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Fetal exposure to chorioamnionitis can impact the outcomes of the developing fetus both at the time of birth and in the subsequent neonatal period. Infants exposed to chorioamnionitis have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) pathology, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC); however, the mechanism remains undefined. To simulate the fetal exposure to maternal inflammation (FEMI) induced by chorioamnionitis, pregnant mice (C57BL/6J, , or ) were injected intraperitoneally on embryonic day (E)15.5 with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100 µg/kg body weight). Pups were delivered at term, and reared to postnatal day (P)0, P7, P14, P28 or P56. Serum and intestinal tissue samples were collected to quantify growth, inflammatory markers, histological intestinal injury, and goblet and Paneth cells. To determine whether FEMI increased subsequent susceptibility to intestinal injury, a secondary dose of LPS (100 µg/kg body weight) was given on P5, prior to tissue harvesting on P7. FEMI had no effect on growth of the offspring or their small intestine. FEMI significantly decreased both goblet and Paneth cell numbers while simultaneously increasing serum levels of IL-1β, IL-10, KC/GRO (CXCL1 and CXCL2), TNF and IL-6. These alterations were IL-6 dependent and, importantly, increased susceptibility to LPS-induced intestinal injury later in life. Our data show that FEMI impairs normal intestinal development by decreasing components of innate immunity and simultaneously increasing markers of inflammation. These changes increase susceptibility to intestinal injury later in life and provide novel mechanistic data to potentially explain why preterm infants exposed to chorioamnionitis prior to birth have a higher incidence of NEC and other GI disorders.
© 2019. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Neonates are highly susceptible to infection with enteric pathogens, but the underlying mechanisms are not resolved. We show that neonatal chick colonization with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis requires a virulence-factor-dependent increase in epithelial oxygenation, which drives pathogen expansion by aerobic respiration. Co-infection experiments with an Escherichia coli strain carrying an oxygen-sensitive reporter suggest that S. Enteritidis competes with commensal Enterobacteriaceae for oxygen. A combination of Enterobacteriaceae and spore-forming bacteria, but not colonization with either community alone, confers colonization resistance against S. Enteritidis in neonatal chicks, phenocopying germ-free mice associated with adult chicken microbiota. Combining spore-forming bacteria with a probiotic E. coli isolate protects germ-free mice from pathogen colonization, but the protection is lost when the ability to respire oxygen under micro-aerophilic conditions is genetically ablated in E. coli. These results suggest that commensal Enterobacteriaceae contribute to colonization resistance by competing with S. Enteritidis for oxygen, a resource critical for pathogen expansion.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE (S) - Our objective was to investigate alterations in the cecal microbial composition during the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D) with or without IgM therapy, and correlate these alterations with the corresponding immune profile.
METHODS - (1) Female nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice treated with IgM or saline (n = 20/group) were divided into 5-week-old nondiabetic; 9 to 12-week-old prehyperglycemic stage-1; ≥13-week-old prehyperglycemic stage-2; and diabetic groups. 16S rRNA libraries were prepared from bacterial DNA and deep-sequenced. (2) New-onset diabetic mice were treated with IgM (200 μg on Days 1, 3, and 5) and their blood glucose monitored for 2 months.
RESULTS - Significant dysbiosis was observed in the cecal microbiome with the progression of T1D development. The alteration in microbiome composition was characterized by an increase in the bacteroidetes:firmicutes ratio. In contrast, IgM conserved normal bacteroidetes:firmicutes ratio and this effect was long-lasting. Furthermore, oral gavage using cecal content from IgM-treated mice significantly diminished the incidence of diabetes compared with controls, indicating that IgM specifically affected mucosa-associated microbes, and that the affect was causal and not an epiphenomenon. Also, regulatory immune cell populations (myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cells) were expanded and insulin autoantibody production diminished in the IgM-treated mice. In addition, IgM therapy reversed hyperglycemia in 70% of new-onset diabetic mice (n = 10) and the mice remained normoglycemic for the entire post-treatment observation period.
CONCLUSIONS - The cecal microbiome appears to be important in maintaining immune homeostasis and normal immune responses.
Clostridium difficile is the most commonly reported nosocomial pathogen in the United States and is an urgent public health concern worldwide. Over the past decade, incidence, severity and costs associated with C. difficile infection (CDI) have increased dramatically. CDI is most commonly initiated by antibiotic-mediated disruption of the gut microbiota; however, non-antibiotic-associated CDI cases are well documented and on the rise. This suggests that unexplored environmental, nutrient and host factors probably influence CDI. Here we show that excess dietary zinc (Zn) substantially alters the gut microbiota and, in turn, reduces the minimum amount of antibiotics needed to confer susceptibility to CDI. In mice colonized with C. difficile, excess dietary Zn severely exacerbated C. difficile-associated disease by increasing toxin activity and altering the host immune response. In addition, we show that the Zn-binding S100 protein calprotectin has antimicrobial effects against C. difficile and is an essential component of the innate immune response to CDI. Taken together, these data suggest that nutrient Zn levels have a key role in determining susceptibility to CDI and severity of disease, and that calprotectin-mediated metal limitation is an important factor in the host immune response to C. difficile.
Changes in the gut microbiota may underpin many human diseases, but the mechanisms that are responsible for altering microbial communities remain poorly understood. Antibiotic usage elevates the risk of contracting gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella enterica serovars, increases the duration for which patients shed the pathogen in their faeces, and may on occasion produce a bacteriologic and symptomatic relapse. These antibiotic-induced changes in the gut microbiota can be studied in mice, in which the disruption of a balanced microbial community by treatment with the antibiotic streptomycin leads to an expansion of S. enterica serovars in the large bowel. However, the mechanisms by which streptomycin treatment drives an expansion of S. enterica serovars are not fully resolved. Here we show that host-mediated oxidation of galactose and glucose promotes post-antibiotic expansion of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). By elevating expression of the gene encoding inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the caecal mucosa, streptomycin treatment increased post-antibiotic availability of the oxidation products galactarate and glucarate in the murine caecum. S. Typhimurium used galactarate and glucarate within the gut lumen of streptomycin pre-treated mice, and genetic ablation of the respective catabolic pathways reduced S. Typhimurium competitiveness. Our results identify host-mediated oxidation of carbohydrates in the gut as a mechanism for post-antibiotic pathogen expansion.
INTRODUCTION - The goal of the current study was to investigate the effect of aging on the development of endothelial dysfunction in a murine model of sepsis, and to compare it with the effect of genetic deficiency of the endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS).
METHODS - Cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) was used to induce sepsis in mice. Survival rates were monitored and plasma indices of organ function were measured. Ex vivo studies included the measurement of vascular function in thoracic aortic rings, assessment of oxidative stress/cellular injury in various organs and the measurement of mitochondrial function in isolated liver mitochondria.
RESULTS - eNOS deficiency and aging both exacerbated the mortality of sepsis. Both eNOS-deficient and aged mice exhibited a higher degree of sepsis-associated multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), infiltration of tissues with mononuclear cells and oxidative stress. A high degree of sepsis-induced vascular oxidative damage and endothelial dysfunction (evidenced by functional assays and multiple plasma markers of endothelial dysfunction) was detected in aortae isolated from both eNOS(-/-) and aged mice. There was a significant worsening of sepsis-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, both in eNOS-deficient mice and in aged mice. Comparison of the surviving and non-surviving groups of animals indicated that the severity of endothelial dysfunction may be a predictor of mortality of mice subjected to CLP-induced sepsis.
CONCLUSIONS - Based on the studies in eNOS mice, we conclude that the lack of endothelial nitric oxide production, on its own, may be sufficient to markedly exacerbate the severity of septic shock. Aging markedly worsens the degree of endothelial dysfunction in sepsis, yielding a significant worsening of the overall outcome. Thus, endothelial dysfunction may constitute an early predictor and independent contributor to sepsis-associated MODS and mortality in aged mice.
Renal insufficiency is a common and severe complication of sepsis, and the development of kidney dysfunction increases morbidity and mortality in septic patients. Sepsis is associated with a variety of defects in renal tubule function, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. We used a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model to examine mechanisms by which sepsis influences the transport function of the medullary thick ascending limb (MTAL). MTALs from sham and CLP mice were studied in vitro 18 h after surgery. The results show that sepsis impairs the ability of the MTAL to absorb HCO(3)(-) through two distinct mechanisms. First, sepsis induces an adaptive decrease in the intrinsic capacity of the tubules to absorb HCO(3)(-). This effect is associated with an increase in ERK phosphorylation in MTAL cells and is prevented by pretreatment of CLP mice with a MEK/ERK inhibitor. The CLP-induced reduction in intrinsic HCO(3)(-) absorption rate appears to involve loss of function of basolateral Na(+)/H(+) exchange. Second, sepsis enhances the ability of LPS to inhibit HCO(3)(-) absorption, mediated through upregulation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-ERK signaling in the basolateral membrane. The two inhibitory mechanisms are additive and thus can function in a two-hit capacity to impair renal tubule function in sepsis. Both effects depend on ERK and are eliminated by interventions that prevent ERK activation. Thus the TLR4 and ERK signaling pathways represent potential therapeutic targets to treat or prevent sepsis-induced renal tubule dysfunction.
STAT1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 1) is a member of the JAK-STAT signaling family and plays a key role in facilitating gene transcription in response to activation of the types I and II interferon (IFN) receptors. TYK2 is essential for type I, but not type II, IFN-induced STAT1 activation. Previous studies show that STAT1-deficient mice are resistant to endotoxin-induced shock. The goal of the present study was to assess the response of STAT1- and TYK2-deficient mice to septic shock caused by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). End points included survival, core temperature, organ injury, systemic cytokine production, and bacterial clearance. Results showed that survival rates were significantly higher in STAT1 knockout (STAT1KO) mice compared with wild-type controls (80% vs. 10%). The improved survival of STAT1KO mice was associated with less hypothermia, metabolic acidosis, hypoglycemia, and hepatocellular injury. Plasma interleukin 6, MIP-2, CXCL10, and IFN-α concentrations were significantly lower in STAT1KO mice than in wild-type mice. In the absence of antibiotic treatment, blood and lung bacterial counts were significantly lower in STAT1KO mice than in controls. However, treatment with antibiotics ablated that difference. A survival advantage was not observed in TYK2-deficient mice compared with control. However, CLP-induced hypothermia and systemic interleukin 6 and CXCL10 production were significantly attenuated in TYK2-deficient mice. These results indicate that STAT1 activation is an important factor in the pathogenesis of CLP-induced septic shock and is associated with the development of systemic inflammation and organ injury. TYK2 activation also appears to contribute to CLP-induced inflammation, but to a lesser extent than STAT1.
Neutrophils are innate immune cells that counter pathogens by many mechanisms, including release of antimicrobial proteins such as calprotectin to inhibit bacterial growth. Calprotectin sequesters essential micronutrient metals such as zinc, thereby limiting their availability to microbes, a process termed nutritional immunity. We find that while calprotectin is induced by neutrophils during infection with the gut pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium, calprotectin-mediated metal sequestration does not inhibit S. Typhimurium proliferation. Remarkably, S. Typhimurium overcomes calprotectin-mediated zinc chelation by expressing a high affinity zinc transporter (ZnuABC). A S. Typhimurium znuA mutant impaired for growth in the inflamed gut was rescued in the absence of calprotectin. ZnuABC was also required to promote the growth of S. Typhimurium over that of competing commensal bacteria. Thus, our findings indicate that Salmonella thrives in the inflamed gut by overcoming the zinc sequestration of calprotectin and highlight the importance of zinc acquisition in bacterial intestinal colonization.
Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
We have designed a novel colonoscopic imaging agent that is composed of submicron-sized fluorescent polystyrene nanospheres with two functional groups - peanut agglutinin (PNA) and poly(N-vinylaceamide) (PNVA) - on their surfaces. PNA is a targeting moiety that binds to β-d-galactosyl-(1-3)-N-acetyl-d-galactosamine (Gal-β(1-3)GalNAc), which is the terminal sugar of the Thomsen-Friedenreich antigen that is specifically expressed on the mucosal side of colorectal cancer cells; it is anchored on the nanosphere surface via a poly(methacrylic) acid (PMAA) linker. PNVA is immobilized to enhance the specificity of PNA by reducing nonspecific interactions between the imaging agent and normal tissues. The essential nature of both functional groups was evaluated through in vivo experiments using PNA-free and PNVA-free nanospheres. The imaging agent recognized specifically tumors on the cecal mucosa of immune-deficient mice in which human colorectal cancer cells had been implanted; however, the recognition capability disappeared when PNA was replaced with wheat germ agglutinin, which has no affinity for Gal-β(1-3)GalNAc. PNA-free nanospheres with exclusively surface PNVA chains rarely adhered to the cecal mucosa of normal mice that did not undergo the cancer cell implantation. In contrast, there were strong nonspecific interactions between normal tissues and PNA-free nanospheres with exclusively surface PMAA chains. In vivo data proved that PNA and PNVA were essential for biorecognition for tumor tissues and a reduction of nonspecific interactions with normal tissues, respectively.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.