Metabolic characterization of Leishmania major infection in activated and nonactivated macrophages.
ABSTRACT: Infection with Leishmania spp. can lead to a range of symptoms in the affected individual, depending on underlying immune-metabolic processes. The macrophage activation state hereby plays a key role. Whereas the l-arginine pathway has been described in detail as the main biochemical process responsible for either nitric oxide mediated parasite killing (classical activation) or amplification of parasite replication (alternative activation), we were interested in a wider characterization of metabolic events in vitro. We therefore assessed cell growth medium, parasite extract, and intra- and extracellular metabolome of activated and nonactivated macrophages, in presence and absence of Leishmania major. A metabolic profiling approach was applied combining 1H NMR spectroscopy with multi- and univariate data treatment. Metabolic changes were observed along both conditional axes, that is, infection state and macrophage activation, whereby significantly higher levels of potential parasite end products were found in parasite exposed samples including succinate, acetate, and alanine, compared to uninfected macrophages. The different macrophage activation states were mainly discriminated by varying glucose consumption. The presented profiling approach allowed us to obtain a metabolic snapshot of the individual biological compartments in the assessed macrophage culture experiments and represents a valuable read out system for further multiple compartment in vitro studies.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Macrophages are mononuclear phagocytes that constitute a first line of defense against pathogens. While lethal to many microbes, they are the primary host cells of Leishmania spp. parasites, the obligate intracellular pathogens that cause leishmaniasis. We conducted transcriptomic profiling of two Leishmania species and the human macrophage over the course of intracellular infection by using high-throughput RNA sequencing to characterize the global gene expression changes and reprogramming events that underlie the interactions between the pathogen and its host. A systematic exclusion of the generic effects of large-particle phagocytosis revealed a vigorous, parasite-specific response of the human macrophage early in the infection that was greatly tempered at later time points. An analogous temporal expression pattern was observed with the parasite, suggesting that much of the reprogramming that occurs as parasites transform into intracellular forms generally stabilizes shortly after entry. Following that, the parasite establishes an intracellular niche within macrophages, with minimal communication between the parasite and the host cell later during the infection. No significant difference was observed between parasite species transcriptomes or in the transcriptional response of macrophages infected with each species. Our comparative analysis of gene expression changes that occur as mouse and human macrophages are infected by Leishmania spp. points toward a general signature of the Leishmania-macrophage infectome. IMPORTANCE:Little is known about the transcriptional changes that occur within mammalian cells harboring intracellular pathogens. This study characterizes the gene expression signatures of Leishmania spp. parasites and the coordinated response of infected human macrophages as the pathogen enters and persists within them. After accounting for the generic effects of large-particle phagocytosis, we observed a parasite-specific response of the human macrophages early in infection that was reduced at later time points. A similar expression pattern was observed in the parasites. Our analyses provide specific insights into the interplay between human macrophages and Leishmania parasites and constitute an important general resource for the study of how pathogens evade host defenses and modulate the functions of the cell to survive intracellularly.
Project description:Leishmania, the causative agent of vector-borne diseases, known as leishmaniases, is an obligate intracellular parasite within mammalian hosts. The outcome of infection depends largely on the activation status of macrophages, the first line of mammalian defense and the major target cells for parasite replication. Understanding the strategies developed by the parasite to circumvent macrophage defense mechanisms and to survive within those cells help defining novel therapeutic approaches for leishmaniasis. We previously showed the formation of lipid droplets (LDs) in L. major infected macrophages. Here, we provide novel insights on the origin of the formed LDs by determining their cellular distribution and to what extent these high-energy sources are directed to the proximity of Leishmania parasites. We show that the ability of L. major to trigger macrophage LD accumulation is independent of parasite viability and uptake and can also be observed in non-infected cells through paracrine stimuli suggesting that LD formation is from cellular origin. The accumulation of LDs is demonstrated using confocal microscopy and live-cell imagin in parasite-free cytoplasmic region of the host cell, but also promptly recruited to the proximity of Leishmania parasites. Indeed LDs are observed inside parasitophorous vacuole and in parasite cytoplasm suggesting that Leishmania parasites besides producing their own LDs, may take advantage of these high energy sources. Otherwise, these LDs may help cells defending against parasitic infection. These metabolic changes, rising as common features during the last years, occur in host cells infected by a large number of pathogens and seem to play an important role in pathogenesis. Understanding how Leishmania parasites and different pathogens exploit this LD accumulation will help us define the common mechanism used by these different pathogens to manipulate and/or take advantage of this high-energy source.
Project description:Some strains of the protozoan parasite Leishmania guyanensis (L.g) harbor a viral endosymbiont called Leishmania RNA virus 1 (LRV1). LRV1 recognition by TLR-3 increases parasite burden and lesion swelling in vivo. However, the mechanisms by which anti-viral innate immune responses affect parasitic infection are largely unknown. Upon investigating the mammalian host's response to LRV1, we found that miR-155 was singularly and strongly upregulated in macrophages infected with LRV1+ L.g when compared to LRV1- L.g. LRV1-driven miR-155 expression was dependent on TLR-3/TRIF signaling. Furthermore, LRV1-induced TLR-3 activation promoted parasite persistence by enhancing macrophage survival through Akt activation in a manner partially dependent on miR-155. Pharmacological inhibition of Akt resulted in a decrease in LRV1-mediated macrophage survival and consequently decreased parasite persistence. Consistent with these data, miR-155-deficient mice showed a drastic decrease in LRV1-induced disease severity, and lesional macrophages from these mice displayed reduced levels of Akt phosphorylation.
Project description:Conformational activation of integrins is generally required for ligand binding and cellular signalling. However, we have previously reported that the nonactivated conformation of ?2?1 integrin can also bind to large ligands, such as human echovirus 1. In this study, we show that the interaction between the nonactivated integrin and a ligand resulted in the activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in a protein kinase C dependent manner. A loss-of-function mutation, ?2E336A, in the ?2-integrin did not prevent the activation of FAK, nor did EDTA-mediated inactivation of the integrin. Full FAK activation was observed, since phosphorylation was not only confirmed in residue Y397, but also in residues Y576/7. Furthermore, initiation of downstream signaling by paxillin phosphorylation in residue Y118 was evident, even though this activation was transient by nature, probably due to the lack of talin involvement in FAK activation and the absence of vinculin in the adhesion complexes formed by the nonactivated integrins. Altogether these results indicate that the nonactivated integrins can induce cellular signaling, but the outcome of the signaling differs from conventional integrin signaling.
Project description:The survival of intracellular protozoan parasite, Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of Indian visceral leishmaniasis (VL), depends on the activation status of macrophages. l-Arginine, a semi-essential amino acid plays a crucial regulatory role for activation of macrophages. However, the role of l-arginine transport in VL still remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrated that intra-macrophage survival of L. donovani depends on the availability of extracellular l-arginine. Infection of THP-1-derived macrophage/human monocyte-derived macrophage (hMDM) with Leishmania, resulted in upregulation of l-arginine transport. While investigating the involvement of the transporters, we observed that Leishmania survival was greatly impaired when the transporters were blocked either using inhibitor or siRNA-mediated downregulation. CAT-2 was found to be the main isoform associated with l-arginine transport in L. donovani-infected macrophages. l-arginine availability and its transport regulated the host arginase in Leishmania infection. Arginase and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression were reciprocally regulated when assayed using specific inhibitors and siRNA-mediated downregulation. Interestingly, induction of iNOS expression and nitric oxide production were observed in case of inhibition of arginase in infected macrophages. Furthermore, inhibition of l-arginine transport as well as arginase resulted in decreased polyamine production, limiting parasite survival inside macrophages. l-arginine availability and transport regulated Th1/Th2 cytokine levels in case of Leishmania infection. Upregulation of l-arginine transport, induction of host arginase, and enhanced polyamine production were correlated with increased level of IL-10 and decreased level of IL-12 and TNF-? in L. donovani-infected macrophages. Our findings provide clear evidence for targeting the metabolism of l-arginine and l-arginine-metabolizing enzymes as an important therapeutic and prophylactic strategy to treat VL.
Project description:Parasites of the genus Leishmania are the causative agents of leishmaniasis, a group of diseases that range in manifestations from skin lesions to fatal visceral disease. The life cycle of Leishmania parasites is split between its insect vector and its mammalian host, where it resides primarily inside of macrophages. Once intracellular, Leishmania parasites must evade or deactivate the host's innate and adaptive immune responses in order to survive and replicate.We performed transcriptome profiling using RNA-seq to simultaneously identify global changes in murine macrophage and L. major gene expression as the parasite entered and persisted within murine macrophages during the first 72 h of an infection. Differential gene expression, pathway, and gene ontology analyses enabled us to identify modulations in host and parasite responses during an infection. The most substantial and dynamic gene expression responses by both macrophage and parasite were observed during early infection. Murine genes related to both pro- and anti-inflammatory immune responses and glycolysis were substantially upregulated and genes related to lipid metabolism, biogenesis, and Fc gamma receptor-mediated phagocytosis were downregulated. Upregulated parasite genes included those aimed at mitigating the effects of an oxidative response by the host immune system while downregulated genes were related to translation, cell signaling, fatty acid biosynthesis, and flagellum structure.The gene expression patterns identified in this work yield signatures that characterize multiple developmental stages of L. major parasites and the coordinated response of Leishmania-infected macrophages in the real-time setting of a dual biological system. This comprehensive dataset offers a clearer and more sensitive picture of the interplay between host and parasite during intracellular infection, providing additional insights into how pathogens are able to evade host defenses and modulate the biological functions of the cell in order to survive in the mammalian environment.
Project description:Leishmania is an intracellular protozoan parasite that causes a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from self-healing skin lesions to fatal visceralizing disease. As the host cells of choice for all species of Leishmania, macrophages are critical for the establishment of infections. How macrophages contribute to parasite homing to specific tissues and how parasites modulate macrophage function are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that Leishmania amazonensis infection inhibits macrophage roaming motility. The reduction in macrophage speed is not dependent on particle load or on factors released by infected macrophages. L. amazonensis-infected macrophages also show reduced directional migration in response to the chemokine MCP-1. We found that infected macrophages have lower levels of total paxillin, phosphorylated paxillin, and phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase when compared to noninfected macrophages, indicating abnormalities in the formation of signaling adhesion complexes that regulate motility. Analysis of the dynamics of actin polymerization at peripheral sites also revealed a markedly enhanced F-actin turnover frequency in L. amazonensis-infected macrophages. Thus, Leishmania infection inhibits macrophage motility by altering actin dynamics and impairing the expression of proteins that function in plasma membrane-extracellular matrix interactions.
Project description:HuR is a miRNA derepressor protein that can act as miRNA sponge for specific miRNAs to negate their action on target mRNAs. Here we have identified how HuR, by inducing extracellular vesicles-mediated export of miRNAs, ensures robust derepression of miRNA-repressed cytokines essential for strong pro-inflammatory response in activated mammalian macrophages. Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis, on the contrary alters immune response of the host macrophage by a variety of complex mechanisms to promote anti-inflammatory response essential for the survival of the parasite. We have found that during Leishmania infection, the pathogen targets HuR to promote onset of anti-inflammatory response in mammalian macrophages. In infected macrophages, Leishmania also upregulate protein phosphatase 2A that acts on Ago2 protein to keep it in dephosphorylated and miRNA-associated form. This causes robust repression of the miRNA-targeted pro-inflammatory cytokines to establish an anti-inflammatory response in infected macrophages. HuR has an inhibitory effect on protein phosphatase 2A expression, and mathematical modelling of macrophage activation process supports antagonistic miRNA-modulatory roles of HuR and protein phosphatase 2A which mutually balances immune response in macrophage by targeting miRNA function. Supporting this model, ectopic expression of the protein HuR and simultaneous inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A induce strong pro-inflammatory response in the host macrophage to prevent the virulent antimonial drug-sensitive or drug-resistant form of L. donovani infection. Thus, HuR can act as a balancing factor of immune responses to curtail the macrophage infection process by the protozoan parasite.
Project description:Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), caused by infection with the intracellular protozoan Leishmania donovani, is a chronic progressive disease with a relentlessly increasing parasite burden in the spleen, liver and bone marrow. The disease is characterized by fever, splenomegaly, cachexia, and pancytopenia, and progresses to death if not treated. Control of Leishmania infection is mediated by Th1 (IFN?-producing) CD4+ T cells, which activate macrophages to produce nitric oxide and kill intracellular parasites. However, despite expansion of CD4+ T cells and increased IFN? expression in the spleen, humans with active VL do not control the infection. We used an experimental model of chronic progressive VL in hamsters, which mimics clinical and pathological features seen in humans, to better understand the mechanisms that lead to progressive disease. Transcriptional profiling of the spleen during chronic infection revealed expression of markers of both T cell activation and inhibition. CD4+ T cells isolated from the spleen during chronic progressive VL showed mixed expression of Th1 and Th2 cytokines and chemokines, and were marginally effective in controlling infection in an ex vivo T cell-macrophage co-culture system. Splenic CD4+ T cells and macrophages from hamsters with VL showed increased expression of inhibitory receptors and their ligands, respectively. Blockade of the inhibitory receptor PD-L2 led to a significant decrease in parasite burden, revealing a pathogenic role for the PD-1 pathway in chronic VL. PD-L2 blockade was associated with a dramatic reduction in expression of host arginase 1, but no change in IFN? and inducible nitric oxide synthase. Thus, the expression of counter-regulatory molecules on splenic CD4+ T cells and macrophages promotes a more permissive macrophage phenotype and attenuates intracellular parasite control in chronic progressive VL. Host-directed adjunctive therapy targeting the PD-1 regulatory pathway may be efficacious for VL.
Project description:Treatment failure is multifactorial. Despite the importance of host cell drug transporters and metabolizing enzymes in the accumulation, distribution and metabolism of drugs targeting intracellular pathogens, their impact on the efficacy of antileishmanials is unknown. We examined the contribution of pharmacologically relevant determinants in human macrophages in the antimony-mediated killing of intracellular Leishmania panamensis and its relationship with the outcome of treatment with meglumine antimoniate.Patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis who failed (n = 8) or responded (n =8) to treatment were recruited. Gene expression profiling of pharmacological determinants in primary macrophages was evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR and correlated to the drug-mediated intracellular parasite killing. Functional validation was conducted through short hairpin RNA gene knockdown.Survival of L. panamensis after exposure to antimonials was significantly higher in macrophages from patients who failed treatment. Sixteen macrophage drug-response genes were modulated by infection and exposure to meglumine antimoniate. Correlation analyses of gene expression and intracellular parasite survival revealed the involvement of host cell metallothionein-2A and ABCB6 in the survival of Leishmania during exposure to antimonials. ABCB6 was functionally validated as a transporter of antimonial compounds localized in both the cell and phagolysosomal membranes of macrophages, revealing a novel mechanism of host cell-mediated regulation of intracellular drug exposure and parasite survival within phagocytes.These results provide insight into host cell mechanisms regulating the intracellular exposure of Leishmania to antimonials and variations among individuals that impact parasite survival. Understanding of host cell determinants of intracellular pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics opens new avenues to improved drug efficacy for intracellular pathogens.