Nrf2 is a critical regulator of the innate immune response and survival during experimental sepsis.
ABSTRACT: Host genetic factors that regulate innate immunity determine susceptibility to sepsis. Disruption of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a basic leucine zipper transcription factor that regulates redox balance and stress response, dramatically increased the mortality of mice in response to endotoxin- and cecal ligation and puncture-induced septic shock. LPS as well as TNF-alpha stimulus resulted in greater lung inflammation in Nrf2-deficient mice. Temporal analysis of pulmonary global gene expression after LPS challenge revealed augmented expression of large numbers of proinflammatory genes associated with the innate immune response at as early as 30 minutes in lungs of Nrf2-deficient mice, indicating severe immune dysregulation. The expression profile indicated that Nrf2 has a global influence on both MyD88-dependent and -independent signaling. Nrf2-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts showed greater activation of NF-kappaB and interferon regulatory factor 3 in response to LPS and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] stimulus, corroborating the effect of Nrf2 on MyD88-dependent and -independent signaling. Nrf2's regulation of cellular glutathione and other antioxidants is critical for optimal NF-kappaB activation in response to LPS and TNF-alpha. Our study reveals Nrf2 as a novel modifier gene of sepsis that determines survival by mounting an appropriate innate immune response.
Project description:Sepsis syndrome is characterized by a dysregulated inflammatory response to infection. NADPH oxidase-dependent reactive oxygen species (ROS) play significant roles in the pathophysiology of sepsis. We previously showed that disruption of Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant defenses, caused a dysregulation of innate immune response that resulted in greater mortality in a polymicrobial sepsis and LPS shock model; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. In the current study, compared with wild-type (Nrf2(+/+)) macrophages, we observed greater protein kinase C-induced NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS generation in Nrf2-disrupted (Nrf2(-/-)) macrophages that was modulated by glutathione levels. To address the NADPH oxidase-mediated hyperinflammatory response and sepsis-induced lung injury and mortality in Nrf2(-/-) mice, we used double knockout mice lacking Nrf2 and NADPH oxidase subunit, gp91(phox) (Nrf2(-/-)//gp91(phox-/-)). Compared with Nrf2(+/+) macrophages, LPS induced greater activation of TLR4 as evident by TLR4 surface trafficking and downstream recruitment of MyD88 and Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adaptor in Nrf2(-/-) macrophages that was diminished by ablation of gp91(phox). Similarly, phosphorylation of IkappaB and IFN regulatory factor 3 as well as cytokine expression was markedly higher in Nrf2(-/-) macrophages; whereas, it was similar in Nrf2(+/+) and Nrf2(-/-)//gp91(phox-/-). In vivo studies showed greater LPS-induced pulmonary inflammation in Nrf2(-/-) mice that was significantly reduced by ablation of gp91(phox). Furthermore, LPS shock and polymicrobial sepsis induced early and greater mortality in Nrf2(-/-) mice; whereas, Nrf2(-/-)//gp91(phox-/-) showed prolonged survival. Together, these results demonstrate that Nrf2 is essential for the regulation of NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS-mediated TLR4 activation and lethal innate immune response in sepsis.
Project description:Sepsis induced lethality is characterized by amplified host innate immune response. Nrf2, a bZIP transcription factor, regulates a battery of cellular antioxidative genes and maintains cellular redox homeostasis. This study demonstrates that increasing Nrf2 activity by a potent small molecule activator, CDDO-Im (1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole), protects from deregulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced innate immune response. In response to LPS stimuli, nrf2-deficient (nrf2 -/-) peritoneal neutrophils showed increased NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS generation, proinflammatory cytokines (Tnf-alpha and Il-6) and chemokines (Mip2 and Mcp-1) relative to wild-type (nrf2 +/+) cells. Pretreatment of peritoneal neutrophils with CDDO-Im induced antioxidative genes (Ho-1, Gclc, Gclm, and Nqo1) and attenuated LPS induced ROS generation as well as expression of proinflammatory cytokines exclusively in nrf2 +/+ neutrophils but not in nrf2 -/- cells. In corroboration with in vitro studies, pretreatment with CDDO-Im induced Nrf2-dependent antioxidative genes, attenuated LPS induced proinflammatory cytokine expression, and decreased mortality specifically in the nrf2 +/+ mice. In conclusion, the results suggest that Nrf2 is associated with oxidative regulation of LPS induced innate immune response in neutrophils. Activation of Nrf2-dependent compensatory antioxidative pathways by CDDO-Im protects from LPS induced inflammatory response and mortality.
Project description:Sepsis syndrome is characterized by inappropriate amplified systemic inflammatory response and bacteremia that promote multiorgan failure and mortality. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) regulates a pleiotropic cytoprotective defense program including antioxidants and protects against several inflammatory disorders by inhibiting oxidative tissue injuries. However, the role of enhanced Nrf2 activity in modulating innate immune responses to microbial infection and pathogenesis of sepsis is unclear.To determine whether Nrf2 in myeloid leukocytes alters inflammatory response and protects against sepsis.Mice with deletion of Nrf2 or kelch-like ECH-associated protein (Keap1) in myeloid leukocyte cells and respective floxed controls were subjected to cecal ligation and puncture-induced sepsis and were assessed for survival, organ injury, systemic inflammation, and bacteremia. Using LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages, Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 surface trafficking and downstream signaling events were analyzed.Mortality, organ injury, circulating levels of inflammatory mediators, and bacteremia were markedly reduced in LysM-Keap1(-/-) compared with respective floxed controls (Keap1(f/f) or Nrf2(f/f)) and significantly elevated in LysM-Nrf2(-/-) mice after cecal ligation and puncture. Peritoneal macrophages from septic LysM-Keap1(-/-) mice showed a greater bacterial phagocytic activity compared with LysM-Nrf2(-/-) and floxed controls. LPS stimulation resulted in greater reactive oxygen species-induced cell surface transport of TLR4 from trans-Golgi network and subsequent TLR4 downstream signaling (recruitment of MYD88 and TRIF, phosphorylation of IkB and IRF3, and cytokine expression) in macrophages of LysM-Nrf2(-/-) compared with LysM-Keap1(-/-) mice and floxed controls.Our study shows that Nrf2 acts as a critical immunomodulator in leukocytes, controls host inflammatory response to bacterial infection, and protects against sepsis.
Project description:Previously we identified a transcription factor, LPS-Induced TNF-alpha Factor (LITAF), mediating inflammatory cytokine expression in LPS-induced processes. To characterize the role of LITAF in vivo, we generated a macrophage-specific LITAF-deficient mouse (macLITAF(-/-)). Our data demonstrate that in macrophages (i) several cytokines (such as TNF-alpha, IL-6, sTNF-RII, and CXCL16) are induced at lower levels in macLITAF(-/-) compared with LITAF(+/+) control macrophages; (ii) macLITAF(-/-) mice are more resistant to LPS-induced lethality. To further identify LITAF signaling pathways, we tested mouse TLR-2(-/-), -4(-/-), and -9(-/-) and WT peritoneal macrophages exposed to LPS. Using these cells, we now show that LITAF expression can be induced after challenge either with LPS from Porphyromonas gingivalis via agonism at TLR-2, or with LPS from Escherichia coli via agonism at TLR-4, both requiring functional MyD88. We also show that, in response to LPS, the MyD88-dependent LITAF pathway differs from the NF-kappaB pathway. Furthermore, using a kinase array, p38alpha was found to mediate LITAF phosphorylation and the inhibition of p38alpha with a p38-specific inhibitor (SB203580) blocked LITAF nuclear translocation and reduced LPS-induced TNF-alpha protein levels. Finally, macLITAF(-/-) macrophages rescued by LITAF cDNA transfection restored levels of TNF-alpha similar to those observed in WT cells. We conclude that LITAF is an important mediator of the LPS-induced inflammatory response that can be distinguished from NF-kappaB pathway and that p38alpha is the specific kinase involved in the pathway linking LPS/MyD88/LITAF to TNF.
Project description:Toll-IL-1-resistance (TIR) domain-containing adaptor-inducing IFN-beta (TRIF)-related adaptor molecule (TRAM) is the fourth TIR domain-containing adaptor protein to be described that participates in Toll receptor signaling. Like TRIF, TRAM activates interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-3, IRF-7, and NF-kappaB-dependent signaling pathways. Toll-like receptor (TLR)3 and 4 activate these pathways to induce IFN-alpha/beta, regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), and gamma interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) expression independently of the adaptor protein myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88). Dominant negative and siRNA studies performed here demonstrate that TRIF functions downstream of both the TLR3 (dsRNA) and TLR4 (LPS) signaling pathways, whereas the function of TRAM is restricted to the TLR4 pathway. TRAM interacts with TRIF, MyD88 adaptor-like protein (Mal)/TIRAP, and TLR4 but not with TLR3. These studies suggest that TRIF and TRAM both function in LPS-TLR4 signaling to regulate the MyD88-independent pathway during the innate immune response to LPS.
Project description:Crosstalk exists in mammalian cells between cholesterol trafficking and innate immune signaling. Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), a serum apolipoprotein that induces antiatherogenic efflux of macrophage cholesterol, is widely described as anti-inflammatory because it neutralizes bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Conversely, lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation is proatherogenic. However, whether innate immunity plays an endogenous, physiological role in host cholesterol homeostasis in the absence of infection is undetermined. We report that apoA-I signals in the macrophage through Toll-like receptor (TLR)2, TLR4, and CD14, utilizing myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88 (MyD88)-dependent and -independent pathways, to activate nuclear factor-kappaB and induce cytokines. MyD88 plays a critical role in reverse cholesterol transport in vitro and in vivo, in part through promoting ATP-binding cassette A1 transporter upregulation. Taken together, this work identifies apoA-I as an endogenous stimulus of innate immunity that couples cholesterol trafficking to inflammation through MyD88 and identifies innate immunity as a physiologic signal in cholesterol homeostasis.
Project description:Biglycan, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan, is a ubiquitous ECM component; however, its biological role has not been elucidated in detail. Here we show that biglycan acts in macrophages as an endogenous ligand of TLR4 and TLR2, which mediate innate immunity, leading to rapid activation of p38, ERK, and NF-kappaB and thereby stimulating the expression of TNF-alpha and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2). In agreement, the stimulatory effects of biglycan are significantly reduced in TLR4-mutant (TLR4-M), TLR2-/-, and myeloid differentiation factor 88-/- (MyD88-/-) macrophages and completely abolished in TLR2-/-/TLR4-M macrophages. Biglycan-null mice have a considerable survival benefit in LPS- or zymosan-induced sepsis due to lower levels of circulating TNF-alpha and reduced infiltration of mononuclear cells in the lung, which cause less end-organ damage. Importantly, when stimulated by LPS-induced proinflammatory factors, macrophages themselves are able to synthesize biglycan. Thus, biglycan, upon release from the ECM or from macrophages, can boost inflammation by signaling through TLR4 and TLR2, thereby enhancing the synthesis of TNF-alpha and MIP-2. Our results provide evidence for what is, to our knowledge, a novel role of the matrix component biglycan as a signaling molecule and a crucial proinflammatory factor. These findings are potentially relevant for the development of new strategies in the treatment of sepsis.
Project description:Activation of TLR4 by the endotoxin LPS is a critical event in the pathogenesis of Gram-negative sepsis. Caveolin-1, the signaling protein associated with caveolae, is implicated in regulating the lung inflammatory response to LPS; however, the mechanism is not understood. In this study, we investigated the role of caveolin-1 in regulating TLR4 signaling in endothelial cells. We observed that LPS interaction with CD14 in endothelial cells induced Src-dependent caveolin-1 phosphorylation at Tyr(14). Using a TLR4-MD2-CD14-transfected HEK-293 cell line and caveolin-1-deficient (cav-1(-/-)) mouse lung microvascular endothelial cells, we demonstrated that caveolin-1 phosphorylation at Tyr(14) following LPS exposure induced caveolin-1 and TLR4 interaction and, thereby, TLR4 activation of MyD88, leading to NF-?B activation and generation of proinflammatory cytokines. Exogenous expression of phosphorylation-deficient Y14F caveolin-1 mutant in cav-1(-/-) mouse pulmonary vasculature rendered the mice resistant to LPS compared with reintroduction of wild-type caveolin-1. Thus, caveolin-1 Y14 phosphorylation was required for the interaction with TLR4 and activation of TLR4-MyD88 signaling and sepsis-induced lung inflammation. Inhibiting caveolin-1 Tyr(14) phosphorylation and resultant inactivation of TLR4 signaling in pulmonary vascular endothelial cells represent a novel strategy for preventing sepsis-induced lung inflammation and injury.
Project description:Macrophage-specific Abca1 knock-out (Abca1(-)(M)(/-)(M)) mice were generated to determine the role of macrophage ABCA1 expression in plasma lipoprotein concentrations and the innate immune response of macrophages. Plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in chow-fed Abca1(-)(M)(/-)(M) and wild-type (WT) mice were indistinguishable. Compared with WT macrophages, Abca1(-)(M)(/-)(M) macrophages had a >95% reduction in ABCA1 protein, failed to efflux lipid to apoA-I, and had a significant increase in free cholesterol (FC) and membrane lipid rafts without induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated Abca1(-)(M)(/-)(M) macrophages exhibited enhanced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increased activation of the NF-kappaB and MAPK pathways, which could be diminished by silencing MyD88 or by chemical inhibition of NF-kappaB or MAPK. In vivo LPS injection also resulted in a higher pro-inflammatory response in Abca1(-)(M)(/-)(M) mice compared with WT mice. Furthermore, cholesterol depletion of macrophages with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin normalized FC content between the two genotypes and their response to LPS; cholesterol repletion of macrophages resulted in increased cellular FC accumulation and enhanced cellular response to LPS. Our results suggest that macrophage ABCA1 expression may protect against atherosclerosis by facilitating the net removal of excess lipid from macrophages and dampening pro-inflammatory MyD88-dependent signaling pathways by reduction of cell membrane FC and lipid raft content.
Project description:Group B streptococcus (GBS), the most frequent single isolate in neonatal sepsis and meningitis, potently activates inflammatory macrophage genes via myeloid differentiation antigen 88 (MyD88). However, events parallel to and downstream of MyD88 that instruct the macrophage response are incompletely understood. In this study, we found that only MyD88, not the Toll-like receptor (TLR) adapter proteins MAL/TIRAP, TRIF, and TRAM, essentially mediates the cytokine (tumor necrosis factor [TNF] and interleukin-6) and chemokine (RANTES) responses to whole GBS organisms, although MAL, TRIF, and TRAM have been shown to mediate the responses to substructures in other gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. GBS-induced, MyD88-dependent phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 activated the transcription factor AP-1 and early growth response factor 1 (Egr-1) but not NF-kappaB. Furthermore, phosphorylation of Ets-like molecule 1 (Elk-1) was mediated by p38. However, in contrast to Egr-1 and AP-1, Elk-1 was dispensable for transcriptional activation of TNF by GBS organisms. Studies of macrophages from Elk-1-deficient mice revealed that Elk-1 was furthermore nonessential for the TNF responses to purified TLR2 and TLR4 agonists, which was in notable contrast to what was revealed in studies employing in vitro expression systems. In conclusion, MyD88, p38, and Egr-1, but not Elk-1, essentially mediate the inflammatory cytokine response to GBS organisms.