Acute lung injury is characterized by excessive extracellular matrix proteolysis and neutrophilic inflammation. A major risk factor for lung injury is bacterial pneumonia. However, host factors that protect against pathogen-induced and host-sustained proteolytic injury following infection are poorly understood. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is a major cause of nosocomial pneumonia and secretes proteases to amplify tissue injury. We show that thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a matricellular glycoprotein released during inflammation, dose-dependently inhibits PA metalloendoprotease LasB, a virulence factor. TSP-1–deficient (Thbs1–/–) mice show reduced survival, impaired host defense, and increased lung permeability with exaggerated neutrophil activation following acute intrapulmonary PA infection. Administration of TSP-1 from platelets corrects the impaired host defense and aberrant injury in Thbs1–/– mice. Although TSP-1 is cleaved into 2 fragments by PA, TSP-1 substantially inhibits Pseudomonas elastolytic activity. Administration of LasB inhibitor, genetic disabling of the PA type II secretion system, or functional deletion of LasB improves host defense and neutrophilic inflammation in mice. Moreover, TSP-1 provides an additional line of defense by directly subduing host-derived proteolysis, with dose-dependent inhibition of neutrophil elastase from airway neutrophils of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients. Thus, a host matricellular protein provides dual levels of protection against pathogen-initiated and host-sustained proteolytic injury following microbial trigger.
Yanyan Qu, Tolani Olonisakin, William Bain, Jill Zupetic, Rebecca Brown, Mei Hulver, Zeyu Xiong, Jesus Tejero, Robert M.Q. Shanks, Jennifer M. Bomberger, Vaughn S. Cooper, Michael E. Zegans, Hyunryul Ryu, Jongyoon Han, Joseph Pilewski, Anuradha Ray, Zhenyu Cheng, Prabir Ray, Janet S. Lee
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.