Leukotriene B4 enhances innate immune defense against the puerperal sepsis agent Streptococcus pyogenes.

Soares EM, Mason KL, Rogers LM, Serezani CH, Faccioli LH, Aronoff DM
J Immunol. 2013 190 (4): 1614-22

PMID: 23325886 · PMCID: PMC3563855 · DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1202932

Puerperal sepsis is a leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide. Streptococcus pyogenes [group A Streptococcus; (GAS)] is a major etiologic agent of severe postpartum sepsis, yet little is known regarding the pathogenesis of these infections. Tissue macrophages provide innate defense against GAS, and their actions are highly regulated. The intracellular second messenger cAMP can negatively regulate macrophage actions against GAS. Because leukotriene (LT) B(4) has been shown to suppress intracellular cAMP in macrophages, we hypothesized that it could enhance innate defenses against GAS. We assessed the capacity of LTB(4) to modulate antistreptococcal actions of human macrophages, including placental and decidual macrophages and used a novel intrauterine infection model of GAS in mice lacking the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme to determine the role of endogenous LTs in host defense against this pathogen. Animals lacking 5-lipoxygenase were significantly more vulnerable to intrauterine GAS infection than were wild-type mice and showed enhanced dissemination of bacteria out of the uterus and a more robust inflammatory response than did wild-type mice. In addition, LTB(4) reduced intracellular cAMP levels via the BLT1 receptor and was a potent stimulant of macrophage phagocytosis and NADPH oxidase-dependent intracellular killing of GAS. Importantly, interference was observed between the macrophage immunomodulatory actions of LTB(4) and the cAMP-inducing lipid PGE(2), suggesting that interplay between pro- and anti-inflammatory compounds may be important in vivo. This work underscores the potential for pharmacological targeting of lipid mediator signaling cascades in the treatment of invasive GAS infections.

MeSH Terms (18)

Adolescent Adult Animals Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase Cells, Cultured Female Genetic Predisposition to Disease Humans Immunity, Innate Leukotriene B4 Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Mice, Knockout Puerperal Infection Sepsis Streptococcal Infections Up-Regulation Young Adult

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