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Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) is a clinically used TLR4 agonist that has been found to drive nonspecific resistance to infection for up to 2 wk. However, the molecular mechanisms conferring protection are not well understood. In this study, we found that MPLA prompts resistance to infection, in part, by inducing a sustained and dynamic metabolic program in macrophages that supports improved pathogen clearance. Mice treated with MPLA had enhanced resistance to infection with and that was associated with augmented microbial clearance and organ protection. Tissue macrophages, which exhibited augmented phagocytosis and respiratory burst after MPLA treatment, were required for the beneficial effects of MPLA. Further analysis of the macrophage phenotype revealed that early TLR4-driven aerobic glycolysis was later coupled with mitochondrial biogenesis, enhanced malate shuttling, and increased mitochondrial ATP production. This metabolic program was initiated by overlapping and redundant contributions of MyD88- and TRIF-dependent signaling pathways as well as downstream mTOR activation. Blockade of mTOR signaling inhibited the development of the metabolic and functional macrophage phenotype and ablated MPLA-induced resistance to infection in vivo. Our findings reveal that MPLA drives macrophage metabolic reprogramming that evolves over a period of days to support a macrophage phenotype highly effective at mediating microbe clearance and that this results in nonspecific resistance to infection.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
The magnitude of the LPS-elicited cytokine response is commonly used to assess immune function in critically ill patients. A suppressed response, known as endotoxin tolerance, is associated with worse outcomes, yet endotoxin tolerance-inducing TLR4 ligands are known to protect animals from infection. Thus, it remains unknown whether the magnitude of the LPS-elicited cytokine response provides an accurate assessment of antimicrobial immunity. To address this, the ability of diverse TLR ligands to modify the LPS-elicited cytokine response and resistance to infection were assessed. Priming of mice with LPS, monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA), or poly(I:C) significantly reduced plasma LPS-elicited proinflammatory cytokines, reflecting endotoxin tolerance, whereas CpG-ODN-primed mice showed augmented cytokine production. In contrast, LPS, MPLA, and CpG-ODN, but not poly(I:C), improved the host response to a infection. Mice primed with protective TLR ligands, including CpG-ODN, showed reduced plasma cytokines during infection. The protection imparted by TLR ligands persisted for up to 15 d yet was independent of the adaptive immune system. In bone marrow-derived macrophages, protective TLR ligands induced a persistent metabolic phenotype characterized by elevated glycolysis and oxidative metabolism as well as augmented size, granularity, phagocytosis, and respiratory burst. Sustained augmentation of glycolysis in TLR-primed cells was dependent, in part, on hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α and was essential for increased phagocytosis. In conclusion, the magnitude of LPS-elicited cytokine production is not indicative of antimicrobial immunity after exposure to TLR ligands. Additionally, protective TLR ligands induce sustained augmentation of phagocyte metabolism and antimicrobial function.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA), a less toxic derivative of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), is employed as a vaccine adjuvant and is under investigation as a non-specific immunomodulator. However, the differential response of human leukocytes to MPLA and LPS has not been well characterized. The goal of this study was to compare the differential transcriptomic response of human blood to LPS and MPLA. Venous blood from human volunteers was stimulated with LPS, MPLA or vehicle. Gene expression was determined using microarray analysis. Among 21,103 probes profiled, 136 and 130 genes were differentially regulated by LPS or MPLA, respectively. Seventy four genes were up-regulated and 9 were down-regulated by both ligands. The remaining genes were differentially induced by either agent. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis predicted that LPS and MPLA share similar upstream regulators and have comparable effects on canonical pathways and cellular functions. However, some pro-inflammatory cytokine and inflammasome-associated transcripts were more strongly induced by LPS. In contrast, only the macrophage-regulating chemokine CCL7 was preferentially up-regulated by MPLA. In conclusion, LPS and MPLA induce similar transcriptional profiles. However, LPS more potently induces pro-inflammatory cytokine and inflammasome-linked transcripts. Thus, MPLA is a less potent activator of the pro-inflammatory response but retains effective immunomodulatory activity.
Treatment with the TLR4 agonist MPLA augments innate resistance to common bacterial pathogens. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which MPLA augments innate immunocyte functions are not well characterized. This study examined the importance of MyD88- and TRIF-dependent signaling for leukocyte mobilization, recruitment, and activation following administration of MPLA. MPLA potently induced MyD88- and TRIF-dependent signaling. A single injection of MPLA caused rapid mobilization and recruitment of neutrophils, a response that was largely mediated by the chemokines CXCL1 and -2 and the hemopoietic factor G-CSF. Rapid neutrophil recruitment and chemokine production were regulated by both pathways although the MyD88-dependent pathway showed some predominance. In further studies, multiple injections of MPLA potently induced mobilization and recruitment of neutrophils and monocytes. Neutrophil recruitment after multiple injections of MPLA was reliant on MyD88-dependent signaling, but effective monocyte recruitment required activation of both pathways. MPLA treatment induced expansion of myeloid progenitors in bone marrow and upregulation of CD11b and shedding of L-selectin by neutrophils, all of which were attenuated in MyD88- and TRIF-deficient mice. These results show that MPLA-induced neutrophil and monocyte recruitment, expansion of bone marrow progenitors and augmentation of neutrophil adhesion molecule expression are regulated by both the MyD88- and TRIF-dependent pathways.
© Society for Leukocyte Biology.
Prior exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) produces a reduced or "tolerant" inflammatory response to subsequent challenges with LPS, however the potent pro-inflammatory effects of LPS limit its clinical benefit. The adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) is a weak toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist that induces negligible inflammation but retains potent immunomodulatory properties. We postulated that pre-treatment with MPLA would inhibit the inflammatory response of endothelial cells to secondary LPS challenge. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), were exposed to MPLA (10 μg/ml), LPS (100 ng/ml) or vehicle control. HUVECs were then washed and maintained in culture for 24 h before being challenged with LPS (100 ng/ml). Supernatants were collected and examined for cytokine production in the presence or absence of siRNA inhibitors of critical TLR4 signalling proteins. Pre-treatment with MPLA attenuated interleukin (IL)-6 production to secondary LPS challenge to a similar degree as LPS. The application of myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) siRNA dramatically reduced MPLA-induced tolerance while TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-β (TRIF) siRNA had no effect. The tolerant phenotype in endothelial cells was associated with reduced IκB kinase (IKK), p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation and enhanced IL-1 receptor associated kinase-M (IRAK-M) expression for LPS-primed HUVECs, but less so in MPLA primed cells. Instead, MPLA-primed HUVECs demonstrated enhanced p-extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. In contrast with leucocytes in which tolerance is largely TRIF-dependent, MyD88 signalling mediated endotoxin tolerance in endothelial cells. Most importantly, MPLA, a vaccine adjuvant with a wide therapeutic window, induced tolerance to LPS in endothelial cells.
© 2016 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.
UNLABELLED - Helicobacter pylori is one of several pathogens that persist within the host despite a robust immune response. H. pylori elicits a proinflammatory response from host epithelia, resulting in the recruitment of immune cells which manifests as gastritis. Relatively little is known about how H. pylori survives antimicrobials, including calprotectin (CP), which is present during the inflammatory response. The data presented here suggest that one way H. pylori survives the nutrient sequestration by CP is through alteration of its outer membrane. CP-treated H. pylori demonstrates increased bacterial fitness in response to further coculture with CP. Moreover, CP-treated H. pylori cultures form biofilms and demonstrate decreased cell surface hydrophobicity. In response to CP, the H. pylori Lpx lipid A biosynthetic enzymes are not fully functional. The lipid A molecules observed in H. pylori cultures treated with CP indicate that the LpxF, LpxL, and LpxR enzyme functions are perturbed. Transcriptional analysis of lpxF, lpxL, and lpxR indicates that metal restriction by CP does not control this pathway through transcriptional regulation. Analyses of H. pylori lpx mutants reveal that loss of LpxF and LpxL results in increased fitness, similar to what is observed in the presence of CP; moreover, these mutants have significantly increased biofilm formation and reduced cell surface hydrophobicity. Taken together, these results demonstrate a novel mechanism of H. pylori resistance to the antimicrobial activity of CP via lipid A modification strategies and resulting biofilm formation.
IMPORTANCE - Helicobacter pylori evades recognition of the host's immune system by modifying the lipid A component of lipopolysaccharide. These results demonstrate for the first time that the lipid A modification pathway is influenced by the host's nutritional immune response. H. pylori's exposure to the host Mn- and Zn-binding protein calprotectin perturbs the function of 3 enzymes involved in the lipid A modification pathway. Moreover, CP treatment of H. pylori, or mutants with an altered lipid A, exhibit increased bacterial fitness and increased biofilm formation. This suggests that H. pylori modifies its cell surface structure to survive under the stress imposed by the host immune response. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms that influence the biofilm lifestyle and how endotoxin modification, which renders H. pylori resistant to cationic antimicrobial peptides, can be inactivated in response to sequestration of nutrient metals.
Copyright © 2015 Gaddy et al.
Infection is the leading cause of death in severely burned patients that survive the acute phase of injury. Neutrophils are the first line of defense against infections, but hospitalized burn patients frequently cannot mount an appropriate innate response to infection. Thus, immune therapeutic approaches aimed at improving neutrophil functions after burn injury may be beneficial. Prophylactic treatment with the TLR4 agonist monophosphoryl lipid A is known to augment resistance to infection by enhancing neutrophil recruitment and facilitating bacterial clearance. This study aimed to define mechanisms by which monophosphoryl lipid A treatment improves bacterial clearance and survival in a model of burn-wound sepsis. Burn-injured mice were treated with monophosphoryl lipid A or vehicle, and neutrophil mobilization was evaluated in the presence or absence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Monophosphoryl lipid A treatment induced significant mobilization of neutrophils from the bone marrow into the blood and sites of infection. Neutrophil mobilization was associated with decreased bone marrow neutrophil CXCR4 expression and increased plasma G-CSF concentrations. Neutralization of G-CSF before monophosphoryl lipid A administration blocked monophosphoryl lipid A-induced expansion of bone marrow myeloid progenitors and mobilization of neutrophils into the blood and their recruitment to the site of infection. G-CSF neutralization ablated the enhanced bacterial clearance and survival benefit endowed by monophosphoryl lipid A in burn-wound-infected mice. Our findings provide convincing evidence that monophosphoryl lipid A-induced G-CSF facilitates early expansion, mobilization, and recruitment of neutrophils to the site of infection after burn injury, allowing for a robust immune response to infection.
© Society for Leukocyte Biology.
Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) is a TLR4 agonist that is used as an immunomodulator in human vaccines; additionally, it has been shown to be protective in models of sepsis. As endothelial cells regulate inflammation, we hypothesized that MPLA would decrease activation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to LPS. We studied HUVECs challenged with LPS (100 ng/ml), MPLA (0.001-100 µg/ml) or a combination. Secretion of IL-6, RANTES (CCL5) and IP-10 (CXCL10) were assessed by ELISA. Activation of MAPK phosphorylation and cytokine transcription were assessed by Western blot analysis and PCR, respectively. MPLA alone was a weak stimulator of myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88-dependent IL-6 and did not induce TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β (TRIF)-dependent chemokine responses. MPLA significantly reduced LPS-mediated IL-6 production. This inhibitory effect was also conferred for the TRIF-dependent chemokines RANTES and IP-10. Inhibition of LPS-mediated activation by MPLA was associated with reduced p38 phosphorylation and mRNAs encoding inflammatory cytokines. MPLA inhibition of LPS signaling appeared to be at the level of the TLR4 receptor, acting as a receptor antagonist with weak agonistic properties. This study provides evidence of a novel mechanism for the inhibitory effect of MPLA on LPS-induced endothelial activation.
© The Author(s) 2014.
Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common bacterial infections worldwide, and virtually all infected persons develop coexisting gastritis, a signature feature of which is the capacity to persist for decades. In support of its lifestyle, H. pylori has evolved to express an array of diverse phenotypes, including enzyme functional diversity, that help to subvert obstacles presented by the human host, which permits long-term microbial colonization. The versatility of the newly discovered enzyme LpxJ may allow H. pylori to quickly adapt to dynamic and hostile conditions present within its cognate gastric niche.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) is a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist that is currently used as a vaccine adjuvant in humans. In this study, we evaluated the effect of MPLA treatment on the innate immune response to systemic bacterial infections in mice. Mice treated with MPLA after burn injury showed improved survival and less local and systemic dissemination of bacteria in a model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa burn wound infection. Prophylactic treatment with MPLA significantly enhanced bacterial clearance at the site of infection and reduced systemic dissemination of bacteria despite causing attenuation of proinflammatory cytokine production during acute intra-abdominal infection caused by cecal ligation and puncture. Administration of MPLA at 1 h after CLP also improved bacterial clearance but did not alter cytokine production. MPLA treatment increased the numbers of granulocytes, double-positive myeloid cells, and macrophages at sites of infection and increased the percentage and total numbers of myeloid cells mediating phagocytosis of bacteria. Depletion of Ly6G(+) neutrophils, but not macrophages, eliminated the ability of MPLA treatment to improve bacterial clearance. The immunomodulatory effects of MPLA were absent in TLR4-deficient mice. In conclusion, these studies show that MPLA treatment significantly augments the innate immune response to bacterial infection by enhancing bacterial clearance despite the attenuation of proinflammatory cytokine production. The enhanced bacterial clearance is mediated, in part, by increased numbers of myeloid cells with effective phagocytic functions at sites of infection and is TLR4 dependent.