicillin, nafcillin, and oxacillin. Resistance to NGBs, which is alternatively known as broad-spectrum β-lactam resistance, is classically mediated by PBP2a, a penicillin-binding protein encoded by mecA (or mecC) in MRSA. Thus, presence of mec genes among S. aureus spp. serves as the predictor of resistance to NGBs and facilitates determination of the proper therapeutic strategy for a staphylococcal infection. Although far less appreciated, mecA-deficient S. aureus strains can also exhibit NGB resistance. These strains, which are collectively termed as methicillin-resistant lacking mec (MRLM), are currently being identified in increasing numbers among natural resistant isolates of S. aureus. The mechanism/s through which MRLMs produce resistance to NGBs remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that mutations that alter PBP4 and GdpP functions, which are often present among MRLMs, can synergistically mediate resistance to NGBs. Furthermore, our results unravel that this novel mechanism potentially enables MRLMs to produce resistance toward NGBs at levels comparable to those of MRSAs. Our study provides a fresh new perspective about alternative mechanisms of NGB resistance, challenging our current overall understanding of high-level, broad-spectrum β-lactam resistance in S. aureus. It thus suggests reconsideration of the current approach toward diagnosis and treatment of β-lactam-resistant S. aureus infections.IMPORTANCE: In Staphylococcus aureus, high-level, broad-spectrum resistance to β-lactams such as methicillin, also referred to as methicillin resistance, is largely attributed to mecA. This study demonstrates that S. aureus strains that lack mecA but contain mutations that functionally alter PBP4 and GdpP can also mediate high-level, broad-spectrum resistance to β-lactams. Resistance brought about by the synergistic action of functionally altered PBP4 and GdpP was phenotypically comparable to that displayed by mecA, as seen by increased bacterial survival in the presence of β-lactams. An analysis of mutations detected in naturally isolated strains of S. aureus revealed that a significant proportion of them had similar pbp4 and GGDEF domain protein containing phosphodiesterase (gdpP) mutations, making this study clinically significant. This study not only identifies important players of non-classical mechanisms of β-lactam resistance but also indicates reconsideration of current clinical diagnosis and treatment protocols of S. aureus infections.
    Keywords:  gdpP; methicillin-resistant lacking mec (MRLM); pbp4; β-lactam resistance
  25. Lancet Infect Dis. 2024 Apr;pii: S1473-3099(24)00166-X. [Epub ahead of print]24(4): e227
  26. FASEB J. 2024 Mar 31. 38(6): e23576
      High level expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been associated with severe asthma. The role of MIF and its functional promotor polymorphism in innate immune training is currently unknown. Using novel humanized CATT7 MIF mice, this study is the first to investigate the effect of MIF on bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMDM) memory after house dust mite (HDM) challenge. CATT7 BMDMs demonstrated a significant primed increase in M1 markers following HDM and LPS stimulation, compared to naive mice. This M1 signature was found to be MIF-dependent, as administration of a small molecule MIF inhibitor, SCD-19, blocked the induction of this pro-inflammatory M1-like phenotype in BMDMs from CATT7 mice challenged with HDM. Training naive BMDMs in vitro with HDM for 24 h followed by a rest period and subsequent stimulation with LPS led to significantly increased production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα in BMDMs from CATT7 mice but not WT mice. Addition of the pan methyltransferase inhibitor MTA before HDM training significantly abrogated this effect in BMDMs from CATT7 mice, suggesting that HDM-induced training is associated with epigenetic remodelling. These findings suggest that trained immunity induced by HDM is under genetic control, playing an important role in asthma patients with the high MIF genotypes (CATT6/7/8).
    Keywords:  bone marrow‐derived macrophages; house dust mite; innate immunity; innate priming; innate training; macrophage migration inhibitory factor; polarization
  27. Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2024 Mar 28.
      This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of probiotic research, covering a wide range of topics, including strain identification, functional characterization, preclinical and clinical evaluations, mechanisms of action, therapeutic applications, manufacturing considerations, and future directions. The screening process for potential probiotics involves phenotypic and genomic analysis to identify strains with health-promoting properties while excluding those with any factor that could be harmful to the host. In vitro assays for evaluating probiotic traits such as acid tolerance, bile metabolism, adhesion properties, and antimicrobial effects are described. The review highlights promising findings from in vivo studies on probiotic mitigation of inflammatory bowel diseases, chemotherapy-induced mucositis, dysbiosis, obesity, diabetes, and bone health, primarily through immunomodulation and modulation of the local microbiota in human and animal models. Clinical studies demonstrating beneficial modulation of metabolic diseases and human central nervous system function are also presented. Manufacturing processes significantly impact the growth, viability, and properties of probiotics, and the composition of the product matrix and supplementation with prebiotics or other strains can modify their effects. The lack of regulatory oversight raises concerns about the quality, safety, and labeling accuracy of commercial probiotics, particularly for vulnerable populations. Advancements in multi-omics approaches, especially probiogenomics, will provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind probiotic functionality, allowing for personalized and targeted probiotic therapies. However, it is crucial to simultaneously focus on improving manufacturing practices, implementing quality control standards, and establishing regulatory oversight to ensure the safety and efficacy of probiotic products in the face of increasing therapeutic applications.
    Keywords:  Functional characterization; Human and animal models; Probiogenomics; Probiotic regulations; Probiotics
  28. Mucosal Immunol. 2024 Mar 21. pii: S1933-0219(24)00026-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The microbiome has emerged as a crucial modulator of host immune interactions and clearly impacts on tumor development and therapy efficacy. The microbiome is a double-edged sword in cancer development and therapy as both pro-tumorigenic and anti-tumorigenic bacterial taxa have been identified. The staggering number of association-based studies in various tumor types has led to an enormous amount of data that makes it difficult to identify bacteria that promote tumor development or modulate therapy efficacy from bystander bacteria. Here we aim at comprehensively summarizing the current knowledge of microbiome-host immunity interactions and cancer therapy in various mucosal tissues to find commonalities and thus identify potential functionally relevant bacterial taxa. Moreover, we also review recent studies identifying specific bacteria and mechanisms through which the microbiome modulates cancer development and therapy efficacy.
    Keywords:  Microbiome; anti-tumor immunity; gastrointestinal tract cancers; immunotherapy; microbial metabolites
  29. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2024 Mar 28. e2307201
      Macrophages regulate essential aspects of innate immunity against pathogens. In response to microbial components, macrophages activate primary and secondary inflammatory gene programs crucial for host defense. The liver X receptors (LXRα, LXRβ) are ligand-dependent nuclear receptors that direct gene expression important for cholesterol metabolism and inflammation, but little is known about the individual roles of LXRα and LXRβ in antimicrobial responses. Here, the author demonstrate that induction of LXRα transcription by prolonged exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) supports inflammatory gene expression in macrophages. LXRα transcription is induced by NF-κB and type-I interferon downstream of TLR4 activation. Moreover, LPS triggers a reprogramming of the LXRα cistrome that promotes cytokine and chemokine gene expression through direct LXRα binding to DNA consensus sequences within cis-regulatory regions including enhancers. LXRα-deficient macrophages present fewer binding of p65 NF-κB and reduced histone H3K27 acetylation at enhancers of secondary inflammatory response genes. Mice lacking LXRα in the hematopoietic compartment show impaired responses to bacterial endotoxin in peritonitis models, exhibiting reduced neutrophil infiltration and decreased expansion and inflammatory activation of recruited F4/80lo-MHC-IIhi peritoneal macrophages. Together, these results uncover a previously unrecognized function for LXRα-dependent transcriptional cis-activation of secondary inflammatory gene expression in macrophages and the host response to microbial ligands.
    Keywords:  gene expression; inflammation; macrophage; nuclear receptor LXR
  30. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2024 Mar 25. 9(1): 74
      Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection disrupts the epithelial barrier and triggers airway inflammation. The envelope (E) protein, a core virulence structural component of coronaviruses, may play a role in this process. Pathogens could interfere with transepithelial Cl- transport via impairment of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), which modulates nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling. However, the pathological effects of SARS-CoV-2 E protein on airway epithelial barrier function, Cl- transport and the robust inflammatory response remain to be elucidated. Here, we have demonstrated that E protein down-regulated the expression of tight junctional proteins, leading to the disruption of the airway epithelial barrier. In addition, E protein triggered the activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2/4 and downstream c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, resulting in an increased intracellular Cl- concentration ([Cl-]i) via up-regulating phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D) expression in airway epithelial cells. This elevated [Cl-]i contributed to the heightened airway inflammation through promoting the phosphorylation of serum/glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 (SGK1). Moreover, blockade of SGK1 or PDE4 alleviated the robust inflammatory response induced by E protein. Overall, these findings provide novel insights into the pathogenic role of SARS-CoV-2 E protein in airway epithelial damage and the ongoing airway inflammation during SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  31. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1328781
      Metabolic changes are coupled with alteration in protein glycosylation. In this review, we will focus on macrophages that are pivotal in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis and thanks to their adaptable metabolism are an attractive therapeutic target. Examples presented in this review demonstrate that protein glycosylation regulates metabolism-driven immune responses in macrophages, with implications for fibrotic processes and granuloma formation. Targeting proteins that regulate glycosylation, such as fucosyltransferases, neuraminidase 1 and chitinase 1 could effectively block immunometabolic changes driving inflammation and fibrosis, providing novel avenues for therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  CHIT1; IPF; OATD-01; macrophage; metabolism; sarcoidosis; therapeutic targets
  32. Nature. 2024 Apr;628(8006): 43-45
    Keywords:  Ageing; Immunology; Therapeutics
  33. Biomaterials. 2024 Mar 26. pii: S0142-9612(24)00080-2. [Epub ahead of print]308 122546
      Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) experience severe lung disease, including persistent infections, inflammation, and irreversible fibrotic remodeling of the airways. Although therapy with transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein modulators reached optimal results in terms of CFTR rescue, lung transplant remains the best line of care for patients in an advanced stage of CF. Indeed, chronic inflammation and tissue remodeling still represent stumbling blocks during treatment, and underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Nowadays, animal models are not able to fully replicate clinical features of the human disease and the conventional in vitro models lack a stromal compartment undergoing fibrotic remodeling. To address this gap, we show the development of a 3D full-thickness model of CF with a human bronchial epithelium differentiated on a connective airway tissue. We demonstrated that the epithelial cells not only underwent mucociliary differentiation but also migrated in the connective tissue and formed gland-like structures. The presence of the connective tissue stimulated the pro-inflammatory behaviour of the epithelium, which activated the fibroblasts embedded into their own extracellular matrix (ECM). By varying the composition of the model with CF epithelial cells and a CF or healthy connective tissue, it was possible to replicate different moments of CF disease, as demonstrated by the differences in the transcriptome of the CF epithelium in the different conditions. The possibility to faithfully represent the crosstalk between epithelial and connective in CF through the full thickness model, along with inflammation and stromal activation, makes the model suitable to better understand mechanisms of disease genesis, progression, and response to therapy.
    Keywords:  3D in vitro model; Cystic fibrosis; Epithelial/stromal crosstalk; Full-thickness; Inflammation; Tissue remodeling
  34. Biophys Rep. 2023 Dec 31. 9(6): 338-351
      During the COVID-19 pandemic, the interplay between the processes of immunity and senescence is drawing more and more intensive attention. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces senescence in lung cells, failure to clear infected cells and increased presence of inflammatory factors could lead to a cytokine storm and acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS), which together with aging and age-associated disease lead to 70% of COVID-19-related deaths. Studies on how senescence initiates upon viral infection and how to restrict excessive accumulation of senescent cells to avoid harmful inflammation are crucially important. Senescence can induce innate immune signaling, and innate immunity can engage cell senescence. Here, we mainly review the innate immune pathways, such as cGAS-STING, TLRs, NF-κB, and NLRP3 inflammasome, participating in the senescence process. In these pathways, IFN-I and inflammatory factors play key roles. At the end of the review, we propose the strategies by which we can improve the immune function and reduce inflammation based on these findings.
    Keywords:  Cell senescence; IFN-I; NF-κB; NLRP3 inflammasome; TLRs; cGAS-STING
  35. PLoS Pathog. 2024 Mar 28. 20(3): e1012113
      Chronic viral infections cause T cell dysfunction in both animal models and human clinical settings, thereby affecting the ability of the host immune system to clear viral pathogens and develop proper virus-specific immune memory. However, the impact of chronic viral infections on the host's immune memory to other pathogens has not been well described. In this study, we immunized mice with recombinant Listeria monocytogenes expressing OVA (Lm-OVA) to generate immunity to Lm and allow analysis of OVA-specific memory T (Tm) cells. We then infected these mice with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) strain Cl-13 which establishes a chronic infection. We found that chronically infected mice were unable to protect against Listeria re-challenge. OVA-specific Tm cells showed a progressive loss in total numbers and in their ability to produce effector cytokines in the context of chronic LCMV infection. Unlike virus-specific T cells, OVA-specific Tm cells from chronically infected mice did not up-regulate the expression of inhibitory receptors, a hallmark feature of exhaustion in virus-specific T cells. Finally, OVA-specific Tm cells failed to mount a robust recall response after bacteria re-challenge both in the chronically infected and adoptively transferred naïve hosts. These results show that previously established bacteria-specific Tm cells become functionally impaired in the setting of an unrelated bystander chronic viral infection, which may contribute to poor immunity against other pathogens in the host with chronic viral infection.
  36. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Mar 20. pii: 3476. [Epub ahead of print]25(6):
      Lung aging triggers the onset of various chronic lung diseases, with alveolar repair being a key focus for alleviating pulmonary conditions. The regeneration of epithelial structures, particularly the differentiation from type II alveolar epithelial (AT2) cells to type I alveolar epithelial (AT1) cells, serves as a prominent indicator of alveolar repair. Nonetheless, the precise role of aging in impeding alveolar regeneration and its underlying mechanism remain to be fully elucidated. Our study employed histological methods to examine lung aging effects on structural integrity and pathology. Lung aging led to alveolar collapse, disrupted epithelial structures, and inflammation. Additionally, a relative quantification analysis revealed age-related decline in AT1 and AT2 cells, along with reduced proliferation and differentiation capacities of AT2 cells. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying AT2 cell functional decline, we employed transcriptomic techniques and revealed a correlation between inflammatory factors and genes regulating proliferation and differentiation. Furthermore, a D-galactose-induced senescence model in A549 cells corroborated our omics experiments and confirmed inflammation-induced cell cycle arrest and a >30% reduction in proliferation/differentiation. Physiological aging-induced chronic inflammation impairs AT2 cell functions, hindering tissue repair and promoting lung disease progression. This study offers novel insights into chronic inflammation's impact on stem cell-mediated alveolar regeneration.
    Keywords:  AT2; alveolar regeneration; differentiation; inflammation; proliferation
  37. Nutrients. 2024 Mar 11. pii: 790. [Epub ahead of print]16(6):
      The composition and diversity of gut microbiota significantly influence the immune system and are linked to various diseases, including inflammatory and allergy disorders. While considerable research has focused on exploring single bacterial species or consortia, the optimal strategies for microbiota-based therapeutics remain underexplored. Specifically, the comparative effectiveness of bacterial consortia versus individual species warrants further investigation. In our study, we assessed the impact of the bacterial consortium MPRO, comprising Lactiplantibacillus plantarum HY7712, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis HY8002, and Lacticaseibacillus casei HY2782, in comparison to its individual components. The administration of MPRO demonstrated enhanced therapeutic efficacy in experimental models of atopic dermatitis and inflammatory colitis when compared to single strains. MPRO exhibited the ability to dampen inflammatory responses and alter the gut microbial landscape significantly. Notably, MPRO administration led to an increase in intestinal CD103+CD11b+ dendritic cells, promoting the induction of regulatory T cells and the robust suppression of inflammation in experimental disease settings. Our findings advocate the preference for bacterial consortia over single strains in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, carrying potential clinical relevance.
    Keywords:  atopic dermatitis; inflammatory colitis; microbiota; probiotic consortium; regulatory T cell
  38. Cells. 2024 Mar 08. pii: 477. [Epub ahead of print]13(6):
      The gut mucosal epithelium is one of the largest organs in the body and plays a critical role in regulating the crosstalk between the resident microbiome and the host. To this effect, the tight control of what is permitted through this barrier is of high importance. There should be restricted passage of harmful microorganisms and antigens while at the same time allowing the absorption of nutrients and water. An increased gut permeability, or "leaky gut", has been associated with a variety of diseases ranging from infections, metabolic diseases, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases to neurological conditions. Several factors can affect gut permeability, including cytokines, dietary components, and the gut microbiome. Here, we discuss how the gut microbiome impacts the permeability of the gut epithelial barrier and how this can be harnessed for therapeutic purposes.
    Keywords:  auto-immune diseases; barrier function; gut epithelia; infections; inflammatory bowel disease; metabolic diseases; microbiome
  39. Microb Cell Fact. 2024 Mar 25. 23(1): 89
      BACKGROUND: Staphylococcus aureus and its single or mixed biofilm infections seriously threaten global public health. Phage therapy, which uses active phage particles or phage-derived endolysins, has emerged as a promising alternative strategy to antibiotic treatment. However, high-efficient phage therapeutic regimens have yet to be established.RESULTS: In this study, we used an enrichment procedure to isolate phages against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) XN108. We characterized phage SYL, a new member of the Kayvirus genus, Herelleviridae family. The phage endolysin LysSYL was expressed. LysSYL demonstrated stability under various conditions and exhibited a broader range of efficacy against staphylococcal strains than its parent phage (100% vs. 41.7%). Moreover, dynamic live/dead bacterial observation demonstrated that LysSYL could completely lyse MRSA USA300 within 10 min. Scan and transmission electron microscopy revealed evident bacterial cell perforation and deformation. In addition, LysSYL displayed strong eradication activity against single- and mixed-species biofilms associated with S. aureus. It also had the ability to kill bacterial persisters, and proved highly effective in eliminating persistent S. aureus when combined with vancomycin. Furthermore, LysSYL protected BALB/c mice from lethal S. aureus infections. A single-dose treatment with 50 mg/kg of LysSYL resulted in a dramatic reduction in bacterial loads in the blood, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys of a peritonitis mouse model, which resulted in rescuing 100% of mice challenged with 108 colony forming units of S. aureus USA300.
    CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the data provided in this study highlight the strong therapeutic potential of endolysin LysSYL in combating staphylococcal infections, including mono- and mixed-species biofilms related to S. aureus.
    Keywords:   Staphylococcus aureus ; Biofilms; Endolysin; Persisters; Phage
  40. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2024 Mar 25.
      Wound healing is a complex process that involves the coordinated actions of many different tissues and cell lineages. It requires tight orchestration of cell migration, proliferation, matrix deposition and remodelling, alongside inflammation and angiogenesis. Whereas small skin wounds heal in days, larger injuries resulting from trauma, acute illness or major surgery can take several weeks to heal, generally leaving behind a fibrotic scar that can impact tissue function. Development of therapeutics to prevent scarring and successfully repair chronic wounds requires a fuller knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving wound healing. In this Review, we discuss the current understanding of the different phases of wound healing, from clot formation through re-epithelialization, angiogenesis and subsequent scar deposition. We highlight the contribution of different cell types to skin repair, with emphasis on how both innate and adaptive immune cells in the wound inflammatory response influence classically studied wound cell lineages, including keratinocytes, fibroblasts and endothelial cells, but also some of the less-studied cell lineages such as adipocytes, melanocytes and cutaneous nerves. Finally, we discuss newer approaches and research directions that have the potential to further our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning tissue repair.
  41. Foods. 2024 Mar 15. pii: 895. [Epub ahead of print]13(6):
      Ligilactobacillus salivarius (basonym: Lactobacillus salivarius, L. salivarius) is a type of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) commonly found in the oropharyngeal-gastrointestinal tract (OGT). It has gained significant attention due to its probiotic and functional properties as well as its various health-promoting roles. L. salivarius strains exhibit strong resistance and adhesion in the OGT along with outstanding antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Additionally, numerous L. salivarius strains have the ability to produce bacteriocins with antagonistic activity. These probiotic characteristics of L. salivarius indicate its remarkable potential in promoting favorable effects on human health. It has also been observed that L. salivarius has a positive effect on the composition of intestinal microbiota, thereby improving the metabolic profiling of intestinal microbiota, promoting a healthy and balanced internal environment. In recent years, multi-omics technologies such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics have been employed to gain a deeper understanding of the roles and mechanisms of L. salivarius associated with its functional properties. This review aims to provide an overview of the probiotic characteristics of L. salivarius, containing its specific interactions with the host microflora, as well as insights from omics studies.
    Keywords:  Ligilactobacillus salivarius; functional properties; gut microbiota; omics technologies; probiotic
  42. Mol Immunol. 2024 Mar 28. pii: S0161-5890(24)00024-5. [Epub ahead of print]169 86-98
      Acute liver failure (ALF) is a life-threatening disease with high mortality. Given excessive inflammation is one of the major pathogenesis of ALF, candidates targeting inflammation could be beneficial in the condition. Now the effect of hyperactivated succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) on promoting inflammation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated macrophages has been studied. However, its role and mechanism in ALF is not well understood. Here intraperitoneal injection of D-galactosamine and LPS was conducted in male C57BL/6 J mice to induce the ALF model. Dimethyl malonate (DMM), which inhibited SDH activity, was injected intraperitoneally 30 min before ALF induction. Macrophage pyroptosis was induced by LPS plus adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Pyroptosis-related molecules and proteins including GSDMD oligomer were examined by ELISA and western blot techniques, respectively. ROS production was assessed by fluorescence staining. The study demonstrated SDH activity was increased in liver macrophages from ALF mice. Importantly, DMM administration inhibited ROS, IL-1β, and pyroptosis-associated proteins levels (NLRP3, cleaved caspase-1, GSDMD-N, and GSDMD oligomers) both in the ALF model and in macrophages stimulated with LPS plus ATP. In vitro, ROS promoted pyroptosis by facilitating GSDMD oligomerization. Additionally, when ROS levels were increased through the addition of H2O2 to the DMM group, the levels of GSDMD oligomers were reverted. In conclusion, SDH hyperactivation promotes macrophage pyroptosis by ROS-mediated GSDMD oligomerization, suggesting that targeting this pathway holds promise as a strategy for treating ALF and other inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  Acute liver failure; Gasdermin D; Interleukin −1β; Pyroptosis; Reactive oxygen species; Succinate dehydrogenase
  43. Pathogens. 2024 Mar 01. pii: 220. [Epub ahead of print]13(3):
      The lung microbiota is a complex community of microorganisms that colonize the respiratory tract of individuals from, or even before, birth. Although the lungs were traditionally believed to be sterile, recent research has shown that there is a diversity of bacterial species in the respiratory system. Knowledge about the lung microbiota in newborns and its relationship with bacterial infections is of vital importance to understand the pathogenesis of respiratory diseases in neonatal patients undergoing mechanical ventilation. In this article, the current evidence on the composition of the lung microbiota in newborns will be reviewed, as well as the risks that an altered microbiota can impose on premature newborns. Although advances in neonatal intensive care units have significantly improved the survival rate of preterm infants, the diagnosis and treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia has not progressed in recent decades. Avoiding dysbiosis caused by inappropriate use of antibiotics around birth, as well as avoiding intubation of patients or promoting early removal of endotracheal tubes, are among the most important preventive measures for ventilator-associated pneumonia. The potential benefit of probiotics and prebiotics in preventing infectious, allergic or metabolic complications in the short or long term is not clearly established and constitutes a very important field of research in perinatal medicine.
    Keywords:  broad-spectrum antibiotics; endotracheal tube; microbioma; microbiota; multidrug resistant pathogens; neonate; prebiotics; probiotics; ventilator-associated pneumonia; very-low-birth-weight infant
  44. Histochem Cell Biol. 2024 Mar 26.
      Key reproductive events such as fertilization and early embryonic development occur in the lumen of the oviduct. Since investigating these processes in vivo is both technically challenging and ethically sensitive, cell culture models have been established to reproduce the oviductal microenvironment. Compartmentalized culture systems, particularly air-liquid interface cultures (ALI; cells access the culture medium only from the basolateral cell side), result in highly differentiated oviduct epithelial cell cultures. The oxygen (O2) tension within the oviduct is 4-10% across species, and its reduced O2 content is presumed to be important for early reproductive processes. However, cell culture models of the oviduct are typically cultivated without O2 regulation and therefore at about 18% O2. To investigate the impact of O2 levels on oviduct epithelium functions in vitro, we cultured porcine oviduct epithelial cells (POEC) at the ALI using both physiological (5%) and supraphysiological (18%) O2 levels and two different media regimes. Epithelium architecture, barrier function, secretion of oviduct fluid surrogate (OFS), and marker gene expression were comparatively assessed. Under all culture conditions, ALI-POEC formed polarized, ciliated monolayers with appropriate barrier function. Exposure to 18% O2 accelerated epithelial differentiation and significantly increased the apical OFS volume and total protein content. Expression of oviduct genes and the abundance of OVGP1 (oviduct-specific glycoprotein 1) in the OFS were influenced by both O2 tension and medium choice. In conclusion, oviduct epithelial cells can adapt to a supraphysiological O2 environment. This adaptation, however, may alter their capability to replicate in vivo tissue characteristics.
    Keywords:  Air–liquid interface; Cell culture; Oviduct epithelium; Oxygen; Pig
  45. Cell Rep. 2024 Mar 22. pii: S2211-1247(24)00309-7. [Epub ahead of print]43(4): 113981
      Cholera toxin (CT), a bacterial exotoxin composed of one A subunit (CTA) and five B subunits (CTB), functions as an immune adjuvant. CTB can induce production of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), a proinflammatory cytokine, in synergy with a lipopolysaccharide (LPS), from resident peritoneal macrophages (RPMs) through the pyrin and NLRP3 inflammasomes. However, how CTB or CT activates these inflammasomes in the macrophages has been unclear. Here, we clarify the roles of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha (IRE1α), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor, in CT-induced IL-1β production in RPMs. In RPMs, CTB is incorporated into the ER and induces ER stress responses, depending on GM1, a cell membrane ganglioside. IRE1α-deficient RPMs show a significant impairment of CT- or CTB-induced IL-1β production, indicating that IRE1α is required for CT- or CTB-induced IL-1β production in RPMs. This study demonstrates the critical roles of IRE1α in activation of both NLRP3 and pyrin inflammasomes in tissue-resident macrophages.
    Keywords:  CP: Cell biology; CP: Immunology; IL-1β; IRE1α; Pyrin inflammasome; resident peritoneal macrophages
  46. Antioxidants (Basel). 2024 Mar 18. pii: 368. [Epub ahead of print]13(3):
      Progressive respiratory airway destruction due to unresolved inflammation induced by periodic infectious exacerbation episodes is a hallmark of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung pathology. To clear bacteria, neutrophils release high amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which inflict collateral damage to the neighboring epithelial cells causing oxidative stress. A former genome-wide small interfering RNA (siRNA) screening in CF submucosal gland cells, instrumental for mucociliary clearance, proposed tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 1B (TNFRSF1B; TNFR2) as a potential hit involved in oxidative stress susceptibility. Here, we demonstrate the relevance of TNFRSF1B transcript knock-down for epithelial cell protection under strong oxidative stress conditions. Moreover, a blockade of TNFR signaling through its ligand lymphotoxin-α (LTA), overexpressed in airway epithelial cells under oxidative stress conditions, using the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) biologic etanercept significantly increased the viability of these cells from a toxic oxidizing agent. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses considering our previous RNA interference (RNAi) screening output highlight the relevance of TNFRSF1B and of other genes within the TNF pathway leading to epithelial cell death. Thus, the inhibition of the LTα3-TNFR2 axis could represent a useful therapeutic strategy to protect the respiratory airway epithelial lining from the oxidative stress challenge because of recurrent infection/inflammation cycles faced by CF patients.
    Keywords:  RNAi knock-down; TNFRSF1B; airway epithelial cells; cystic fibrosis; oxidative stress