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S100 proteins are distinct dimeric EF-hand Ca-binding proteins that can bind Zn, Mn, and other transition metals with high affinity at two sites in the dimer interface. Certain S100 proteins, including S100A7, S100A12, S100A8, and S100A9, play key roles in the innate immune response to pathogens. These proteins function via a "nutritional immunity" mechanism by depleting essential transition metals in the infection that are required for the invading organism to grow and thrive. They also act as damage-associated molecular pattern ligands, which activate pattern recognition receptors (e.g., Toll-like receptor 4, RAGE) that mediate inflammation. Here we present protocols for these S100 proteins for high-level production of recombinant protein, measurement of binding affinities using isothermal titration calorimetry, and an assay of antimicrobial activity.
BACKGROUND - Cytokine responses to activation of innate immunity differ between individuals, yet the genomic and tissue-specific transcriptomic determinants of inflammatory responsiveness are not well understood. We hypothesized that tissue-specific mRNA and long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) induction differs between individuals with divergent evoked inflammatory responses.
METHODS - In the GENE Study (Genetics of Evoked Response to Niacin and Endotoxemia), we performed an inpatient endotoxin challenge (1 ng/kg lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) in healthy humans. We selected individuals in the top (high responders) and bottom (low responders) extremes of inflammatory responses and applied RNA sequencing to CD14 monocytes (N=15) and adipose tissue (N=25) before and after LPS administration.
RESULTS - Although only a small number of genes were differentially expressed at baseline, there were clear differences in the magnitude of the transcriptional response post-LPS between high and low responders, with a far greater number of genes differentially expressed by endotoxemia in high responders. Furthermore, tissue responses differed during inflammation, and we found a number of tissue-specific differentially expressed lincRNAs post-LPS, which we validated. Relative to nondifferentially expressed lincRNAs, differentially expressed lincRNAs were equally likely to be nonconserved as conserved between human and mouse, indicating that conservation is not a predictor of lincRNAs associated with human inflammatory pathophysiology. Differentially expressed genes also were enriched for signals with inflammatory and cardiometabolic disease in published genome-wide association studies. CTB-41I6.2 ( AC002091.1), a nonconserved human-specific lincRNA, is one of the top lincRNAs regulated by endotoxemia in monocytes, but not in adipose tissue. Knockdown experiments in THP-1 monocytes suggest that this lincRNA enhances LPS-induced interleukin 6 ( IL6) expression in monocytes, and we now refer to this as monocyte LPS-induced lincRNA regulator of IL6 ( MOLRIL6).
CONCLUSIONS - We highlight mRNAs and lincRNAs that represent novel candidates for modulation of innate immune and metabolic responses in humans.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION - URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT00953667.
The beneficial effects of the gut microbiota on growth in early life are well known. However, knowledge about the mechanisms underlying regulating intestinal development by the microbiota is limited. p40, a Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG-derived protein, transactivates epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in intestinal epithelial cells for protecting the intestinal epithelium against injury and inflammation. Here, we developed p40-containing pectin/zein hydrogels for targeted delivery of p40 to the small intestine and the colon. Treatment with p40-containing hydrogels from postnatal day 2 to 21 significantly enhanced bodyweight gain prior to weaning and functional maturation of the intestine, including intestinal epithelial cell proliferation, differentiation, and tight junction formation, and IgA production in early life in wild-type mice. These p40-induced effects were abolished in mice with specific deletion of EGFR in intestinal epithelial cells, suggesting that transactivation of EGFR in intestinal epithelial cells may mediate p40-regulated intestinal development. Furthermore, neonatal p40 treatment reduced the susceptibility to intestinal injury and colitis and promoted protective immune responses, including IgA production and differentiation of regulatory T cells, in adult mice. These findings reveal novel roles of neonatal supplementation of probiotic-derived factors in promoting EGFR-mediated maturation of intestinal functions and innate immunity, which likely promote long-term beneficial outcomes.
Treatments for metabolic diseases, such as diet and therapeutics, often provide short-term therapy for metabolic stressors, but relapse is common. Repeated bouts of exposure to, and relief from, metabolic stimuli results in a phenomenon we call "metabolic cycling." Recent human and rodent data suggest metabolic cycling promotes an exaggerated response and ultimately worsened metabolic health. This is particularly evident with cycling of body weight and hypertension. The innate and adaptive immune systems have a profound impact on development of metabolic disease, and current data suggest that immunologic memory may partially explain this association, especially in the context of metabolic cycling. In this Brief Review, we highlight recent work in this field and discuss potential immunologic mechanisms for worsened disease prognosis in individuals who experience metabolic cycling.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
BACKGROUND - IL-33 is one of the most consistently associated gene candidates for asthma identified by using a genome-wide association study. Studies in mice and in human cells have confirmed the importance of IL-33 in inducing type 2 cytokine production from both group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) and T2 cells. However, there are no pharmacologic agents known to inhibit IL-33 release from airway cells.
OBJECTIVE - We sought to determine the effect of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) signaling on aeroallergen-induced airway IL-33 production and release and on innate type 2 airway inflammation.
METHODS - BALB/c mice were challenged intranasally with Alternaria extract for 4 consecutive days. GLP-1R agonist or vehicle was administered starting either 2 days before the first Alternaria extract challenge or 1 day after the first Alternaria extract challenge.
RESULTS - GLP-1R agonist treatment starting 2 days before the first Alternaria extract challenge decreased IL-33 release in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and dual oxidase 1 (Duox1) mRNA expression 1 hour after the first Alternaria extract challenge and IL-33 expression in lung epithelial cells 24 hours after the last Alternaria extract challenge. Furthermore, GLP-1R agonist significantly decreased the number of ILC2s expressing IL-5 and IL-13, lung protein expression of type 2 cytokines and chemokines, the number of perivascular eosinophils, mucus production, and airway responsiveness compared with vehicle treatment. GLP-1R agonist treatment starting 1 day after the first Alternaria extract challenge also significantly decreased eosinophilia and type 2 cytokine and chemokine expression in the airway after 4 days of Alternaria extract challenge.
CONCLUSION - These results reveal that GLP-1R signaling might be a therapy to reduce IL-33 release and inhibit the ILC2 response to protease-containing aeroallergens, such as Alternaria.
Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In preterm infants, soluble inflammatory mediators target lung mesenchymal cells, disrupting airway and alveolar morphogenesis. However, how mesenchymal cells respond directly to microbial stimuli remains poorly characterized. Our objective was to measure the genome-wide innate immune response in fetal lung mesenchymal cells exposed to the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS). With the use of Affymetrix MoGene 1.0st arrays, we showed that LPS induced expression of unique innate immune transcripts heavily weighted toward CC and CXC family chemokines. The transcriptional response was different between cells from E11, E15, and E18 mouse lungs. In all cells tested, LPS inhibited expression of a small core group of genes including the VEGF receptor Although best characterized in vascular endothelial populations, we demonstrated here that fetal mouse lung mesenchymal cells express and respond to VEGF-A stimulation. In mesenchymal cells, VEGF-A increased cell migration, activated the ERK/AKT pathway, and promoted FOXO3A nuclear exclusion. With the use of an experimental coculture model of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, we also showed that VEGFR2 inhibition prevented formation of three-dimensional structures. Both LPS and tyrosine kinase inhibition reduced three-dimensional structure formation. Our data suggest a novel mechanism for inflammation-mediated defects in lung development involving reduced VEGF signaling in lung mesenchyme.
Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is a known mediator of colorectal carcinogenesis. Studies have focused on the role of EGFR signaling in epithelial cells, although the exact nature of the role of EGFR in colorectal carcinogenesis remains a topic of debate. Here, we present evidence that EGFR signaling in myeloid cells, specifically macrophages, is critical for colon tumorigenesis in the azoxymethane-dextran sodium sulfate (AOM-DSS) model of colitis-associated carcinogenesis (CAC). In a human tissue microarray, colonic macrophages demonstrated robust EGFR activation in the pre-cancerous stages of colitis and dysplasia. Utilizing the AOM-DSS model, mice with a myeloid-specific deletion of Egfr had significantly decreased tumor multiplicity and burden, protection from high-grade dysplasia and significantly reduced colitis. Intriguingly, mice with gastrointestinal epithelial cell-specific Egfr deletion demonstrated no differences in tumorigenesis in the AOM-DSS model. The alterations in tumorigenesis in myeloid-specific Egfr knockout mice were accompanied by decreased macrophage, neutrophil and T-cell infiltration. Pro-tumorigenic M2 macrophage activation was diminished in myeloid-specific Egfr-deficient mice, as marked by decreased Arg1 and Il10 mRNA expression and decreased interleukin (IL)-4, IL10 and IL-13 protein levels. Surprisingly, diminished M1 macrophage activation was also detectable, as marked by significantly reduced Nos2 and Il1b mRNA levels and decreased interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1β protein levels. The alterations in M1 and M2 macrophage activation were confirmed in bone marrow-derived macrophages from mice with the myeloid-specific Egfr knockout. The combined effect of restrained M1 and M2 macrophage activation resulted in decreased production of pro-angiogenic factors, CXCL1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and reduced CD31 blood vessels, which likely contributed to protection from tumorigenesis. These data reveal that EGFR signaling in macrophages, but not in colonic epithelial cells, has a significant role in CAC. EGFR signaling in macrophages may prove to be an effective biomarker of CAC or target for chemoprevention in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
, or Group B (GBS), is a gram-positive bacterial pathogen associated with infection during pregnancy and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates. Infection of the extraplacental membranes surrounding the developing fetus, a condition known as chorioamnionitis, is characterized histopathologically by profound infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs, neutrophils) and greatly increases the risk for preterm labor, stillbirth, or neonatal GBS infection. The advent of animal models of chorioamnionitis provides a powerful tool to study host-pathogen relationships and . The purpose of this study was to evaluate the innate immune response elicited by GBS and evaluate how antimicrobial strategies elaborated by these innate immune cells affect bacteria. Our work using a mouse model of GBS ascending vaginal infection during pregnancy reveals that clinically isolated GBS has the capacity to invade reproductive tissues and elicit host immune responses including infiltration of PMNs within the choriodecidua and placenta during infection, mirroring the human condition. Upon interacting with GBS, murine neutrophils elaborate DNA-containing extracellular traps, which immobilize GBS and are studded with antimicrobial molecules including lactoferrin. Exposure of GBS to holo- or apo-forms of lactoferrin reveals that the iron-sequestration activity of lactoferrin represses GBS growth and viability in a dose-dependent manner. Together, these data indicate that the mouse model of ascending infection is a useful tool to recapitulate human models of GBS infection during pregnancy. Furthermore, this work reveals that neutrophil extracellular traps ensnare GBS and repress bacterial growth via deposition of antimicrobial molecules, which drive nutritional immunity via metal sequestration strategies.
The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a pattern recognition receptor capable of recognizing multiple pathogen-associated and danger-associated molecular patterns that contributes to the initiation and potentiation of inflammation in many disease processes. During infection, RAGE functions to either exacerbate disease severity or enhance pathogen clearance depending on the pathogen studied. is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of causing severe infections, including pneumonia and sepsis, in impaired hosts. The role of RAGE signaling in response to opportunistic bacterial infections is largely unknown. In murine models of pneumonia, RAGE signaling alters neither inflammation nor bacterial clearance. In contrast, RAGE mice systemically infected with exhibit increased survival and reduced bacterial burdens in the liver and spleen. The increased survival of RAGE mice is associated with increased circulating levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10). Neutralization of IL-10 in RAGE mice results in decreased survival during systemic infection that mirrors that of wild-type (WT) mice, and exogenous IL-10 administration to WT mice enhances survival in this model. These findings demonstrate the role for RAGE-dependent IL-10 suppression as a key modulator of mortality from Gram-negative sepsis.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Chorioamnionitis is an acute inflammation of the gestational (extraplacental) membranes, most commonly caused by ascending microbial infection. It is associated with adverse neonatal outcomes including preterm birth, neonatal sepsis, and cerebral palsy. The decidua is the outermost layer of the gestational membranes and is likely an important initial site of contact with microbes during ascending infection. However, little is known about how decidual stromal cells (DSCs) respond to microbial threat. Defining the contributions of individual cell types to the complex medley of inflammatory signals during chorioamnionitis could lead to improved interventions aimed at halting this disease. We review available published data supporting the role for DSCs in responding to microbial infection, with a special focus on their expression of pattern recognition receptors and evidence of their responsiveness to pathogen sensing. While DSCs likely play an important role in sensing and responding to infection during the pathogenesis of chorioamnionitis, important knowledge gaps and areas for future research are highlighted.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.