Aging-related abnormalities in gut microbiota are associated with cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety, but underlying mechanisms remain unstudied. Here, our study demonstrated that transplanting old gut microbiota to young mice induced inflammation in the gut and brain coupled with cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety. We observed diminished mucin formation and increased gut permeability (“leaky gut”) with a reduction in beneficial metabolites like butyrate because of decline in butyrate-producing bacteria in the aged gut microbiota. This led to suppressed expression of butyrate receptors, free fatty acid receptors 2 and 3 (FFAR2/3). Administering butyrate alleviated inflammation, restored mucin expression and gut barriers, and corrected brain dysfunction. Furthermore, young mice with intestine-specific loss of FFAR2/3 exhibited gut and brain abnormalities akin to those in older mice. Our results demonstrate that reduced butyrate-producing bacteria in aged gut microbiota result in low butyrate levels and reduced FFAR2/3 signaling, leading to suppressed mucin formation that increases gut permeability, inflammation, and brain abnormalities. These findings underscore the significance of butyrate-FFAR2/3 agonism as a potential strategy to mitigate aged gut microbiota–induced detrimental effects on gut and brain health in older adults.
Sidharth P. Mishra, Shalini Jain, Bo Wang, Shaohua Wang, Brandi C. Miller, Jea Y. Lee, Cesar V. Borlongan, Lin Jiang, Julie Pollak, Subhash Taraphder, Brian T. Layden, Sushil G. Rane, Hariom Yadav
Colon cancer affects people of all ages. However, its frequency, as well as the related morbidity and mortality, are high among older adults. The complex physiological changes in the aging gut substantially limit the development of cancer therapies. Here, we identify a unique intestinal microenvironment that is linked with an increased risk of colon cancer in older adults. Our findings show that aging markedly influences persistent fucosylation of the apical surfaces of intestinal epithelial cells, which results in a favorable environment for tumor growth. Furthermore, our findings shed light on the importance of the host-commensal interaction, which facilitates the dysregulation of fucosylation and promotes tumor growth as people get older. We analyzed colonic microbial populations at the species level to find changes associated with aging that could contribute to the development of colon cancer. Analysis of scRNAseq from previous publication datasets identifies distinct epithelial cell subtypes involved in dysregulated fucosylation in older adults. Overall, our study provides compelling evidence that excessive fucosylation is associated with the development of colon cancer, that age-related changes increase vulnerability to colon cancer, and that a dysbiosis in microbial diversity and metabolic changes in the homeostasis of older mice dysregulate fucosylation levels with age.
Zhihan Wang, Pan Gao, Kai Guo, Grace Schirrick, Jappreet Singh Gill, Jett Weis, Abby Lund Da Costa, Mansib Rahman, Het Mehta, Julia Fleecs, Shilpi Jain, Trishna Debnath, Junguk Hur, Nadeem Khan, Robert Sticca, Holly M. Brown-Borg, Donald A. Jurivich, Ramkumar Mathur
Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic and often fatal disease. The pathogenesis is characterized by aberrant repair of lung parenchyma resulting in loss of physiological homeostasis, respiratory failure and death. The immune response in pulmonary fibrosis is dysregulated. The gut microbiome is a key regulator of immunity. The role of the gut microbiome in regulating the pulmonary immunity in lung fibrosis is poorly understood. Here, we determine the impact of gut microbiota on pulmonary fibrosis in C57BL/6 mice derived from different vendors (C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NCrl). We use germ free models, fecal microbiota transplantation and cohousing to transmit gut microbiota. Metagenomic studies of feces establish keystone species between sub-strains. Pulmonary fibrosis is microbiota dependent in C57BL/6 mice. Gut microbiota are distinct by β diversity (PERMANOVA P<0.001) and α diversity (P<0.0001). Mortality and lung fibrosis are attenuated in C57BL/6NCrl mice. Elevated CD4+ IL-10+ T cells and lower IL-6 occur in C57BL/6NCrl mice. Horizontal transmission of microbiota by cohousing attenuates mortality in C57BL/6J mice and promotes a transcriptionally altered pulmonary immunity. Temporal changes in lung and gut microbiota demonstrates that gut microbiota contribute largely to immunological phenotype. Key regulatory gut microbiota contribute to lung fibrosis generating rationale for human studies.
Stephen J. Gurczynski, Jay H. Lipinski, Joshua Y. Strauss, Shafiul Alam, Gary B. Huffnagle, Piyush Ranjan, Lucy H. Kennedy, Bethany B. Moore, David N. O'Dwyer
Control of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) depends on pro-inflammatory Th1 cells that activate infected tissue macrophages to kill resident intracellular parasites. However, pro-inflammatory cytokines produced by Th1 cells can damage tissues, and require tight regulation. Th1 cell IL-10 production is an important cell-autologous mechanism to prevent such damage. However, IL-10-producing Th1 (type I regulatory; Tr1) cells can also delay control of parasites and the generation of immunity following drug treatment or vaccination. To identify molecules to target to alter the balance between Th1 and Tr1 cells for improved anti-parasitic immunity, we compared the molecular and phenotypic profiles of Th1 and Tr1 cells in experimental VL caused by Leishmania donovani infection of C57BL/6 mice. We also identified a shared Tr1 cell protozoan signature by comparing the transcriptional profiles of Tr1 cells from mice with experimental VL and malaria. We identified LAG3 as an important co-inhibitory receptor in VL patients and experimental VL, and reveal tissue-specific heterogeneity of co-inhibitory receptor expression by Tr1 cells. We also discovered a role for the transcription factor Pbx1 in suppressing CD4+ T cell cytokine production. This work provides insights into the development and function of CD4+ T cells during protozoan parasitic infections and identifies key immunoregulatory molecules.
Chelsea L. Edwards, Jessica A. Engel, Fabian De Labastida Rivera, Susanna S. Ng, Dillon Corvino, Marcela Montes de Oca, Teija C.M. Frame, Shashi Bhushan Chauhan, Siddharth Sanker Singh, Awnish Kumar, Yulin Wang, Jinrui Na, Pamela Mukhopadhyay, Jason S. Lee, Susanne Nylén, Shyam Sundar, Rajiv Kumar, Christian R. Engwerda
The virulence of intracellular pathogens relies largely on the ability to survive and replicate within phagocytes, but also on the release and transfer into new host cells. Such cell-to-cell transfer could represent a target for counteracting microbial pathogenesis. However, our understanding of the underlying cellular and molecular processes remains woefully insufficient. Using intravital 2-photon microscopy of caspase-3 activation in the Leishmania major (L. major)-infected live skin, we show increased apoptosis in cells infected by the parasite. Also, transfer of the parasite to new host cells occurred directly without a detectable extracellular state, and was associated with concomitant uptake of cellular material from the original host cell. These in vivo findings were fully recapitulated in infections of isolated human phagocytes. Furthermore, we observed that high pathogen proliferation increased cell death in infected cells, and long-term residency within an infected host cell was only possible for slowly proliferating parasites. Our results therefore suggest that L. major drives its own dissemination to new phagocytes by inducing host cell death in a proliferation-dependent manner.
Iris Baars, Moritz Jaedtka, Leon-Alexander Dewitz, Yan Fu, Tobias Franz, Juliane Mohr, Patricia Gintschel, Hannes Berlin, Angelina Degen, Sandra Freier, Stefan M. Rygol, Burkhart Schraven, Sascha Kahlfuss, Ger van Zandbergen, Andreas J. Müller
Helicobacter pylori colonization of the gastric niche can persist for years in asymptomatic individuals. To deeply characterize the host–microbiota environment in H. pylori–infected (HPI) stomachs, we collected human gastric tissues and performed metagenomic sequencing, single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq), flow cytometry, and fluorescent microscopy. HPI asymptomatic individuals had dramatic changes in the composition of gastric microbiome and immune cells compared with noninfected individuals. Metagenomic analysis uncovered pathway alterations related to metabolism and immune response. scRNA-Seq and flow cytometry data revealed that, in contrast to murine stomachs, ILC2s are virtually absent in the human gastric mucosa, whereas ILC3s are the dominant population. Specifically, proportion of NKp44+ ILC3s out of total ILCs were highly increased in the gastric mucosa of asymptomatic HPI individuals, and correlated with the abundance of selected microbial taxa. In addition, CD11c+ myeloid cells and activated CD4+ T cells and B cells were expanded in HPI individuals. B cells of HPI individuals acquired an activated phenotype and progressed into a highly proliferating germinal-center stage and plasmablast maturation, which correlated with the presence of tertiary lymphoid structures within the gastric lamina propria. Our study provides a comprehensive atlas of the gastric mucosa–associated microbiome and immune cell landscape when comparing asymptomatic HPI and uninfected individuals.
Chiara Sorini, Kumar P. Tripathi, Shengru Wu, Shawn M. Higdon, Jing Wang, Liqin Cheng, Sanghita Banerjee, Annika Reinhardt, Taras Kreslavsky, Anders Thorell, Lars Engstrand, Juan Du, Eduardo J. Villablanca
Short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, have multiple metabolic benefits in individuals who are lean but not in individuals with metabolic syndrome, with the underlying mechanisms still being unclear. We aimed to investigate the role of gut microbiota in the induction of metabolic benefits of dietary butyrate. We performed antibiotic-induced microbiota depletion of the gut and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in APOE*3-Leiden.CETP mice, a well-established translational model for developing human-like metabolic syndrome, and revealed that dietary butyrate reduced appetite and ameliorated high-fat diet–induced (HFD-induced) weight gain dependent on the presence of gut microbiota. FMT from butyrate-treated lean donor mice, but not butyrate-treated obese donor mice, into gut microbiota–depleted recipient mice reduced food intake, attenuated HFD-induced weight gain, and improved insulin resistance. 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing on cecal bacterial DNA of recipient mice implied that these effects were accompanied by the selective proliferation of Lachnospiraceae bacterium 28-4 in the gut as induced by butyrate. Collectively, our findings reveal a crucial role of gut microbiota in the beneficial metabolic effects of dietary butyrate as strongly associated with the abundance of Lachnospiraceae bacterium 28-4.
Zhuang Li, Enchen Zhou, Cong Liu, Hope Wicks, Sena Yildiz, Farhana Razack, Zhixiong Ying, Sander Kooijman, Debby P.Y. Koonen, Marieke Heijink, Sarantos Kostidis, Martin Giera, Ingrid M.J.G. Sanders, Ed J. Kuijper, Wiep Klaas Smits, Ko Willems van Dijk, Patrick C.N. Rensen, Yanan Wang
Urinary catheterization facilitates urinary tract colonization by Escherichia coli and increases infection risk. Here we aimed to identify strain-specific characteristics associated with the transition from colonization to infection in catheterized patients. In a single-site study population, we compared E. coli isolates from patients with catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria (CAASB) to those with catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). CAUTI isolates were dominated by a phylotype B2 subclade containing the multidrug resistant ST131 lineage relative to CAASB isolates, which were phylogenetically more diverse. A distinctive combination of virulence-associated genes was present in the CAUTI-associated B2 subclade. Catheter-associated biofilm formation was widespread among isolates and did not distinguish CAUTI from CAASB strains. Preincubation with CAASB strains could potently inhibit catheter colonization by multiple ST131 CAUTI isolates. Comparative genomic analysis identified a group of variable genes associated with high catheter-biofilm formation present in both CAUTI and CAASB strains. Among these, ferric citrate transport (Fec) system genes were experimentally associated with enhanced catheter biofilm formation using reporter and fecA deletion strains. Together, these results are consistent with a variable role for catheter biofilm formation in promoting CAUTI by ST131-like strains or resisting CAUTI by lower risk strains that engage in niche exclusion.
Zongsen Zou, Robert F. Potter, William H. McCoy 4th, John A. Wildenthal, George L. Katumba, Peter J. Mucha, Gautam Dantas, Jeffrey P. Henderson
Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes diversification during infection of the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung. Understanding these changes requires model systems that capture the complexity of the CF lung environment. We previously identified loss-of-function mutations in the two-component regulatory system sensor kinase gene pmrB, in P. aeruginosa from CF and from experimental infection of mice. Here, we demonstrate that whilst such mutations lower in vitro MICs for multiple antimicrobial classes, this is not reflected in increased antibiotic susceptibility in vivo. Loss of PmrB impairs aminoarabinose modification of lipopolysaccharide, increasing the negative charge of the outer membrane and promoting uptake of cationic antimicrobials. However, in vivo, this can be offset by increased membrane binding of other positively charged molecules present in lungs. The polyamine spermidine readily coats the surface of PmrB-deficient P. aeruginosa, reducing susceptibility to antibiotics that rely on charge differences to bind the outer membrane and increasing biofilm formation. Spermidine is elevated in lungs during P. aeruginosa infection in mice and during episodes of antimicrobial treatment in people with CF. These findings highlight the need to study antimicrobial resistance under clinically relevant environmental conditions. Microbial mutations carrying fitness costs in vitro may be advantageous during infection, where host resources can be utilised.
Chowdhury M. Hasan, Sian Pottenger, Angharad E. Green, Adrienne A. Cox, Jack S. White, Trevor Jones, Craig Winstanley, Aras Kadioglu, Megan H. Wright, Daniel R. Neill, Joanne L. Fothergill
Bacteria have evolved to cope with the detrimental effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) using their essential molecular components. Catalase, a heme-containing tetramer protein expressed universally in most of the aerobic bacteria, plays an indispensable role in scavenging excess hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Here, through utilization of wild-type and catalase-deficient mutants, we identified catalase as an endogenous therapeutic target of 400-420 nm blue light. Catalase residing inside bacteria could be effectively inactivated by blue light, subsequently rendering the pathogens extremely vulnerable to H2O2 and H2O2-producing agents. As a result, photoinactivation of catalase and H2O2 synergistically eliminate a wide range of catalase-positive planktonic bacteria and P. aeruginosa inside biofilms. In addition, photoinactivation of catalase is shown to facilitate macrophages to defend against intracellular pathogens. The antimicrobial efficacy of catalase photoinactivation is further validated using a Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced mice abrasion model. Taken together, our findings offer a catalase-targeting phototherapy approach against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.
Pu-Ting Dong, Sebastian Jusuf, Jie Hui, Yuewei Zhan, Yifan Zhu, George Y. Liu, Ji-Xin Cheng
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