Secondary bacterial respiratory infections are commonly associated with both acute and chronic lung injury. Influenza complicated by bacterial pneumonia is an effective model to study host defense during pulmonary superinfection due to its clinical relevance. Multiprotein inflammasomes are responsible for IL-1β production in response to infection and drive tissue inflammation. In this study, we examined the role of the inflammasome during viral/bacterial superinfection. We demonstrate that ASC–/– mice are protected from bacterial superinfection and produce sufficient quantities of IL-1β through an apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing CARD (ASC) inflammasome–independent mechanism. Despite the production of IL-1β by ASC–/– mice in response to bacterial superinfection, these mice display decreased lung inflammation. A neutrophil elastase inhibitor blocked ASC inflammasome–independent production of IL-1β and the IL-1 receptor antagonist, anakinra, confirmed that IL-1 remains crucial to the clearance of bacteria during superinfection. Delayed inhibition of NLRP3 during influenza infection by MCC950 decreases bacterial burden during superinfection and leads to decreased inflammatory cytokine production. Collectively, our results demonstrate that ASC augments the clearance of bacteria, but can also contribute to inflammation and mortality. ASC should be considered as a therapeutic target to decrease morbidity and mortality during bacterial superinfection.
Keven M. Robinson, Krishnaveni Ramanan, Michelle E. Clay, Kevin J. McHugh, Matthew J. Pilewski, Kara L. Nickolich, Catherine Corey, Sruti Shiva, Jieru Wang, John F. Alcorn
Hippo/YAP signaling plays pleiotropic roles in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation during organogenesis and tissue repair. Herein we demonstrate increased YAP activity in respiratory epithelial cells in lungs of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a common, lethal form of interstitial lung disease (ILD). Immunofluorescence staining in IPF epithelial cells demonstrated increased nuclear YAP and loss of MST1/2. Bioinformatic analyses of epithelial cell RNA profiles predicted increased activity of YAP and increased canonical mTOR/PI3K/AKT signaling in IPF. Phospho-S6 (p-S6) and p-PTEN were increased in IPF epithelial cells, consistent with activation of mTOR signaling. Expression of YAP (S127A), a constitutively active form of YAP, in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC3s) increased p-S6 and p-PI3K, cell proliferation and migration, processes that were inhibited by the YAP-TEAD inhibitor verteporfin. Activation of p-S6 was required for enhancing and stabilizing YAP, and the p-S6 inhibitor temsirolimus blocked nuclear YAP localization and suppressed expression of YAP target genes CTGF, AXL, and AJUBA (JUB). YAP and mTOR/p-S6 signaling pathways interact to induce cell proliferation and migration, and inhibit epithelial cell differentiation that may contribute to the pathogenesis of IPF.
Jason J. Gokey, Anusha Sridharan, Yan Xu, Jenna Green, Gianni Carraro, Barry R. Stripp, Anne-Karina T. Perl, Jeffrey A. Whitsett
Periplakin is a component of the desmosomes that acts as a cytolinker between intermediate filament scaffolding and the desmosomal plaque. Periplakin is strongly expressed by epithelial cells in the lung and is a target antigen for autoimmunity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The aim of this study was to determine the role of periplakin during lung injury and remodeling in a mouse model of lung fibrosis induced by bleomycin. We found that periplakin expression was downregulated in the whole lung and in alveolar epithelial cells following bleomycin-induced injury. Deletion of the Ppl gene in mice improved survival and reduced lung fibrosis development after bleomycin-induced injury. Notably, Ppl deletion promoted an antiinflammatory alveolar environment linked to profound changes in type 2 alveolar epithelial cells, including overexpression of antiinflammatory cytokines, decreased expression of profibrotic mediators, and altered cell signaling with a reduced response to TGF-β1. These results identify periplakin as a previously unidentified regulator of the response to injury in the lung.
Valérie Besnard, Rania Dagher, Tania Madjer, Audrey Joannes, Madeleine Jaillet, Martin Kolb, Philippe Bonniaud, Lynne A. Murray, Matthew A. Sleeman, Bruno Crestani
Traditional pulmonary therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) target the downstream effects of CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) dysfunction (the cause of CF). Use of one such therapy, β-adrenergic bronchodilators (such as albuterol), is nearly universal for airway clearance. Conversely, novel modulator therapies restore function to select mutant CFTR proteins, offering a disease-modifying treatment. Recent trials of modulators targeting F508del-CFTR, the most common CFTR mutation, suggest that chronic β-agonist use may undermine clinical modulator benefits. We therefore sought to understand the impact of chronic or excess β-agonist exposure on CFTR activation in human airway epithelium. The present studies demonstrate a greater than 60% reduction in both wild-type and modulator-corrected F508del-CFTR activation following chronic exposure to short- and long-acting β-agonists. This reduction was due to reduced cellular generation of cAMP downstream of the β-2 adrenergic receptor–G protein complex. Our results point towards a posttranscriptional reduction in adenylyl cyclase function as the mechanism of impaired CFTR activation produced by prolonged β-agonist exposure. β-Agonist–induced CFTR dysfunction was sufficient to abrogate VX809/VX770 modulation of F508del-CFTR in vitro. Understanding the clinical relevance of our observations is critical for CF patients using these drugs, and for investigators to inform future CFTR modulator drug trials.
John J. Brewington, Jessica Backstrom, Amanda Feldman, Elizabeth L. Kramer, Jessica D. Moncivaiz, Alicia J. Ostmann, Xiaoting Zhu, L. Jason Lu, John P. Clancy
Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Cigarette smoke (CS) exposure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are risk factors for CD, although the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. We employed a mouse model of CS-induced experimental COPD and clinical studies to examine these mechanisms. Concurrent with the development of pulmonary pathology and impaired gas exchange, CS-exposed mice developed CD-associated pathology in the colon and ileum, including gut mucosal tissue hypoxia, HIF-2 stabilization, inflammation, increased microvasculature, epithelial cell turnover, and decreased intestinal barrier function. Subsequent smoking cessation reduced GIT pathology, particularly in the ileum. Dimethyloxaloylglycine, a pan-prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor, ameliorated CS-induced GIT pathology independently of pulmonary pathology. Prior smoke exposure exacerbated intestinal pathology in 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid–induced (TNBS-induced) colitis. Circulating vascular endothelial growth factor, a marker of systemic hypoxia, correlated with CS exposure and CD in mice and humans. Increased mucosal vascularisation was evident in ileum biopsies from CD patients who smoke compared with nonsmokers, supporting our preclinical data. We provide strong evidence that chronic CS exposure and, for the first time to our knowledge, associated impaired gas exchange cause systemic and intestinal ischemia, driving angiogenesis and GIT epithelial barrier dysfunction, resulting in increased risk and severity of CD.
Michael Fricker, Bridie J. Goggins, Sean Mateer, Bernadette Jones, Richard Y. Kim, Shaan L. Gellatly, Andrew G. Jarnicki, Nicholas Powell, Brian G. Oliver, Graham Radford-Smith, Nicholas J. Talley, Marjorie M. Walker, Simon Keely, Philip M. Hansbro
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a highly prevalent and devastating condition for which no curative treatment is available. Exaggerated lung cell senescence may be a major pathogenic factor. Here, we investigated the potential role for mTOR signaling in lung cell senescence and alterations in COPD using lung tissue and derived cultured cells from patients with COPD and from age- and sex-matched control smokers. Cell senescence in COPD was linked to mTOR activation, and mTOR inhibition by low-dose rapamycin prevented cell senescence and inhibited the proinflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype. To explore whether mTOR activation was a causal pathogenic factor, we developed transgenic mice exhibiting mTOR overactivity in lung vascular cells or alveolar epithelial cells. In this model, mTOR activation was sufficient to induce lung cell senescence and to mimic COPD lung alterations, with the rapid development of lung emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, and inflammation. These findings support a causal relationship between mTOR activation, lung cell senescence, and lung alterations in COPD, thereby identifying the mTOR pathway as a potentially new therapeutic target in COPD.
Amal Houssaini, Marielle Breau, Kanny Kebe, Shariq Abid, Elisabeth Marcos, Larissa Lipskaia, Dominique Rideau, Aurelien Parpaleix, Jin Huang, Valerie Amsellem, Nora Vienney, Pierre Validire, Bernard Maitre, Aya Attwe, Christina Lukas, David Vindrieux, Jorge Boczkowski, Genevieve Derumeaux, Mario Pende, David Bernard, Silke Meiners, Serge Adnot
Neutrophils dominate the early immune response in pathogen-induced acute lung injury, but efforts to harness their responses have not led to therapeutic advancements. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have been proposed as an innate defense mechanism responsible for pathogen clearance, but there are concerns that NETs may induce collateral damage to host tissues. Here, we detected NETs in abundance in mouse models of severe bacterial pneumonia/acute lung injury and in human subjects with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from pneumonia or sepsis. Decreasing NETs reduced lung injury and improved survival after DNase I treatment or with partial protein arginine deiminase 4 deficiency (PAD4+/–). Complete PAD4 deficiency (PAD4–/–) reduced NETs and lung injury but was counterbalanced by increased bacterial load and inflammation. Importantly, we discovered that the lipoxin pathway could be a potent modulator of NET formation, and that mice deficient in the lipoxin receptor (Fpr2–/–) produced excess NETs leading to increased lung injury and mortality. Lastly, we observed in humans that increased plasma NETs were associated with ARDS severity and mortality, and lower plasma DNase I levels were associated with the development of sepsis-induced ARDS. We conclude that a critical balance of NETs is necessary to prevent lung injury and to maintain microbial control, which has important therapeutic implications.
Emma Lefrançais, Beñat Mallavia, Hanjing Zhuo, Carolyn S. Calfee, Mark R. Looney
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
Phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) and PDE4 regulate levels of cyclic AMP, which are critical in various cell types involved in allergic airway inflammation. Although PDE4 inhibition attenuates allergic airway inflammation, reported side effects preclude its application as an antiasthma drug in humans. Case reports showed that enoximone, which is a smooth muscle relaxant that inhibits PDE3, is beneficial and lifesaving in status asthmaticus and is well tolerated. However, clinical observations also showed antiinflammatory effects of PDE3 inhibition. In this study, we investigated the role of PDE3 in a house dust mite–driven (HDM-driven) allergic airway inflammation (AAI) model that is characterized by T helper 2 cell activation, eosinophilia, and reduced mucosal barrier function. Compared with wild-type (WT) littermates, mice with a targeted deletion of the PDE3A or PDE3B gene showed significantly reduced HDM-driven AAI. Therapeutic intervention in WT mice showed that all hallmarks of HDM-driven AAI were abrogated by the PDE3 inhibitors enoximone and milrinone. Importantly, we found that enoximone also reduced the upregulation of the CD11b integrin on mouse and human eosinophils in vitro, which is crucial for their recruitment during allergic inflammation. This study provides evidence for a hitherto unknown antiinflammatory role of PDE3 inhibition in allergic airway inflammation and offers a potentially novel treatment approach.
Jan Beute, Melanie Lukkes, Ewout P. Koekoek, Hedwika Nastiti, Keerthana Ganesh, Marjolein J.W. de Bruijn, Steve Hockman, Menno van Nimwegen, Gert-Jan Braunstahl, Louis Boon, Bart N. Lambrecht, Vince C. Manganiello, Rudi W. Hendriks, Alex KleinJan
Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is acute lung injury within 72 hours of lung transplantation. We hypothesized that cell-free hemoglobin (CFH) contributes to PGD by increasing lung microvascular permeability and tested this in patients, ex vivo human lungs, and cultured human lung microvascular endothelial cells. In a nested case control study of 40 patients with severe PGD at 72 hours and 80 matched controls without PGD, elevated preoperative CFH was independently associated with increased PGD risk (odds ratio [OR] 2.75, 95%CI, 1.23–6.16, P = 0.014). The effect of CFH on PGD was magnified by reperfusion fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) ≥ 0.40 (OR 3.41, P = 0.031). Isolated perfused human lungs exposed to intravascular CFH (100 mg/dl) developed increased vascular permeability as measured by lung weight (CFH 14.4% vs. control 0.65%, P = 0.047) and extravasation of Evans blue–labeled albumin dye (EBD) into the airspace (P = 0.027). CFH (1 mg/dl) also increased paracellular permeability of human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell monolayers (hPMVECs). Hyperoxia (FiO2 = 0.95) increased human lung and hPMVEC permeability compared with normoxia (FiO2 = 0.21). Treatment with acetaminophen (15 μg/ml), a specific hemoprotein reductant, prevented CFH-dependent permeability in human lungs (P = 0.046) and hPMVECs (P = 0.037). In summary, CFH may mediate PGD through oxidative effects on microvascular permeability, which are augmented by hyperoxia and abrogated by acetaminophen.
Ciara M. Shaver, Nancy Wickersham, J. Brennan McNeil, Hiromasa Nagata, Adam Miller, Stuart R. Landstreet, Jamie L. Kuck, Joshua M. Diamond, David J. Lederer, Steven M. Kawut, Scott M. Palmer, Keith M. Wille, Ann Weinacker, Vibha N. Lama, Maria M. Crespo, Jonathan B. Orens, Pali D. Shah, Chadi A. Hage, Edward Cantu III, Mary K. Porteous, Gundeep Dhillon, John McDyer, Julie A. Bastarache, Jason D. Christie, Lorraine B. Ware, the Lung Transplant Outcomes Group (LTOG)
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