Macrophage-inducible C-type lectin Mincle-expressing dendritic cells contribute to control of splenic Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection in mice.
ABSTRACT: The macrophage-inducible C-type lectin Mincle has recently been identified to be a pattern recognition receptor sensing mycobacterial infection via recognition of the mycobacterial cell wall component trehalose-6',6-dimycolate (TDM). However, its role in systemic mycobacterial infections has not been examined so far. Mincle-knockout (KO) mice were infected intravenously with Mycobacterium bovis BCG to mimic the systemic spread of mycobacteria under defined experimental conditions. After intravenous infection with M. bovis BCG, Mincle-KO mice responded with significantly higher numbers of mycobacterial CFU in spleen and liver, while reduced granuloma formation was observed only in the spleen. At the same time, reduced Th1 cytokine production and decreased numbers of gamma interferon-producing T cells were observed in the spleens of Mincle-KO mice relative to the numbers in the spleens of wild-type (WT) mice. The effect of adoptive transfer of defined WT leukocyte subsets generated from bone marrow cells of zDC(+/DTR) mice (which bear the human diphtheria toxin receptor [DTR] under the control of the classical dendritic cell-specific zinc finger transcription factor zDC) to specifically deplete Mincle-expressing classical dendritic cells (cDCs) but not macrophages after diphtheria toxin application on the numbers of splenic and hepatic CFU and T cell subsets was then determined. Adoptive transfer experiments revealed that Mincle-expressing splenic cDCs rather than Mincle-expressing macrophages contributed to the reconstitution of attenuated splenic antimycobacterial immune responses in Mincle-KO mice after intravenous challenge with BCG. Collectively, we show that expression of Mincle, particularly by cDCs, contributes to the control of splenic M. bovis BCG infection in mice.
Project description:The C-type lectin receptor (CTLR), Clec4d (MCL, CLECSF8), is a member of the Dectin-2 cluster of CTLRs, which also includes the related receptors Mincle and Dectin-2. Like Mincle, Clec4d recognizes mycobacterial cord factor, trehalose dimycolate, and we recently demonstrated its key role in anti-mycobacterial immunity in mouse and man. Here, we characterized receptor expression in naïve mice, under inflammatory conditions, and during Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection using newly generated monoclonal antibodies. In naïve mice, Clec4d was predominantly expressed on myeloid cells within the peritoneal cavity, blood, and bone marrow. Unexpectedly, basal expression of Clec4d was very low on leukocytes in the lung. However, receptor expression was significantly upregulated on pulmonary myeloid cells during M. bovis BCG infection. Moreover, Clec4d expression could be strongly induced in vitro and in vivo by various microbial stimuli, including TLR agonists, but not exogenous cytokines. Notably, we show that Clec4d requires association with the signaling adaptor FcR? and Mincle, but not Dectin-2, for surface expression. In addition, we provide evidence that Clec4d and Mincle, but not Dectin-2, are interdependently coregulated during inflammation and infection. These data show that Clec4d is an inducible myeloid-expressed CTLR in mice, whose expression is tightly linked to that of Mincle.
Project description:Mincle, macrophage-inducible C-type lectin, is a member of C-type lectin receptors. It plays an important role in anti-mycobacterial and anti-fungal immunity. Furthermore it senses dead cells through its primary ligand SAP130.We examined ten urothelial tumors of the urinary bladder of cattle. Eight of them expressed E5 cDNA of bovine papillomaviruses type 2 (BPV-2) and type 13 (BPV-13) that belong to Deltapapillomavirus genus. Two of them were not examined for detection of E5 cDNA. Mincle expression appeared to occur in urothelial neoplastic cells only. No mincle expression was detected in urothelial cells from healthy cattle. Mincle expression was characterized by a membranous pattern in papillary urothelial cancers; isolated and/or clustered urothelial cells showing a strong cytoplasmic immunoreactivity were primarily seen in invasive urothelial cancers.This is the first study about the expression of mincle in veterinary oncology and the first report which describes the expression of functional mincle receptor in neoplastic cells in medical literature. As it has been shown that urothelial cancer cells have the ability to function as antigen-presenting cells (APCs), it is conceivable that mincle expression is involved in the presentation of cancer cell antigens to cells of the immune system. Furthermore, since expression of mincle contributes to the control of Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection, this study has exciting clinical implications in comparative medicine keeping in mind that Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy is currently the most effective treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in man. Mincle expression in urothelial tumor cells warrants further study to better understand the role, if any, of this receptor in bladder cancer. Future studies will provide insights in the role of mincle receptor of urothelial cancer cells in antitumor immunotherapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The global epidemiology of parasitic helminths and mycobacterial infections display extensive geographical overlap, especially in the rural and urban communities of developing countries. We investigated whether co-infection with the gastrointestinal tract-restricted helminth, Trichuris muris, and the intracellular bacterium, Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) BCG, would alter host immune responses to, or the pathological effect of, either infection. RESULTS: We demonstrate that both pathogens are capable of negatively affecting local and systemic immune responses towards each other by modifying cytokine phenotypes and by inducing general immune suppression. T. muris infection influenced non-specific and pathogen-specific immunity to M. bovis BCG by down-regulating pulmonary TH1 and Treg responses and inducing systemic TH2 responses. However, co-infection did not alter mycobacterial multiplication or dissemination and host pulmonary histopathology remained unaffected compared to BCG-only infected mice. Interestingly, prior M. bovis BCG infection significantly delayed helminth clearance and increased intestinal crypt cell proliferation in BALB/c mice. This was accompanied by a significant reduction in systemic helminth-specific TH1 and TH2 cytokine responses and significantly reduced local TH1 and TH2 responses in comparison to T. muris-only infected mice. CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate that co-infection with pathogens inducing opposing immune phenotypes, can have differential effects on compartmentalized host immune protection to either pathogen. In spite of local and systemic decreases in TH1 and increases in TH2 responses co-infected mice clear M. bovis BCG at the same rate as BCG only infected animals, whereas prior mycobacterial infection initiates prolonged worm infestation in parallel to decreased pathogen-specific TH2 cytokine production.
Project description:Human inborn errors of IFN-? immunity underlie mycobacterial diseases. We describe patients with Mycobacterium bovis (BCG) disease who are homozygous for loss-of-function mutations of SPPL2A. This gene encodes a transmembrane protease that degrades the N-terminal fragment (NTF) of CD74 (HLA invariant chain) in antigen-presenting cells. The CD74 NTF therefore accumulates in the HLA class II+ myeloid and lymphoid cells of SPPL2a-deficient patients. This toxic fragment selectively depletes IL-12- and IL-23-producing CD1c+ conventional dendritic cells (cDC2s) and their circulating progenitors. Moreover, SPPL2a-deficient memory TH1* cells selectively fail to produce IFN-? when stimulated with mycobacterial antigens in vitro. Finally, Sppl2a-/- mice lack cDC2s, have CD4+ T cells that produce small amounts of IFN-? after BCG infection, and are highly susceptible to infection with BCG or Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These findings suggest that inherited SPPL2a deficiency in humans underlies mycobacterial disease by decreasing the numbers of cDC2s and impairing IFN-? production by mycobacterium-specific memory TH1* cells.
Project description:Macrophages are natural host cells for pathogenic mycobacteria, like Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). Immune surveillance by T cells and interaction with M.tb infected macrophages is crucial for protection against M.tb reactivation and development of active tuberculosis. Several factors play a role in the control of M.tb infection but reliable biomarkers remain elusive. One major obstacle is the absence of functional in vitro assays which allow concomitant determination of i) mycobacterial eradication; ii) cytotoxic effects on host macrophages; and iii) effector T-cell functions. We established a novel functional in vitro assay based on flow cytometry analysis of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) infected with a Mycobacterium bovis BCG strain containing a tetracycline inducible live/dead reporter plasmid (LD-BCG). MDM of healthy human donors were generated in vitro and infected with defined LD-BCG numbers. After short-term MDM/LD-BCG co-incubation with autologous effector T cells or in the presence of antibiotics, proportions of MDM containing live or dead LD-BCG were determined by flow cytometry. Concomitant measure of defined numbers of added beads allowed comparison of absolute MDM numbers between samples. Differential effects of T-cell subpopulations on anti-mycobacterial cytotoxicity and on MDM apoptosis were determined. Flow cytometry measure of MDM/LD-BCG treated with rifampicin correlated well with mycobacterial colony forming units and fluorescence microscopy results. Co-culture with pre-activated effector T cells reduced viability of both, LD-BCG and MDM, in a concentration-dependent manner. M.tb protein specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells contributed similarly to anti-mycobacterial cytotoxicity but CD4+ T cells induced higher levels of apoptosis in infected MDMs. This novel assay enables rapid quantification of anti-mycobacterial cytotoxicity and characterization of effector functions. Our functional in vitro assay has the potential to contribute to the identification of biomarkers for protective T-cell responses against tuberculosis.
Project description:The host response to mycobacterial infection depends on host and pathogen genetic factors. Recent studies in human populations suggest a strain specific genetic control of tuberculosis. To test for mycobacterial-strain specific genetic control of susceptibility to infection under highly controlled experimental conditions, we performed a comparative genetic analysis using the A/J- and C57BL/6J-derived recombinant congenic (RC) mouse panel infected with the Russia and Pasteur strains of Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG). Bacillary counts in the lung and spleen at weeks 1 and 6 post infection were used as a measure of susceptibility. By performing genome-wide linkage analyses of loci that impact on tissue-specific bacillary burden, we were able to show the importance of correcting for strain background effects in the RC panel. When linkage analysis was adjusted on strain background, we detected a single locus on chromosome 11 that impacted on pulmonary counts of BCG Russia but not Pasteur. The same locus also controlled the splenic counts of BCG Russia but not Pasteur. By contrast, a locus on chromosome 1 which was indistinguishable from Nramp1 impacted on splenic bacillary counts of both BCG Russia and Pasteur. Additionally, dependent upon BCG strain, tissue and time post infection, we detected 9 distinct loci associated with bacillary counts. Hence, the ensemble of genetic loci impacting on BCG infection revealed a highly dynamic picture of genetic control that reflected both the course of infection and the infecting strain. This high degree of adaptation of host genetics to strain-specific pathogenesis is expected to provide a suitable framework for the selection of specific host-mycobacteria combinations during co-evolution of mycobacteria with humans.
Project description:The mycobacterial cord factor trehalose-6,6-dimycolate (TDM) and its synthetic analog trehalose-6,6-dibehenate (TDB) are potent adjuvants for Th1/Th17 vaccination that activate Syk-Card9 signaling in APCs. In this study, we have further investigated the molecular mechanism of innate immune activation by TDM and TDB. The Syk-coupling adapter protein FcRgamma was essential for macrophage activation and Th17 adjuvanticity. The FcRgamma-associated C-type lectin receptor Mincle was expressed in macrophages and upregulated by TDM and TDB. Recombinant Mincle-Fc fusion protein specifically bound to the glycolipids. Genetic ablation of Mincle abolished TDM/TDB-induced macrophage activation and induction of T cell immune responses to a tuberculosis subunit vaccine. Macrophages lacking Mincle or FcRgamma were impaired in the inflammatory response to Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin. These results establish that Mincle is a key receptor for the mycobacterial cord factor and controls the Th1/Th17 adjuvanticity of TDM and TDB.
Project description:Ser/Thr/Tyr protein phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating mycobacterial growth and development. Understanding the mechanistic link between protein phosphorylation signaling network and mycobacterial growth rate requires a global view of the phosphorylation events taking place at a given time under defined conditions. In the present study we employed a phosphopeptide enrichment and high throughput mass spectrometry-based strategy to investigate and qualitatively compare the phosphoproteome of two mycobacterial model organisms: the fast growing Mycobacterium smegmatis and the slow growing Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Cells were harvested during exponential phase and our analysis detected a total of 185 phospho-sites in M. smegmatis, of which 106 were confidently localized [localization probability (LP) = 0.75; PEP = 0.01]. By contrast, in M. bovis BCG the phosphoproteome comprised 442 phospho-sites, of which 289 were confidently localized. The percentage distribution of Ser/Thr/Tyr phosphorylation was 39.47, 57.02, and 3.51% for M. smegmatis and 35, 61.6, and 3.1% for M. bovis BCG. Moreover, our study identified a number of conserved Ser/Thr phosphorylated sites and conserved Tyr phosphorylated sites across different mycobacterial species. Overall a qualitative comparison of the fast and slow growing mycobacteria suggests that the phosphoproteome of M. smegmatis is a simpler version of that of M. bovis BCG. In particular, M. bovis BCG exponential cells exhibited a much more complex and sophisticated protein phosphorylation network regulating important cellular cycle events such as cell wall biosynthesis, elongation, cell division including immediately response to stress. The differences in the two phosphoproteomes are discussed in light of different mycobacterial growth rates.
Project description:Animal models have long been used in tuberculosis research to understand disease pathogenesis and to evaluate novel vaccine candidates and anti-mycobacterial drugs. However, all have limitations and there is no single animal model which mimics all the aspects of mycobacterial pathogenesis seen in humans. Importantly mice, the most commonly used model, do not normally form granulomas, the hallmark of tuberculosis infection. Thus there is an urgent need for the development of new alternative in vivo models. The insect larvae, Galleria mellonella has been increasingly used as a successful, simple, widely available and cost-effective model to study microbial infections. Here we report for the first time that G. mellonella can be used as an infection model for members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. We demonstrate a dose-response for G. mellonella survival infected with different inocula of bioluminescent Mycobacterium bovis BCG lux, and demonstrate suppression of mycobacterial luminesence over 14 days. Histopathology staining and transmission electron microscopy of infected G. mellonella phagocytic haemocytes show internalization and aggregation of M. bovis BCG lux in granuloma-like structures, and increasing accumulation of lipid bodies within M. bovis BCG lux over time, characteristic of latent tuberculosis infection. Our results demonstrate that G. mellonella can act as a surrogate host to study the pathogenesis of mycobacterial infection and shed light on host-mycobacteria interactions, including latent tuberculosis infection.
Project description:Current tuberculosis (TB) treatments include chemotherapy and preventative vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). In humans, however, BCG vaccination fails to fully protect against pulmonary TB. Few studies have considered the impact of the human lung mucosa (alveolar lining fluid (ALF)), which modifies the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) cell wall, revealing alternate antigenic epitopes on the bacterium surface that alter its pathogenicity. We hypothesized that ALF-induced modification of BCG would induce better protection against aerosol infection with M.tb. Here we vaccinated mice with ALF-exposed BCG, mimicking the mycobacterial cell surface properties that would be present in the lung during M.tb infection. ALF-exposed BCG-vaccinated mice were more effective at reducing M.tb bacterial burden in the lung and spleen, and had reduced lung inflammation at late stages of M.tb infection. Improved BCG efficacy was associated with increased numbers of memory CD8+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells with the potential to produce interferon-? in the lung in response to M.tb challenge. Depletion studies confirmed an essential role for CD8+ T cells in controlling M.tb bacterial burden. We conclude that ALF modifications to the M.tb cell wall in vivo are relevant in the context of vaccine design.