Roles of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and superantigens on adaptive immune responses during CNS staphylococcal infection.
ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus is a common etiologic agent of brain abscesses and possesses numerous virulence factors that manipulate host immunity. One example is superantigens (SAG) that clonally expand T cell subsets bearing specific V? receptors. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is one receptor implicated in S. aureus recognition. However, the interplay between TLR2, SAG, and adaptive immunity during brain abscess formation has not yet been investigated and could reveal novel insights into host-pathogen interactions for regulating protective immunity. A comprehensive analysis of abscess-associated T cell populations in TLR2 KO and WT mice was performed following infection with a S. aureus clinical isolate. Both natural killer T (NKT) and ?? T cell infiltrates were increased in brain abscesses of TLR2 KO mice and produced more IL-17 and IFN-? compared to WT populations, which could have resulted from elevated bacterial burdens observed in these animals. Analysis of SAG-reactive T cells revealed a predominant V?(8.1,8.2) infiltrate reactive with staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), whereas SEA-reactive V?(11) T cells were less numerous. Brain abscesses of TLR2 KO mice had fewer V?(8.1,8.2) and V?(11) T cells and produced less TNF-? and IFN-? compared to WT animals. Treatment of primary microglia with purified SEB augmented TNF-? production in response to the TLR2 ligand Pam3Cys, which may serve to amplify proinflammatory cascades during CNS S. aureus infection. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that TLR2 impacts adaptive immunity to S. aureus infection and modulates SAG responses.
Project description:TLR2 plays a pivotal role in recognizing Staphylococcus aureus, a common etiologic agent of CNS parenchymal infections, such as brain abscess. We previously reported that brain abscesses of TLR2 knockout (KO) mice exhibited elevated IL-17 levels, suggesting the presence of an alternative pathway available to respond to S. aureus infection that may involve Th17 cells. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell infiltrates were elevated in brain abscesses of TLR2 KO mice at days 3, 7, and 14 postinfection compared with wild-type animals. Intracellular cytokine staining revealed a significant increase in the frequency of IL-17-producing Th17 cells in TLR2 KO mice with relatively few IFN-gamma-positive cells. gammadelta T cells were also a source of IL-17 in brain abscesses. Microglia, astrocytes, and macrophages were shown to express both IL-17RA and IL-17RC. Despite receptor expression, IL-17 was relatively ineffective at eliciting glial activation, whereas the cytokine augmented the ability of TNF-alpha to induce CXCL2 and CCL2 expression by macrophages. Based on the ability of IL-17 to elicit the release of chemokines and other proinflammatory mediators, we propose that the exaggerated IL-17 response that occurs in TLR2 KO mice functions in a compensatory manner to control brain abscess pathogenesis, with cells other than glia as targets for IL-17 action. This is supported by our findings in which innate immune infiltrates were not significantly different between TLR2 KO and wild-type mice in conjunction with the lack of prolonged alterations in the synthesis of other proinflammatory molecules during the course of infection.
Project description:MyD88 KO (knockout) mice are exquisitely sensitive to CNS (central nervous system) infection with Staphylococcus aureus, a common aetiological agent of brain abscess, exhibiting global defects in innate immunity and exacerbated tissue damage. However, since brain abscesses are typified by the involvement of both activated CNS-resident and infiltrating immune cells, in our previous studies it has been impossible to determine the relative contribution of MyD88-dependent signalling in the CNS compared with the peripheral immune cell compartments. In the present study we addressed this by examining the course of S. aureus infection in MyD88 bone marrow chimaera mice. Interestingly, chimaeras where MyD88 was present in the CNS, but not bone marrow-derived cells, mounted pro-inflammatory mediator expression profiles and neutrophil recruitment equivalent to or exceeding that detected in WT (wild-type) mice. These results implicate CNS MyD88 as essential in eliciting the initial wave of inflammation during the acute response to parenchymal infection. Microarray analysis of infected MyD88 KO compared with WT mice revealed a preponderance of differentially regulated genes involved in apoptotic pathways, suggesting that the extensive tissue damage characteristic of brain abscesses from MyD88 KO mice could result from dysregulated apoptosis. Collectively, the findings of the present study highlight a novel mechanism for CNS-resident cells in initiating a protective innate immune response in the infected brain and, in the absence of MyD88 in this compartment, immunity is compromised.
Project description:Infection with (SAg)-producing bacteria may precede or follow infection with or vaccination against influenza A viruses (IAVs). However, how SAgs alter the breadth of IAV-specific CD8+ T cell (TCD8) responses is unknown. Moreover, whether recall responses mediating heterosubtypic immunity to IAVs are manipulated by SAgs remains unexplored. We employed wild-type (WT) and mutant bacterial SAgs, SAg-sufficient/deficient Staphylococcus aureus strains, and WT, mouse-adapted and reassortant IAV strains in multiple in vivo settings to address the above questions. Contrary to the popular view that SAgs delete or anergize T cells, systemic administration of staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) or Mycoplasma arthritidis mitogen before intraperitoneal IAV immunization enlarged the clonal size of 'select' IAV-specific TCD8 and reshuffled the hierarchical pattern of primary TCD8 responses. This was mechanistically linked to the TCR V? makeup of the impacted clones rather than their immunodominance status. Importantly, SAg-expanded TCD8 retained their IFN-? production and cognate cytolytic capacities. The enhancing effect of SEB on immunodominant TCD8 was also evident in primary responses to vaccination with heat-inactivated and live attenuated IAV strains administered intramuscularly and intranasally, respectively. Interestingly, in prime-boost immunization settings, the outcome of SEB administration depended strictly upon the time point at which this SAg was introduced. Accordingly, SEB injection before priming raised CD127highKLRG1low memory precursor frequencies and augmented the anamnestic responses of SEB-binding TCD8. By comparison, introducing SEB before boosting diminished recall responses to IAV-derived epitopes drastically and indiscriminately. This was accompanied by lower Ki67 and higher Fas, LAG-3 and PD-1 levels consistent with a pro-apoptotic and/or exhausted phenotype. Therefore, SAgs can have contrasting impacts on anti-IAV immunity depending on the naïve/memory status and the TCR composition of exposed TCD8. Finally, local administration of SEB or infection with SEB-producing S. aureus enhanced pulmonary TCD8 responses to IAV. Our findings have clear implications for superinfections and prophylactic vaccination.
Project description:Brain abscesses arise following parenchymal infection with pyogenic bacteria and are typified by inflammation and edema, which frequently results in a multitude of long-term health problems. The impact of adaptive immunity in shaping continued innate responses during late-stage brain abscess formation is not known but is important, because robust innate immunity is required for effective bacterial clearance. To address this issue, brain abscesses were induced in TCR ?? knockout (KO) mice, because CD4(+) and NKT cells represented the most numerous T cell infiltrates. TCR ?? KO mice exhibited impaired bacterial clearance during later stages of infection, which was associated with alterations in neutrophil and macrophage recruitment, as well as perturbations in cytokine/chemokine expression. Adoptive transfer of either Th1 or Th17 cells into TCR ?? KO mice restored bacterial burdens and innate immune cell infiltrates to levels detected in wild-type animals. Interestingly, adoptively transferred Th17 cells demonstrated plasticity within the CNS compartment and induced distinct cytokine secretion profiles in abscess-associated microglia and macrophages compared with Th1 transfer. Collectively, these studies identified an amplification loop for Th1 and Th17 cells in shaping established innate responses during CNS infection to maximize bacterial clearance and differentially regulate microglial and macrophage secretory profiles.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A craniotomy is required to access the brain for tumor resection or epilepsy treatment, and despite precautionary measures, infectious complications occur at a frequency of 1-3%. Approximately half of craniotomy infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) that forms a biofilm on the bone flap, which is recalcitrant to antibiotics. Our prior work in a mouse model of S. aureus craniotomy infection revealed a critical role for myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) in bacterial containment and pro-inflammatory mediator production. Since numerous receptors utilize MyD88 as a signaling adaptor, the current study examined the importance of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR9 based on their ability sense S. aureus ligands, namely lipoproteins and CpG DNA motifs, respectively. We also examined the role of caspase-1 based on its known association with TLR signaling to promote IL-1? release. METHODS:A mouse model of craniotomy-associated biofilm infection was used to investigate the role of TLR2, TLR9, and caspase-1 in disease progression. Wild type (WT), TLR2 knockout (KO), TLR9 KO, and caspase-1 KO mice were examined at various intervals post-infection to quantify bacterial burden, leukocyte recruitment, and inflammatory mediator production in the galea, brain, and bone flap. In addition, the role of TLR2-dependent signaling during microglial/macrophage crosstalk with myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) was examined. RESULTS:TLR2, but not TLR9, was important for preventing S. aureus outgrowth during craniotomy infection, as revealed by the elevated bacterial burden in the brain, galea, and bone flap of TLR2 KO mice concomitant with global reductions in pro-inflammatory mediator production compared to WT animals. Co-culture of MDSCs with microglia or macrophages, to model interactions in the brain vs. galea, respectively, also revealed a critical role for TLR2 in triggering pro-inflammatory mediator production. Similar to TLR2, caspase-1 KO animals also displayed increased S. aureus titers coincident with reduced pro-inflammatory mediator release, suggestive of pathway cooperativity. Treatment of caspase-1 KO mice with IL-1? microparticles significantly reduced S. aureus burden in the brain and galea compared to empty microparticles, confirming the critical role of IL-1? in limiting S. aureus outgrowth during craniotomy infection. CONCLUSIONS:These results demonstrate the existence of an initial anti-bacterial response that depends on both TLR2 and caspase-1 in controlling S. aureus growth; however, neither pathway is effective at clearing infection in the WT setting, since craniotomy infection persists when both molecules are present.
Project description:Microglia, the resident macrophages in the central nervous system, can rapidly respond to pathological insults. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is a pattern recognition receptor that plays a fundamental role in pathogen recognition and activation of innate immunity. Although many previous studies have suggested that TLR2 contributes to microglial activation and subsequent pathogenesis following brain tissue injury, it is still unclear whether TLR2 has a role in microglia dynamics in the resting state or in immediate-early reaction to the injury in vivo. By using in vivo two-photon microscopy imaging and Cx3cr1 (GFP/+) mouse line, we first monitored the motility of microglial processes (i.e. the rate of extension and retraction) in the somatosensory cortex of living TLR2-KO and WT mice; Microglial processes in TLR2-KO mice show the similar motility to that of WT mice. We further found that microglia rapidly extend their processes to the site of local tissue injury induced by a two-photon laser ablation and that such microglial response to the brain injury was similar between WT and TLR2-KO mice. These results indicate that there are no differences in the behavior of microglial processes between TLR2-KO mice and WT mice when microglia is in the resting state or encounters local injury. Thus, TLR2 might not be essential for immediate-early microglial response to brain tissue injury in vivo.
Project description:Neutrophil abscess formation is critical in innate immunity against many pathogens. Here, the mechanism of neutrophil abscess formation was investigated using a mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus cutaneous infection. Gene expression analysis of S. aureus-infected skin revealed that induction of neutrophil recruitment genes was largely dependent upon IL-1beta/IL-1R activation. Unexpectedly, using IL 1beta reporter mice, neutrophils were identified as the primary source of IL-1beta at the site of infection. Furthermore, IL-1beta-producing neutrophils were necessary and sufficient for abscess formation and bacterial clearance. S. aureus-induced IL 1beta production by neutrophils required TLR2, NOD2, FPRs and the ASC/NLRP3 inflammasome. Taken together, IL-1beta and neutrophil abscess formation during an infection are functionally, spatially and temporally linked as a consequence of direct IL-1beta production by neutrophils. Lesional skin biopsies obtained from C57BL/6J WT mice or IL-1R-deficient mice at 4 hours post-infection with Staphylococcus aureus. Uninfected skin biopsies were also collected from WT and IL-1R-deficient mice.
Project description:Abscesses are a hallmark of invasive staphylococcal infections and the site of a dynamic struggle between pathogen and host. However, the precise host and bacterial factors that contribute to abscess formation and maintenance have not been completely described. In this work, we define the Staphylococcus aureus abscess proteome from both wild-type and neutropenic mice to elucidate the host response to staphylococcal infection and uncover novel S. aureus virulence factors. Among the proteins identified, the mouse protein histone H4 was enriched in the abscesses of wild-type compared with neutropenic animals. Histone H4 inhibits staphylococcal growth in vitro demonstrating a role for this protein in the innate immune response to staphylococcal infection. These analyses also identified staphylococcal proteins within the abscess, including known virulence factors and proteins with previously unrecognized roles in pathogenesis. Within the latter group was the universal stress protein Usp2, which was enriched in kidney lesions from neutropenic mice and required for the S. aureus response to stringent stress. Taken together, these data describe the S. aureus abscess proteome and lay the foundation for the identification of contributors to innate immunity and bacterial pathogenesis.
Project description:Streptococcus intermedius is a ?-hemolytic Gram-positive member of the Streptococcus anginosus group (SAG). Despite being a part of the normal microbiota, it is one of the most common pathogens associated with brain and liver abscesses and thoracic empyema, increasing as a result the morbidity and mortality rates in affected patients. Though there are numerous published case reports on S. intermedius infections, it is still understudied compared to other SAG members. Our knowledge of the genomic factors contributing to its dissemination to the brain and abscess development is also limited to few characterized genes. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge on S. intermedius identification methods, virulence factors, and insight provided by the whole-genome and correlate patients' metadata, symptoms, and disease outcome with S. intermedius infections in 101 recent case reports obtained from PubMed. This combined information highlights the gaps in our understanding of S. intermedius pathogenesis, suggesting future research directions to unveil the factors contributing to abscess development.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major health threat in the United States. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) is a potent superantigen that contributes to its virulence. High mortality and frequent failure of therapy despite available antibiotics have stimulated research efforts to develop adjunctive therapies.Treatment benefits of SEB-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) 20B1 were investigated in mice in sepsis, superficial skin, and deep-tissue infection models.Mice challenged with a SEB-producing MRSA strain developed fatal sepsis, extensive tissue skin infection, and abscess-forming deep-seeded thigh muscle infection. Animals preimmunized against SEB or treated passively with mAb 20B1 exhibited enhanced survival in the sepsis model, whereas decrease of bacterial burden was observed in the superficial skin and deep-tissue models. mAb 20B1 bound to SEB in the infected tissue and decreased abscess formation and proinflammatory cytokine levels, lymphocyte proliferation, and neutrophil recruitment.mAb 20B1, an SEB-neutralizing mAb, is effective against MRSA infection. mAb 20B1 protects against lethal sepsis and reduces skin tissue invasion and deep-abscess formation. The mAb penetrates well into the abscess and binds to SEB. It affects the outcome of S. aureus infection by modulating the host's proinflammatory immune response.