ABSTRACT: Neutrophils are rapidly recruited to sites of tissue injury or infection, where they protect against invading pathogens. Neutrophil functions are limited by a process of neutrophil senescence, which renders the cells unable to respond to chemoattractants, carry out respiratory burst, or degranulate. In parallel, aged neutrophils also undergo spontaneous apoptosis, which can be delayed by factors such as GMCSF. This is then followed by their subsequent removal by phagocytic cells such as macrophages, thereby preventing unwanted inflammation and tissue damage. Neutrophils translate mRNA to make new proteins that are important in maintaining functional longevity. We therefore hypothesised that neutrophil functions and lifespan might be regulated by microRNAs expressed within human neutrophils. Total RNA from highly purified neutrophils was prepared and subjected to microarray analysis using the Agilent human miRNA microarray V3. We found human neutrophils expressed a selected repertoire of 148 microRNAs and that 6 of these were significantly upregulated after a period of 4 hours in culture, at a time when the contribution of apoptosis is negligible. A list of predicted targets for these 6 microRNAs was generated from http://mirecords.biolead.org and compared to mRNA species downregulated over time, revealing 83 genes targeted by at least 2 out of the 6 regulated microRNAs. Pathway analysis of genes containing binding sites for these microRNAs identified the following pathways: chemokine and cytokine signalling, Ras pathway, and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Our data suggest that microRNAs may play a role in the regulation of neutrophil senescence and further suggest that manipulation of microRNAs might represent an area of future therapeutic interest for the treatment of inflammatory disease.
Project description:Neutrophils respond to chemoattractants by aggregating, degranulating, remodelling of phospholipids and releasing arachidonic acid. To determine whether ligand-induced remodelling of phospholipids depends on redistribution of intracellular organelles (degranulation), we compared phospholipid remodelling of human neutrophils with that of neutrophil-derived cytoplasts. Cytoplasts, organelle-depleted vesicles of cytosol surrounded by plasmalemma, cannot degranulate. Without a stimulus, [3H]arachidonate was incorporated preferentially into phosphatidylinositol (PI) and phosphatidylcholine (PC). Exposure of cytoplasts and neutrophils prelabelled with [3H]arachidonate or [14C]glycerol to fMet-Leu-Phe (10(-7) M) induced rapid changes in distribution of label and mass of individual phospholipids: [3H]arachidonate in phosphatidic acid (PA) increased 500% (120 s), [14C]glycerol incorporation and mass of PA approached 200% of unstimulated values, and [3H]arachidonate in PI decreased continuously; these data are compatible with activity of a PI/PA cycle. However, the mass of PI in both preparations and [14C]glycerol label in intact neutrophils increased initially (5 s), suggesting net synthesis and mobilization of more than one pool of PI. Heterogeneity of PC pools was also observed: [3H]arachidonate was lost from PC immediately upon addition of stimulus, whereas mass and [14C]glycerol values increased. Thus, net phospholipid synthesis, redistribution of arachidonate and activation of the PI/PA cycle are immediate responses of the neutrophil to receptor occupancy by chemoattractants. Furthermore, the similarity in response to fMet-Leu-Phe of neutrophils and granule-free cytoplasts indicates that these processes are independent of degranulation.
Project description:Neutrophils constitute the largest class of white blood cells and are the first responders in the innate immune response. They are able to sense and migrate up concentration gradients of chemoattractants in search of primary sites of infection and inflammation through a process known as chemotaxis. These chemoattractants include formylated peptides and various chemokines. While much is known about chemotaxis to individual chemoattractants, far less is known about chemotaxis towards many. Previous studies have shown that in opposing gradients of intermediate chemoattractants (interleukin-8 and leukotriene B4), neutrophils preferentially migrate toward the more distant source. In this work, we investigated neutrophil chemotaxis in opposing gradients of chemoattractants using a microfluidic platform. We found that primary neutrophils exhibit oscillatory motion in opposing gradients of intermediate chemoattractants. To understand this behavior, we constructed a mathematical model of neutrophil chemotaxis. Our results suggest that sensory adaptation alone cannot explain the observed oscillatory motion. Rather, our model suggests that neutrophils employ a winner-take-all mechanism that enables them to transiently lock onto sensed targets and continuously switch between the intermediate attractant sources as they are encountered. These findings uncover a previously unseen behavior of neutrophils in opposing gradients of chemoattractants that will further aid in our understanding of neutrophil chemotaxis and the innate immune response. In addition, we propose a winner-take-all mechanism allows the cells to avoid stagnation near local chemical maxima when migrating through a network of chemoattractant sources.
Project description:Neutrophilia is a characteristic of hemolytic uremic syndrome caused by Shiga toxin (Stx2)-producing Escherichia coli. However, the role of neutrophils in the toxin-induced renal injury occurring in enterohemorrhagic E. coli infection remains undefined. We report the trafficking of neutrophils to the kidney of C57BL/6 mice throughout a 72-hour time course after challenge with purified E. coli Stx2 and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Increased neutrophils were observed in the renal cortex, particularly within the glomeruli where a more than fourfold increase in neutrophils was noted within 2 hours after challenge. Using microarray analysis, an increased number of transcripts for chemoattractants CXCL1/KC (69-fold at 2 hours) and CXCL2/MIP-2 (29-fold at 2 hours) were detected. Ribonuclease protection assays, Northern blotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunohistochemistry confirmed microarray results, showing that both chemokines were expressed only on the immediate periglomerular epithelium and that these events coincided with neutrophil invasion of glomeruli. Co-administration of Stx2 with LPS enhanced and prolonged the KC and MIP-2 host response (RNA and protein) induced by LPS alone. Immunoneutralization in vivo of CXCL1/KC and CXCL2/MIP-2 abrogated neutrophil migration into glomeruli by 85%. These data define the molecular basis for neutrophil migration into the kidney after exposure to virulence factors of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7.
Project description:Neutrophil recruitment into tissue plays an important role in host defense and disease pathogenesis, including the inflammatory arthritides. A multitude of diverse chemoattractants have been implicated in neutrophil recruitment, suggesting that they have overlapping functions in mediating this critical biological response. However, here we demonstrate a unique, non-redundant role for the leukotriene B4 receptor BLT1 in mediating neutrophil recruitment into the joint in the K/BxN mouse model of inflammatory arthritis. We demonstrate that neutrophil expression of BLT1 was absolutely required for arthritis generation and chemokine production in this model, and that specific BLT1 inhibition reversed established disease. Adoptive transfer of wild-type (WT) neutrophils restored arthritis and chemokine production in BLT1(-/-) mice. Surprisingly, the primary effect of the transferred WT neutrophils into BLT1(-/-) mice was to promote the entry of endogenous BLT1(-/-) neutrophils into the joints of these mice. However, continued joint inflammation was dependent on the presence of WT neutrophils, indicating an ongoing specific requirement for BLT1-activated neutrophils in mediating BLT1(-/-) neutrophil recruitment by other chemoattractants. These experiments demonstrate that neutrophil BLT1 functions in a novel and essential non-cell-autonomous manner to enable the recruitment of additional neutrophils not expressing this receptor, thereby amplifying the inflammatory response in autoantibody-induced arthritis.
Project description:Ly6G is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein of unknown function that is commonly targeted to induce experimental neutrophil depletion in mice. In the present study, we found that doses of anti-Ly6G Abs too low to produce sustained neutropenia remained capable of inhibiting experimental arthritis, leaving joint tissues free of infiltrating neutrophils. Thioglycollate-stimulated peritonitis was also attenuated. No alteration in neutrophil apoptosis was observed, implicating impaired recruitment. Indeed, Ly6G ligation abrogated neutrophil migration toward LTB(4) and other chemoattractants in a transwell system. Exploring the basis for this blockade, we identified colocalization of Ly6G and ?2-integrins by confocal microscopy and confirmed close association by both coimmunoprecipitation and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy. Anti-Ly6G Ab impaired surface expression of ?2-integrins in LTB(4)-stimulated neutrophils and mimicked CD11a blockade in inhibiting both ICAM-1 binding and firm adhesion to activated endothelium under flow conditions. Correspondingly, migration of ?2-integrin-deficient neutrophils was no longer inhibited by anti-Ly6G. These results demonstrate that experimental targeting of Ly6G has functional effects on the neutrophil population and identify a previously unappreciated role for Ly6G as a modulator of neutrophil migration to sites of inflammation via a ?2-integrin-dependent mechanism.
Project description:Neutrophils, in response to a chemoattractant gradient, undergo dynamic F-actin remodeling, a process important for their directional migration or chemotaxis. However, signaling mechanisms for chemoattractants to regulate the process are incompletely understood. Here, we characterized chemoattractant-activated signaling mechanisms that regulate cofilin dephosphorylation and actin cytoskeleton reorganization and are critical for neutrophil polarization and chemotaxis. In neutrophils, chemoattractants induced phosphorylation and inhibition of GSK3 via both PLC?-PKC and PI3K?-AKT pathways, leading to the attenuation of GSK3-mediated phosphorylation and inhibition of the cofilin phosphatase slingshot2 and an increase in dephosphorylated, active cofilin. The relative contribution of this GSK3-mediated pathway to neutrophil chemotaxis regulation depended on neutrophil polarity preset by integrin-induced polarization of PIP5K1C. Therefore, our study characterizes a signaling mechanism for chemoattractant-induced actin cytoskeleton remodeling and elucidates its context-dependent role in regulating neutrophil polarization and chemotaxis.
Project description:Pneumonic plague is a fatal disease caused by Yersinia pestis that is associated with a delayed immune response in the lungs. Because neutrophils are the first immune cells recruited to sites of infection, we investigated the mechanisms responsible for their delayed homing to the lung. During the first 24 hr after pulmonary infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain, no significant changes were observed in the lungs in the levels of neutrophils infiltrate, expression of adhesion molecules, or the expression of the major neutrophil chemoattractants keratinocyte cell-derived chemokine (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). In contrast, early induction of chemokines, rapid neutrophil infiltration and a reduced bacterial burden were observed in the lungs of mice infected with an avirulent Y. pestis strain. In vitro infection of lung-derived cell-lines with a YopJ mutant revealed the involvement of YopJ in the inhibition of chemoattractants expression. However, the recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs of mice infected with the mutant was still delayed and associated with rapid bacterial propagation and mortality. Interestingly, whereas KC, MIP-2 and G-CSF mRNA levels in the lungs were up-regulated early after infection with the mutant, their protein levels remained constant, suggesting that Y. pestis may employ additional mechanisms to suppress early chemoattractants induction in the lung. It therefore seems that prevention of the early influx of neutrophils to the lungs is of major importance for Y. pestis virulence. Indeed, pulmonary instillation of KC and MIP-2 to G-CSF-treated mice infected with Y. pestis led to rapid homing of neutrophils to the lung followed by a reduction in bacterial counts at 24 hr post-infection and improved survival rates. These observations shed new light on the virulence mechanisms of Y. pestis during pneumonic plague, and have implications for the development of novel therapies against this pathogen.
Project description:The dynamics of neutrophil chemotaxis under competing chemoattractant gradients was studied using a microfluidic platform. This microfluidic platform, which establishes a stable and dynamic gradient of chemoattractants across a cell culture chamber, enabled the investigation of human neutrophil migration patterns in the presences of four different chemoattractants (leukotriene B(4), chemokine C-X-C motif ligands 2 and 8, and fMLP) and competing gradients of all pairwise combinations. The migration patterns for individual cells were tracked and quantitatively analyzed, and the results suggest a hierarchy among these chemoattractants of fMLP > CXCL8 > CXCL2 > leukotriene B(4). In all conditions, over 60% of neutrophils exposed to a competing gradient move toward the stronger signal though the weaker chemoattractant still influences neutrophil motility. These results yield insight about how each chemoattractant contributes to overall neutrophil chemotaxis within complex physiological environments.
Project description:Neutrophils are first responders rapidly mobilized to inflammatory sites by a tightly regulated, nonredundant hierarchy of chemoattractants. These chemoattractants engage neutrophil cell surface receptors triggering heterotrimeric G-protein G?(i) subunits to exchange GDP for GTP. By limiting the duration that G?(i) subunits remain GTP bound, RGS proteins modulate chemoattractant receptor signaling. Here, we show that neutrophils with a genomic knock in of a mutation that disables regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS)-G?(i2) interactions accumulate in the bone marrow and mobilize poorly to inflammatory sites. These defects are attributable to enhanced sensitivity to background signals, prolonged chemoattractant receptor signaling, and inappropriate CXCR2 downregulation. Intravital imaging revealed a failure of the mutant neutrophils to accumulate at and stabilize sites of sterile inflammation. Furthermore, these mice could not control a nonlethal Staphylococcus aureus infection. Neutrophil RGS proteins establish a threshold for G?(i) activation, helping to coordinate desensitization mechanisms. Their loss renders neutrophils functionally incompetent.
Project description:Neutrophil recruitment to inflammation sites purportedly depends on sequential waves of chemoattractants. Current models propose that leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)), a secondary chemoattractant secreted by neutrophils in response to primary chemoattractants such as formyl peptides, is important in initiating the inflammation process. In this study we demonstrate that LTB(4) plays a central role in neutrophil activation and migration to formyl peptides. We show that LTB(4) production dramatically amplifies formyl peptide-mediated neutrophil polarization and chemotaxis by regulating specific signaling pathways acting upstream of actin polymerization and MyoII phosphorylation. Importantly, by analyzing the migration of neutrophils isolated from wild-type mice and mice lacking the formyl peptide receptor 1, we demonstrate that LTB(4) acts as a signal to relay information from cell to cell over long distances. Together, our findings imply that LTB(4) is a signal-relay molecule that exquisitely regulates neutrophil chemotaxis to formyl peptides, which are produced at the core of inflammation sites.