Mice, men and the relatives: cross-species studies underpin innate immunity.
ABSTRACT: The innate immune response is the first line of defence against infection. Germ-line-encoded receptors recognize conserved molecular motifs from both exogenous and endogenous sources. Receptor activation results in the initiation of a pro-inflammatory immune response that enables the resolution of infection. Understanding the inner workings of the innate immune system is a fundamental requirement in the search to understand the basis of health and disease. The development of new vaccinations, the treatment of pathogenic infection, the generation of therapies for chronic and auto-inflammatory disorders, and the ongoing battle against cancer, diabetes and atherosclerosis will all benefit from a greater understanding of innate immunity. The rate of knowledge acquisition in this area has been outstanding. It has been underpinned and driven by the use of model organisms. Information obtained from Drospohila melanogaster, knock-out and knock-in mice, and through the use of forward genetics has resulted in discoveries that have opened our eyes to the functionality and complexity of the innate immune system. With the current increase in genomic information, the range of innate immune receptors and pathways of other species available to study is rapidly increasing, and provides a rich resource to continue the development of innate immune research. Here, we address some of the highlights of cross-species study in the innate immune field and consider the benefits of widening the species-field further.
Project description:Cytosolic DNA sensors are the most recently described class of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which induce the production of type I interferons (IFN-I) and trigger the induction of a rapid and efficient innate immune response. Herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1), a typical DNA virus, has displayed the ability to manipulate and evade host antiviral innate immune responses. Therefore, with an aim to highlight IFN-I-mediated innate immune response in a battle against viral infection, we have summarized the current understandings of DNA-sensing signal pathways and the most recent findings on the molecular mechanisms utilized by HSV-1 to counteract antiviral immune responses. A comprehensive understanding of the interplay between HSV-1 and host early antiviral immune responses will contribute to the development of novel therapies and vaccines in the future.
Project description:Disseminated candidiasis caused by the pathogen Candida albicans is a clinically important problem in hospitalized individuals and is associated with a 30 to 40% attributable mortality(6). Systemic candidiasis is normally controlled by innate immunity, and individuals with genetic defects in innate immune cell components such as phagocyte NADPH oxidase are more susceptible to candidemia(7-9). Very little is known about the dynamics of C. albicans interaction with innate immune cells in vivo. Extensive in vitro studies have established that outside of the host C. albicans germinates inside of macrophages, and is quickly destroyed by neutrophils(10-14). In vitro studies, though useful, cannot recapitulate the complex in vivo environment, which includes time-dependent dynamics of cytokine levels, extracellular matrix attachments, and intercellular contacts(10, 15-18). To probe the contribution of these factors in host-pathogen interaction, it is critical to find a model organism to visualize these aspects of infection non-invasively in a live intact host. The zebrafish larva offers a unique and versatile vertebrate host for the study of infection. For the first 30 days of development zebrafish larvae have only innate immune defenses(2, 19-21), simplifying the study of diseases such as disseminated candidiasis that are highly dependent on innate immunity. The small size and transparency of zebrafish larvae enable imaging of infection dynamics at the cellular level for both host and pathogen. Transgenic larvae with fluorescing innate immune cells can be used to identify specific cells types involved in infection(22-24). Modified anti-sense oligonucleotides (Morpholinos) can be used to knock down various immune components such as phagocyte NADPH oxidase and study the changes in response to fungal infection(5). In addition to the ethical and practical advantages of using a small lower vertebrate, the zebrafish larvae offers the unique possibility to image the pitched battle between pathogen and host both intravitally and in color. The zebrafish has been used to model infection for a number of human pathogenic bacteria, and has been instrumental in major advances in our understanding of mycobacterial infection(3, 25). However, only recently have much larger pathogens such as fungi been used to infect larva(5, 23, 26), and to date there has not been a detailed visual description of the infection methodology. Here we present our techniques for hindbrain ventricle microinjection of prim(25) zebrafish, including our modifications to previous protocols. Our findings using the larval zebrafish model for fungal infection diverge from in vitro studies and reinforce the need to examine the host-pathogen interaction in the complex environment of the host rather than the simplified system of the Petri dish(5).
Project description:During the course of evolution, viruses have captured or created a diverse array of open reading frames, which encode for proteins that serve to evade and sabotage the host innate and adaptive immune responses that would otherwise lead to their elimination. These viral genomes are some of the best textbooks of immunology ever written. The established arsenal of immunomodulatory proteins encoded by viruses is large and growing, and includes specificities for virtually all known inflammatory pathways and targets. The focus of this review is on herpes and poxvirus-encoded cytokine and chemokine-binding proteins that serve to undermine the coordination of host immune surveillance. Structural and mechanistic studies of these decoy receptors have provided a wealth of information, not only about viral pathogenesis but also about the inner workings of cytokine signaling networks.
Project description:In the present era of ever-increasing antibiotic resistance and increasingly complex and immunosuppressed patient populations, physicians and scientists are seeking novel approaches to battle difficult infectious disease conditions. Development of a serious infection implies a failure of innate immune capabilities in the patient, and one may consider whether pharmacological strategies exist to correct and enhance innate immune cell function. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), the central regulator of the cellular response to hypoxic stress, has recently been recognized to control the activation state and key microbicidal functions of immune cells. HIF-1 boosting drugs are in clinical development for anemia and other indications, and could be repositioned as infectious disease therapeutics. With equal attention to opportunities and complexities, we review our current understanding of HIF-1 regulation of microbial host-pathogen interactions with an eye toward future drug development.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The immune system is a key biological system present in vertebrates. Exposure to pathogens elicits various defensive immune mechanisms that protect the host from potential threats and harmful substances derived from pathogens such as parasites, bacteria, and viruses. The complex immune system of humans and many other vertebrates can be divided into two major categories: the innate and the adaptive immune systems. At present, analysis of the complex interactions between the two subsystems that regulate host defense and inflammatory responses remains challenging. RESULTS: Based on time-course microarray data following primary and secondary infection of zebrafish by Candida albicans, we constructed two intracellular protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks for primary and secondary responses of the host. 57 proteins and 341 PPIs were identified for primary infection while 90 proteins and 385 PPIs were identified for secondary infection. There were 20 proteins in common while 37 and 70 proteins specific to primary and secondary infection. By inspecting the hub proteins of each network and comparing significant changes in the number of linkages between the two PPI networks, we identified TGF-? signaling and apoptosis as two of the main functional modules involved in primary and secondary infection. CONCLUSIONS: Our initial in silico analyses pave the way for further investigation into the interesting roles played by the TGF-? signaling pathway and apoptosis in innate and adaptive immunity in zebrafish. Such insights could lead to therapeutic advances and improved drug design in the continual battle against infectious diseases.
Project description:Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) induces a demyelinating disease in susceptible SJL mice that has similarities to multiple sclerosis in humans. TMEV infection of susceptible mice leads to a persistent virus infection of the central nervous system (CNS), which promotes the development of demyelinating disease associated with an inflammatory immune response in the CNS. TMEV infection of resistant C57BL6 mice results in viral clearance without development of demyelinating disease. Interestingly, TMEV infection of resistant mice deficient in IFN? leads to a persistent virus infection in the CNS and development of demyelinating disease. We have previously shown that the innate immune response affects development of TMEV- induced demyelinating disease, thus we wanted to determine the role of IFN? during the innate immune response. TMEV-infected IFN?-deficient mice had an altered innate immune response, including reduced expression of innate immune cytokines, especially type I interferons. Administration of type I interferons, IFN? and IFNß, to TMEV-infected IFN?-deficient mice during the innate immune response restored the expression of innate immune cytokines. Most importantly, administration of type I interferons to IFN?-deficient mice during the innate immune response decreased the virus load in the CNS and decreased development of demyelinating disease. Microglia are the CNS resident immune cells that express innate immune receptors. In TMEV-infected IFN?-deficient mice, microglia had reduced expression of innate immune cytokines, and administration of type I interferons to these mice restored the innate immune response by microglia. In the absence of IFN?, microglia from TMEV-infected mice had reduced expression of some innate immune receptors and signaling molecules, especially IRF1. These results suggest that IFN? plays an important role in the innate immune response to TMEV by enhancing the expression of innate immune cytokines, especially type I interferons, which directly affects the development of demyelinating disease.
Project description:Rapid activation of immune responses is necessary for antibacterial defense, but excessive immune activation can result in life-threatening septic shock. Understanding how these processes are balanced may provide novel therapeutic potential in treating inflammatory disease. Fc receptors are crucial for innate immune activation. However, the role of the putative Fc receptor for IgM, known as Toso/Faim3, has to this point been unclear. In this study, we generated Toso-deficient mice and used them to uncover a critical regulatory function of Toso in innate immune activation. Development of innate immune cells was intact in the absence of Toso, but Toso-deficient neutrophils exhibited more reactive oxygen species production and reduced phagocytosis of pathogens compared with controls. Cytokine production was also decreased in Toso(-/-) mice compared with WT animals, rendering them resistant to septic shock induced by lipopolysaccharide. However, Toso(-/-) mice also displayed limited cytokine production after infection with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes that was correlated with elevated presence of Listeria throughout the body. Accordingly, Toso(-/-) mice succumbed to infections of L. monocytogenes, whereas WT mice successfully eliminated the infection. Taken together, our data reveal Toso to be a unique regulator of innate immune responses during bacterial infection and septic shock.
Project description:The innate immune response constitutes the first line of defense against infections. Pattern recognition receptors recognize pathogen structures and trigger intracellular signaling pathways leading to cytokine and chemokine expression. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are emerging as an important regulator of some of these pathways. ROS directly interact with signaling components or induce other post-translational modifications such as S-glutathionylation, thereby altering target function. Applying live microscopy, we have demonstrated that herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection induces early production of ROS that are required for the activation of NF-?B and IRF-3 pathways and the production of type I IFNs and ISGs. All the known receptors involved in the recognition of HSV were shown to be dependent on the cellular redox levels for successful signaling. In addition, we provide biochemical evidence suggesting S-glutathionylation of TRAF family proteins to be important. In particular, by performing mutational studies we show that S-glutathionylation of a conserved cysteine residue of TRAF3 and TRAF6 is important for ROS-dependent activation of innate immune pathways. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that ROS are essential for effective activation of signaling pathways leading to a successful innate immune response against HSV infection.
Project description:The airway epithelium represents the first point of contact for inhaled foreign organisms. The protective arsenal of the airway epithelium is provided in the form of physical barriers and a vast array of receptors and antimicrobial compounds that constitute the innate immune system. Many of the known innate immune receptors, including the Toll-like receptors and nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptors, are expressed by the airway epithelium, which leads to the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines that affect microorganisms directly and recruit immune cells, such as neutrophils and T cells, to the site of infection. The airway epithelium also produces a number of resident antimicrobial proteins, such as lysozyme, lactoferrin, and mucins, as well as a swathe of cationic proteins. Dysregulation of the airway epithelial innate immune system is associated with a number of medical conditions that can result in compromised immunity and chronic inflammation of the lung. This review focuses on the innate immune capabilities of the airway epithelium and its role in protecting the lung from infection as well as the outcomes when its function is compromised.
Project description:The initial interaction between a microbial pathogen and the host immune response influences the outcome of the battle between the host and the foreign invader. Leprosy, caused by the obligate intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium leprae, provides a model to study relevant human immune responses. Previous studies have adopted a targeted approach to investigate host response to M. leprae infection, focusing on the induction of specific molecules and pathways. By measuring the host transcriptome triggered by M. leprae infection of human macrophages, we were able to detect a host gene signature 24-48 hours after infection characterized by specific innate immune pathways involving the cell fate mechanisms autophagy and apoptosis. The top upstream regulator in the M. leprae-induced gene signature was NUPR1, which is found in the M. leprae-induced cell fate pathways. The induction of NUPR1 by M. leprae was dependent on the production of the type I interferon (IFN), IFN-?. Furthermore, NUPR1 mRNA and protein were upregulated in the skin lesions from patients with the multibacillary form of leprosy. Together, these data indicate that M. leprae induces a cell fate program which includes NUPR1 as part of the host response in the progressive form of leprosy.