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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.
Graphene oxide (GO) modulates the functions of antigen-presenting cells including dendritic cells (DCs). Although carbon nanotubes affect expression of the MHC class I-like CD1d molecule, whether GO can influence immune responses of CD1d-dependent invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells remains unclear. Here, we investigated the impact of GO on inflammatory responses mediated by α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), an iNKT cell agonist. We found that in vivo GO treatment substantially inhibited the capacity of α-GalCer to induce the iNKT cell-mediated trans-activation of and cytokine production by innate and innate-like cells, including DCs, macrophages, NK cells, and γδ T cells. Such effects of GO on α-GalCer-induced inflammatory responses closely correlated with iNKT cell polarization towards TGFβ production, which also explains the capacity of GO to expand regulatory T cells. Interestingly, the absence of TLR4, a receptor for GO, failed to downregulate, and instead partially enhanced the anti-inflammatory activity of GO against α-GalCer-elicited responses, implying negative effects of TLR4 signaling on the anti-inflammatory properties of GO. By employing an α-GalCer-induced sepsis model, we further demonstrated that GO treatment significantly protected mice from α-GalCer-induced lethality. Taken together, we provide strong evidence that GO holds promise as an adjuvant to modulate iNKT cell responses for immunotherapy.
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.
Neuroinflammation is consistently found in many neurological disorders, but whether or not the inflammatory response independently affects neuronal network properties is poorly understood. Here, we report that intracerebroventricular injection of the prototypical inflammatory molecule lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in rats triggered a strong and long-lasting inflammatory response in hippocampal microglia associated with a concomitant upregulation of Toll-like receptor (TLR4) in pyramidal and hilar neurons. This, in turn, was associated with a significant reduction of the dendritic hyperpolarization-activated cyclic AMP-gated channel type 1 (HCN1) protein level while Kv4.2 channels were unaltered as assessed by western blot. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the HCN1 decrease in CA1 pyramidal neurons and showed that these changes were associated with a reduction of TRIP8b, an auxiliary subunit for HCN channels implicated in channel subcellular localization and trafficking. At the physiological level, this effect translated into a 50% decrease in HCN1-mediated currents (I) measured in the distal dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. At the functional level, the band-pass-filtering properties of dendrites in the theta frequency range (4-12 Hz) and their temporal summation properties were compromised. We conclude that neuroinflammation can independently trigger an acquired channelopathy in CA1 pyramidal cell dendrites that alters their integrative properties. By directly changing cellular function, this phenomenon may participate in the phenotypic expression of various brain diseases.
Endothelial dysfunction, characterized by changes in eNOS, is a common finding in chronic inflammatory vascular diseases. These states are associated with increased infectious complications. We hypothesized that alterations in eNOS would enhance the response to LPS-mediated TLR4 inflammation. Human microvascular endothelial cells were treated with sepiapterin or N-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME) to alter endogenous NO production, and small interfering RNA to knockdown eNOS. Alterations of endogenous NO by sepiapterin, and L-NAME provided no significant changes to LPS inflammation. In contrast, eNOS knockdown greatly enhanced endothelial IL-6 production and permeability in response to LPS. Knockdown of eNOS enhanced LPS-induced p38. Inhibition of p38 with SB203580 prevented IL-6 production, without altering permeability. Knockdown of p38 impaired NF-κB activation. Physical interaction between p38 and eNOS was demonstrated by immunoprecipitation, suggesting a novel, NO-independent mechanism for eNOS regulation of TLR4. In correlation, biopsy samples in patients with systemic lupus erythematous showed reduced eNOS expression with associated elevations in TLR4 and p38, suggesting an in vivo link. Thus, reduced expression of eNOS, as seen in chronic inflammatory disease, was associated with enhanced TLR4 signaling through p38. This may enhance the response to infection in patients with chronic inflammatory conditions.-Stark, R. J., Koch, S. R., Choi, H., Mace, E. H., Dikalov, S. I., Sherwood, E. R., Lamb, F. S. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase modulates Toll-like receptor 4-mediated IL-6 production and permeability via nitric oxide-independent signaling.
The choroid plexus epithelium (CPE) secretes higher volumes of fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, CSF) than any other epithelium and simultaneously functions as the blood-CSF barrier to gate immune cell entry into the central nervous system. Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH), an expansion of the cerebral ventricles due to CSF accumulation following intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), is a common disease usually treated by suboptimal CSF shunting techniques. PHH is classically attributed to primary impairments in CSF reabsorption, but little experimental evidence supports this concept. In contrast, the potential contribution of CSF secretion to PHH has received little attention. In a rat model of PHH, we demonstrate that IVH causes a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)- and NF-κB-dependent inflammatory response in the CPE that is associated with a ∼3-fold increase in bumetanide-sensitive CSF secretion. IVH-induced hypersecretion of CSF is mediated by TLR4-dependent activation of the Ste20-type stress kinase SPAK, which binds, phosphorylates, and stimulates the NKCC1 co-transporter at the CPE apical membrane. Genetic depletion of TLR4 or SPAK normalizes hyperactive CSF secretion rates and reduces PHH symptoms, as does treatment with drugs that antagonize TLR4-NF-κB signaling or the SPAK-NKCC1 co-transporter complex. These data uncover a previously unrecognized contribution of CSF hypersecretion to the pathogenesis of PHH, demonstrate a new role for TLRs in regulation of the internal brain milieu, and identify a kinase-regulated mechanism of CSF secretion that could be targeted by repurposed US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs to treat hydrocephalus.
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.
The chronic inflammatory state that accompanies obesity is a major contributor to insulin resistance and other dysfunctional adaptations in adipose tissue. Cellular and secreted factors promote the inflammatory milieu of obesity, but the transcriptional pathways that drive these processes are not well described. Although the canonical inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB is considered to be the major driver of adipocyte inflammation, members of the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family may also play a role in this process. Here, we determined that IRF3 expression is upregulated in the adipocytes of obese mice and humans. Signaling through TLR3 and TLR4, which lie upstream of IRF3, induced insulin resistance in murine adipocytes, while IRF3 knockdown prevented insulin resistance. Furthermore, improved insulin sensitivity in IRF3-deficient mice was associated with reductions in intra-adipose and systemic inflammation in the high fat-fed state, enhanced browning of subcutaneous fat, and increased adipose expression of GLUT4. Taken together, the data indicate that IRF3 is a major transcriptional regulator of adipose inflammation and is involved in maintaining systemic glucose and energy homeostasis.
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.
Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays a central role in host responses to bacterial infection, but the precise mechanism(s) by which its downstream signaling components coordinate the bone marrow response to sepsis is poorly understood. Using mice deficient in TLR4 downstream adapters MYD88 or TRIF, we demonstrate that both cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous MYD88 activation are major causes of myelosuppression during sepsis, while having a modest impact on hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) functions. In contrast, cell-intrinsic TRIF activation severely compromises HSC self-renewal without directly affecting myeloid cells. Lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of MYD88 or TRIF contributes to cell-cycle activation of HSC and induces rapid and permanent changes in transcriptional programs, as indicated by persistent downregulation of Spi1 and CebpA expression after transplantation. Thus, distinct mechanisms downstream of TLR4 signaling mediate myelosuppression and HSC exhaustion during sepsis through unique effects of MyD88 and TRIF.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.