IL-22 is essential for lung epithelial repair following influenza infection.
ABSTRACT: Influenza infection is widespread in the United States and the world. Despite low mortality rates due to infection, morbidity is common and little is known about the molecular events involved in recovery. Influenza infection results in persistent distal lung remodeling, and the mechanism(s) involved are poorly understood. Recently IL-22 has been found to mediate epithelial repair. We propose that IL-22 is critical for recovery of normal lung function and architecture after influenza infection. Wild-type and IL-22(-/-) mice were infected with influenza A PR8/34 H1N1 and were followed up for up to 21 days post infection. IL-22 receptor was localized to the airway epithelium in naive mice but was expressed at the sites of parenchymal lung remodeling induced by influenza infection. IL-22(-/-) mice displayed exacerbated lung injury compared with wild-type mice, which correlated with decreased lung function 21 days post infection. Epithelial metaplasia was observed in wild-type mice but was not evident in IL-22(-/-) animals that were characterized with an increased fibrotic phenotype. Gene expression analysis revealed aberrant expression of epithelial genes involved in repair processes, among changes in several other biological processes. These data indicate that IL-22 is required for normal lung repair after influenza infection. IL-22 represents a novel pathway involved in interstitial lung disease.
Project description:Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is involved in innate and adaptive immune responses to defend against pathogens. It also participates in the process of influenza infection by affecting viral clearance and immune cell responses. However, whether IL-6 impacts lung repair in influenza pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we studied the role of IL-6 in acute influenza infection in mice. IL-6-deficient mice infected with influenza virus exhibited higher lethality, lost more body weight and had higher fibroblast accumulation and lower extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover in the lung than their wild-type counterparts. Deficiency in IL-6 enhanced proliferation, migration and survival of lung fibroblasts, as well as increased virus-induced apoptosis of lung epithelial cells. IL-6-deficient lung fibroblasts produced elevated levels of TGF-?, which may contribute to their survival. Furthermore, macrophage recruitment to the lung and phagocytic activities of macrophages during influenza infection were reduced in IL-6-deficient mice. Collectively, our results indicate that IL-6 is crucial for lung repair after influenza-induced lung injury through reducing fibroblast accumulation, promoting epithelial cell survival, increasing macrophage recruitment to the lung and enhancing phagocytosis of viruses by macrophages. This study suggests that IL-6 may be exploited for lung repair during influenza infection.
Project description:Influenza infection primarily targets the upper respiratory system, leading to a severe destruction of the epithelial cell layer. The role of immune cells in the regeneration of tracheal and bronchial epithelial cells is not well defined. Here, we investigated the production of pro-constructive cytokine, Interleukin-22 (IL-22), in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), trachea, lung tissue, and spleen during influenza infection. We found that conventional natural killer (NK) cells (NCR1(+)NK1.1(+)CD127(-)ROR?t(-)) were the predominant IL-22-producers in the BAL, trachea, and lung tissues. Tracheal epithelial cells constitutively expressed high levels of IL-22R and underwent active proliferation in response to IL-22 in the wild-type mice. Infection of IL-22(-/-) mice with influenza virus resulted in a severe impairment in the regeneration of tracheal epithelial cells. In addition, IL-22(-/-) mice continued to lose body weight even after 10 days post infection without any recovery. Tracheal epithelial cell proliferation was significantly reduced in IL-22(-/-) mice during influenza infection. Adoptive transfer of IL-22-sufficient but not IL-22-deficient NK cells into IL-22(-/-) mice restored the tracheal/bronchial epithelial cell regeneration and conferred protection against inflammation. Our findings strongly suggest that conventional NK cells have evolved to both kill virus-infected cells and also to provide vital cytokines for tissue regeneration.
Project description:The seasonal burden of influenza coupled with the pandemic outbreaks of more pathogenic strains underscore a critical need to understand the pathophysiology of influenza injury in the lung. Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is a promising cytokine that is critical in protecting the lung during infection. This cytokine is strongly regulated by the soluble receptor IL-22-binding protein (IL-22BP), which is constitutively expressed in the lungs where it inhibits IL-22 activity. The IL-22/IL-22BP axis is thought to prevent chronic exposure of epithelial cells to IL-22. However, the importance of this axis is not understood during an infection such as influenza. Here we demonstrate through the use of IL-22BP-knockout mice (il-22ra2-/-) that a pro-IL-22 environment reduces pulmonary inflammation during H1N1 (PR8/34 H1N1) infection and protects the lung by promoting tight junction formation. We confirmed these results in normal human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro demonstrating improved membrane resistance and induction of the tight junction proteins Cldn4, Tjp1, and Tjp2. Importantly, we show that administering recombinant IL-22 in vivo reduces inflammation and fluid leak into the lung. Taken together, our results demonstrate the IL-22/IL-22BP axis is a potential targetable pathway for reducing influenza-induced pneumonia.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a significant cause of hospital and community acquired pneumonia and causes secondary infection after influenza A. Recently, patients with hyper-IgE syndrome, who often present with S. aureus infections of the lung and skin, were found to have mutations in STAT3, required for Th17 immunity, suggesting a potential critical role for Th17 cells in S. aureus pneumonia. Indeed, IL-17R(-/-) and IL-22(-/-) mice displayed impaired bacterial clearance of S. aureus compared with that of wild-type mice. Mice challenged with influenza A PR/8/34 H1N1 and subsequently with S. aureus had increased inflammation and decreased clearance of both virus and bacteria. Coinfection resulted in greater type I and II IFN production in the lung compared with that with virus infection alone. Importantly, influenza A coinfection resulted in substantially decreased IL-17, IL-22, and IL-23 production after S. aureus infection. The decrease in S. aureus-induced IL-17, IL-22, and IL-23 was independent of type II IFN but required type I IFN production in influenza A-infected mice. Furthermore, overexpression of IL-23 in influenza A, S. aureus-coinfected mice rescued the induction of IL-17 and IL-22 and markedly improved bacterial clearance. These data indicate a novel mechanism by which influenza A-induced type I IFNs inhibit Th17 immunity and increase susceptibility to secondary bacterial pneumonia.
Project description:Compared to adults, infants suffer higher rates of hospitalization, severe clinical complications, and mortality due to influenza infection. We found that ?? T cells protected neonatal mice against mortality during influenza infection. ?? T cell deficiency did not alter viral clearance or interferon-? production. Instead, neonatal influenza infection induced the accumulation of interleukin-17A (IL-17A)-producing ?? T cells, which was associated with IL-33 production by lung epithelial cells. Neonates lacking IL-17A-expressing ?? T cells or Il33 had higher mortality upon influenza infection. ?? T cells and IL-33 promoted lung infiltration of group 2 innate lymphoid cells and regulatory T cells, resulting in increased amphiregulin secretion and tissue repair. In influenza-infected children, IL-17A, IL-33, and amphiregulin expression were correlated, and increased IL-17A levels in nasal aspirates were associated with better clinical outcomes. Our results indicate that ?? T cells are required in influenza-infected neonates to initiate protective immunity and mediate lung homeostasis.
Project description:Interleukin-17 (IL-17), a member of the IL-17 cytokine family, plays a crucial role in mediating the immune response against extracellular bacteria and fungi in the lung. Although there is increasing evidence that IL-17 is involved in protective immunity against H1 and H3 influenza virus infections, little is known about the role of IL-17 in the highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus infection. In this study, we show that H5N1-infected IL-17 knockout (KO) mice exhibit markedly increased weight loss, more pronounced lung immunopathology and significantly reduced survival rates as compared with infected wild-type controls. Moreover, the frequency of B cells in the lung were substantially decreased in IL-17 KO mice after virus infection, which correlated with reduced CXCR5 expression in B cells and decreased CXCL13 production in the lung tissue of IL-17 KO mice. Consistent with this observation, B cells from IL-17 KO mice exhibited a significant reduction in chemokine-mediated migration in culture. Taken together, these findings demonstrate a critical role for IL-17 in mediating the recruitment of B cells to the site of pulmonary influenza virus infection in mice.
Project description:Seasonal and pandemic influenza is a cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Most people infected with influenza virus display mild-to-moderate disease phenotypes and recover within a few weeks. Influenza is known to cause persistent alveolitis in animal models; however, little is known about the molecular pathways involved in this phenotype. We challenged C57BL/6 mice with influenza A/PR/8/34 and examined lung pathologic processes and inflammation, as well as transcriptomic and epigenetic changes at 21 to 60 days after infection. Influenza induced persistent parenchymal lung inflammation, alveolar epithelial metaplasia, and epithelial endoplasmic reticulum stress that were evident after the clearance of virus and resolution of morbidity. Influenza infection induced robust changes in the lung transcriptome, including a significant impact on inflammatory and extracellular matrix protein expression. Despite the robust changes in lung gene expression, preceding influenza (21 days) did not exacerbate secondary Staphylococcus aureus infection. Finally, we examined the impact of influenza on miRNA expression in the lung and found an increase in miR-155. miR-155 knockout mice recovered from influenza infection faster than controls and had decreased lung inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress. These data illuminate the dynamic molecular changes in the lung in the weeks after influenza infection and characterize the repair process, identifying a novel role for miR-155.
Project description:Influenza infection causes high rates of hospitalization and mortality in infants. γδ T cells are critical for immune responses against pathogens as regulators and effectors, especially in infants, and yet the roles of neonatal γδ T cells in influenza remain to be investigated. Here we report that γδ T cells were protective against mortality associated with neonatal influenza infection. Infection induced the accumulation and activation of γδ T cells, which transiently expressed IL-17a to enhance early IL-33 production by lung epithelial cells via STAT3 phosphorylation. Subsequently, this led to type 2 immune responses with elicited infiltration of ILC2s and Tregs resulting in increased amphiregulin secretion and tissue repair. Loss of γδ T cells did not alter viral clearance or IFN-γ production. Thus, our results identify a specific requirement for γδ T cells in influenza-infected neonates by initiating type 2 immune responses, mediating tissue homeostasis, and promoting lung integrity. Overall design: RNA-Seq of total RNA from whole-lung homogenates of influenza-infected wild-type and TCRδ-/- neonatal mice at 8 days post infection.
Project description:It was reported that host defense against pulmonary Klebsiella pneumoniae infection requires IL-22, which was proposed to be of T cell origin. Supporting a role for IL-22, we found that Il22(-/-) mice had decreased survival compared with wild-type mice after intratracheal infection with K. pneumoniae. Surprisingly, however, Rag2(-/-) mice did not differ from wild-type mice in survival or levels of IL-22 in the lungs postinfection with K. pneumoniae. In contrast, K. pneumoniae-infected Rag2(-/-)Il2rg(-/-) mice failed to produce IL-22. These data suggested a possible role for NK cells or other innate lymphoid cells in host defense and production of IL-22. Unlike NK cell-like innate lymphoid cells that produce IL-22 and display a surface phenotype of NK1.1(-)NKp46(+)CCR6(+), lung NK cells showed the conventional phenotype, NK1.1(+)NKp46(+)CCR6(-). Mice depleted of NK cells using anti-asialo GM1 showed decreased survival and higher lung bacterial counts, as well as increased dissemination of K. pneumoniae to blood and liver, compared with control-treated mice. NK cell depletion also led to decreased production of IL-22 in the lung. Within 1 d postinfection, although there was no increase in the number of lung NK cells, a subset of lung NK cells became competent to produce IL-22, and such cells were found in both wild-type and Rag2(-/-) mice. Our data suggest that, during pulmonary infection of mice with K. pneumoniae, conventional NK cells are required for optimal host defense, which includes the production of IL-22.