Uropathogenic Escherichia coli superinfection enhances the severity of mouse bladder infection.
ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) afflict over 9 million women in America every year, often necessitating long-term prophylactic antibiotics. One risk factor for UTI is frequent sexual intercourse, which dramatically increases the risk of UTI. The mechanism behind this increased risk is unknown; however, bacteriuria increases immediately after sexual intercourse episodes, suggesting that physical manipulation introduces periurethral flora into the urinary tract. In this paper, we investigated whether superinfection (repeat introduction of bacteria) resulted in increased risk of severe UTI, manifesting as persistent bacteriuria, high titer bladder bacterial burdens and chronic inflammation, an outcome referred to as chronic cystitis. Chronic cystitis represents unchecked luminal bacterial replication and is defined histologically by urothelial hyperplasia and submucosal lymphoid aggregates, a histological pattern similar to that seen in humans suffering chronic UTI. C57BL/6J mice are resistant to chronic cystitis after a single infection; however, they developed persistent bacteriuria and chronic cystitis when superinfected 24 hours apart. Elevated levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), keratinocyte cytokine (KC/CXCL1), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the serum of C57BL/6J mice prior to the second infection predicted the development of chronic cystitis. These same cytokines have been found to precede chronic cystitis in singly infected C3H/HeN mice. Furthermore, inoculating C3H/HeN mice twice within a six-hour period doubled the proportion of mice that developed chronic cystitis. Intracellular bacterial replication, regulated hemolysin (HlyA) expression, and caspase 1/11 activation were essential for this increase. Microarrays conducted at four weeks post inoculation in both mouse strains revealed upregulation of IL-1 and antimicrobial peptides during chronic cystitis. These data suggest a mechanism by which caspase-1/11 activation and IL-1 secretion could predispose certain women to recurrent UTI after frequent intercourse, a predisposition predictable by several serum biomarkers in two murine models.
Project description:Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur predominantly in females but also affect substantial male patient populations; indeed, morbidity in complicated UTI is higher in males. Because of technical obstacles, preclinical modeling of UTI in male mice has been limited. We devised a minimally invasive surgical bladder inoculation technique that yields reproducible upper and lower UTI in both male and female mice, enabling studies of sex differences in these infections. Acute uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) cystitis in C57BL/6 and C3H/HeN males recapitulated the intracellular bacterial community pathway previously shown in females. However, surgically infected females of these strains exhibited more robust bladder cytokine responses and more efficient UPEC control than males. Compared with females, C3H/HeN males displayed a striking predilection for chronic cystitis, manifesting as persistent bacteriuria, high-titer bladder bacterial burdens, and chronic inflammation. Furthermore, males developed more severe pyelonephritis and 100% penetrant renal abscess (a complication that is rare in female mice). These phenotypes were sharply abrogated after castration but restored with exogenous testosterone, suggesting that male susceptibility to UTI is strongly influenced by androgen exposure. These data substantiate the long-standing presumption that anatomic differences in urogenital anatomy confer protection from UTI in males; however, as clinically observed, male sex associated with more severe UTI once these traditional anatomic barriers were bypassed. This study introduces a highly tractable preclinical model for interrogating sex differences in UTI susceptibility and pathogenesis, and illuminates an interplay between host sex and UTI that is more complex than previously appreciated.
Project description:The Yersinia high-pathogenicity island (HPI) is common to multiple virulence strategies used by Escherichia coli strains associated with urinary tract infection (UTI). Among the genes in this island are ybtP and ybtQ, encoding distinctive ATP binding cassette (ABC) proteins associated with iron(III)-yersiniabactin import in Yersinia pestis In this study, we compared the impact of ybtPQ on a model E. coli cystitis strain during in vitro culture and experimental murine infections. A ybtPQ-null mutant exhibited no growth defect under standard culture conditions, consistent with nonessentiality in this background. A growth defect phenotype was observed and genetically complemented in vitro during iron(III)-yersiniabactin-dependent growth. Following inoculation into the bladders of C3H/HEN and C3H/HeOuJ mice, this strain exhibited a profound, 10(6)-fold competitive infection defect in the subgroup of mice that progressed to high-titer bladder infections. These results identify a virulence role for YbtPQ in the highly inflammatory microenvironment characteristic of high-titer cystitis. The profound competitive defect may relate to the apparent selection of Yersinia HPI-positive E. coli in uncomplicated clinical UTIs.
Project description:Chronic infections are an increasing problem due to the aging population and the increase in antibiotic resistant organisms. Therefore, understanding the host-pathogen interactions that result in chronic infection is of great importance. Here, we investigate the molecular basis of chronic bacterial cystitis. We establish that introduction of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) into the bladders of C3H mice results in two distinct disease outcomes: resolution of acute infection or development of chronic cystitis lasting months. The incidence of chronic cystitis is both host strain and infectious dose-dependent. Further, development of chronic cystitis is preceded by biomarkers of local and systemic acute inflammation at 24 hours post-infection, including severe pyuria and bladder inflammation with mucosal injury, and a distinct serum cytokine signature consisting of elevated IL-5, IL-6, G-CSF, and the IL-8 analog KC. Mice deficient in TLR4 signaling or lymphocytes lack these innate responses and are resistant, to varying degrees, to developing chronic cystitis. Treatment of C3H mice with the glucocorticoid anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone prior to UPEC infection also suppresses the development of chronic cystitis. Finally, individuals with a history of chronic cystitis, lasting at least 14 days, are significantly more susceptible to redeveloping severe, chronic cystitis upon bacterial challenge. Thus, we have discovered that the development of chronic cystitis in C3H mice by UPEC is facilitated by severe acute inflammatory responses early in infection, which subsequently are predisposing to recurrent cystitis, an insidious problem in women. Overall, these results have significant implications for our understanding of how early host-pathogen interactions at the mucosal surface determines the fate of disease.
Project description:The signaling networks regulating antimicrobial activity during urinary tract infection (UTI) are incompletely understood. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels increase with UTI severity, but the specific contributions of IL-6 to host immunity against bacterial uropathogens are unknown. To clarify this we tested whether IL-6 activates the Stat3 transcription factor, to drive a program of antimicrobial peptide gene expression in infected urothelium during UTI. Transurethral inoculation of uropathogenic Escherichia coli led to IL-6 secretion, urothelial Stat3 phosphorylation, and activation of antimicrobial peptide transcription, in a Toll-like receptor 4-dependent manner in a murine model of cystitis. Recombinant IL-6 elicited Stat3 phosphorylation in primary urothelial cells in vitro, and systemic IL-6 administration promoted urothelial Stat3 phosphorylation and antimicrobial peptide expression in vivo. IL-6 deficiency led to decreased urothelial Stat3 phosphorylation and antimicrobial peptide mRNA expression following UTI, a finding mirrored by conditional Stat3 deletion. Deficiency in IL-6 or Stat3 was associated with increased formation of intracellular bacterial communities, and exogenous IL-6 reversed this phenotype in IL-6 knockout mice. Moreover, chronic IL-6 depletion led to increased renal bacterial burden and severe pyelonephritis in C3H/HeOuJ mice. Thus, IL-6/Stat3 signaling drives a transcriptional program of antimicrobial gene expression in infected urothelium, with key roles in limiting epithelial invasion and ascending infection.
Project description:The specific contribution of interleukin-17/interleukin-17 receptor (IL-17/IL-17R)-mediated responses in regulating host susceptibility against obligatory intracellular Chlamydia infection was investigated in C57BL/6 and C3H/HeN mice during Chlamydia muridarum respiratory infection. We demonstrated that Chlamydia stimulated IL-17/IL-17R-associated responses in both Chlamydia-resistant C57BL/6 and Chlamydia-susceptible C3H/HeN mice. However, C3H/HeN mice developed a significantly greater IL-17/IL-17R-associated response than C57BL/6 mice did. This was reflected by an increase in IL-17 mRNA expression, a higher recall IL-17 production from splenocytes upon antigen restimulation, and higher production of Th17-related cytokines (IL-23 and IL-6) and chemokines (chemokine [C-X-C motif] ligand 2 [CXCL1]/keratinocyte-derived chemokine [KC] and CXCL2/macrophage inflammatory protein 1 [MIP2]) in C3H/HeN mice than in C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, C3H/HeN mice displayed a massive accumulation of activated and preactivated neutrophils in the airway and lung parenchyma compared to their C57BL/6 counterparts. We further demonstrated that the skewed IL-17/Th17 profile in C3H/HeN mice was predisposed by a higher basal level of IL-17 receptor C (IL-17RC) expression and then further amplified by a higher inducible IL-17RA expression in lungs. Most importantly, in vivo delivery of IL-17RA antagonist that resulted in a 50% reduction in the neutrophilic infiltration in lungs was able to reverse the susceptible phenotype of C3H/HeN mice to respiratory Chlamydia infection. Thus, our data for the first time have demonstrated a critical role for the IL-17/IL-17R axis in regulating host susceptibility to Chlamydia infection in mice.
Project description:NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) involves significant changes in liver metabolism characterized by oxidative stress, lipid accumulation and fibrogenesis. Mitochondrial dysfunction and bioenergetic defects also contribute to NAFLD. In the present study, we examined whether differences in mtDNA influence NAFLD. To determine the role of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in NAFLD, MNX (mitochondrial-nuclear exchange) mice were fed an atherogenic diet. MNX mice have mtDNA from C57BL/6J mice on a C3H/HeN nuclear background and vice versa. Results from MNX mice were compared with wild-type C57BL/6J and C3H/HeN mice fed a control or atherogenic diet. Mice with the C57BL/6J nuclear genome developed more macrosteatosis, inflammation and fibrosis compared with mice containing the C3H/HeN nuclear genome when fed the atherogenic diet. These changes were associated with parallel alterations in inflammation and fibrosis gene expression in wild-type mice, with intermediate responses in MNX mice. Mice with the C57BL/6J nuclear genome had increased State 4 respiration, whereas MNX mice had decreased State 3 respiration and RCR (respiratory control ratio) when fed the atherogenic diet. Complex IV activity and most mitochondrial biogenesis genes were increased in mice with the C57BL/6J nuclear or mitochondrial genome, or both fed the atherogenic diet. These results reveal new interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes and support the concept that mtDNA influences mitochondrial function and metabolic pathways implicated in NAFLD.
Project description:Many inbred strains of mice develop spontaneous tumors as they age. Recent awareness of the impacts of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) on cancer and aging has inspired developing a mitochondrial-nuclear exchange (MNX) mouse model in which nuclear DNA is paired with mitochondrial genomes from other strains of mouse. MNX mice exhibit mtDNA influences on tumorigenicity and metastasis upon mating with transgenic mice. However, we also wanted to investigate spontaneous tumor phenotypes as MNX mice age. Utilizing FVB/NJ, C57BL/6J, C3H/HeN, and BALB/cJ wild-type inbred strains, previously documented phenotypes were observed as expected in MNX mice with the same nuclear background. However, aging nuclear matched MNX mice exhibited decreased occurrence of mammary tumors in C3H/HeN mice containing C57BL/6J mitochondria compared to wild-type C3H/HeN mice. Although aging tumor phenotypes appear to be driven by nuclear genes, evidence suggesting that some differences are modified by the mitochondrial genome is presented.
Project description:Acute pyelonephritis is a common, serious bacterial infection in children. The prevalence of acute pyelonephritis is due at least in part to vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). Although an association between abnormalities in electrolyte and acid-base balance and pyelonephritis is common in young children, the impact of metabolic acidosis (MA) on progression of acute pyelonephritis is not fully understood. In this study, the effect of MA on pyelonephritis was studied in C3H mouse strains prone to VUR. MA induced by ammonium chloride supplementation in food specifically impaired clearance of urinary tract infection with uropathogenic Escherichia. coli (UPEC-UTI) in innate immune competent C3H strains (HeOuJ, HeN), whereas kidney UPEC burden in Tlr-4-deficient HeJ mice was unaffected. Antibody-mediated depletion of myeloid cells (monocytes, neutrophil) markedly increased UPEC burden in the bladder and kidney confirming the pivotal role of neutrophils and tissue-resident macrophages in clearance of UPEC-UTI. MA concurrent with UPEC-UTI markedly increased expression of cytokine (TNF?, IL-1?, IL-6) and chemokine (CXCL 1, 2, and 5) mRNA in isolated kidney CD cells and kidney neutrophil infiltrates were increased four- to fivefold compared to normal, UPEC-infected mice. Thus, MA intensified pyelonephritis and increased the risk of kidney injury by impairing clearance of UPEC-UTI and potentiating renal inflammation characterized by an elevated kidney neutrophil infiltrate.
Project description:Streptococcus agalactiae causes urinary tract infection (UTI) in pregnant adults, non-pregnant adults, immune-compromised individuals and the elderly. The pathogenesis of S. agalactiae UTI in distinct patient populations is poorly understood. In this study, we used murine models of UTI incorporating young mice, aged and dam mice to show that uropathogenic S. agalactiae causes bacteriuria at significantly higher levels in aged mice compared to young mice and this occurs coincident with equivalent levels of bladder tissue colonisation at 24 h post-infection (p.i.). In addition, aged mice exhibited significantly higher bacteriuria burdens at 48 h compared to young mice, confirming a divergent pattern of bacterial colonization in the urinary tract of aged and young mice. Multiparous mice, in contrast, exhibited significantly lower urinary titres of S. agalactiae compared to age-matched nulliparous mice suggesting that parity enhances the ability of the host to control S. agalactiae bacteriuria. Additionally, we show that both age and parity alter the expression levels of several key regulatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are known to be important the immune response to UTI, including Interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-12(p40), and Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1). Finally, we demonstrate that other cytokines, including IL-17 are induced significantly in the S. agalactiae-infected bladder regardless of age and parity status. Collectively, these findings show that the host environment plays an important role in influencing the severity of S. agalactiae UTI; infection dynamics, particularly in the context of bacteriuria, depend on age and parity, which also affect the nature of innate immune responses to infection.
Project description:Genetic factors that regulate the pathogenesis of pneumonia caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans are poorly understood. Through a phenotypic strain survey we observed that inbred C3H/HeN mice develop a significantly greater lung fungal burden than mice of the resistant CBA/J strain 4 weeks following intratracheal infection with C. neoformans ATCC 24067. The aim of the present study was to characterize the inflammatory response of C3H/HeN mice following C. neoformans pulmonary infection and to identify genetic loci that regulate host defense. Following cryptococcal infection, C3H/HeN mice demonstrated a Th2 immune response with heightened airway and tissue eosinophilia, goblet cell metaplasia, and significantly higher lung interleukin-5 (IL-5) and IL-13 protein expression relative to CBA/J mice. Conversely, CBA/J mice exhibited greater airway and tissue neutrophilia that was associated with significantly higher pulmonary expression of gamma interferon, CXCL10, and IL-17 proteins than C3H/HeN mice. Using the fungal burden at 4 weeks postinfection as a phenotype, genome-wide quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis among 435 segregating (C3H/HeN × CBA/J)F2 (C3HCBAF2) hybrids identified two significant QTLs on chromosomes 1 (Cnes4) and 9 (Cnes5) that control susceptibility to cryptococcal pneumonia in an additive manner. Susceptible C3H/HeN mice carry a resistance allele at Cnes4 and a susceptibility allele at Cnes5. These studies reveal additional genetic complexity of the host response to C. neoformans that is associated with divergent patterns of pulmonary inflammation.