Loss of Bladder Epithelium Induced by Cytolytic Mast Cell Granules.
ABSTRACT: Programmed death and shedding of epithelial cells is a powerful defense mechanism to reduce bacterial burden during infection but this activity cannot be indiscriminate because of the critical barrier function of the epithelium. We report that during cystitis, shedding of infected bladder epithelial cells (BECs) was preceded by the recruitment of mast cells (MCs) directly underneath the superficial epithelium where they docked and extruded their granules. MCs were responding to interleukin-1? (IL-1?) secreted by BECs after inflammasome and caspase-1 signaling. Upon uptake of granule-associated chymase (mouse MC protease 4 [mMCPT4]), BECs underwent caspase-1-associated cytolysis and exfoliation. Thus, infected epithelial cells require a specific cue for cytolysis from recruited sentinel inflammatory cells before shedding.
Project description:<b>Background:</b> Human mast cells (MCs) are long-lived tissue-resident immune cells characterised by granules containing the proteases chymase and/or tryptase. Their phenotype is modulated by their tissue microenvironment. The human uterus has an outer muscular layer (the myometrium) surrounding the endometrium, both of which play an important role in supporting a pregnancy. The endometrium is a sex steroid target tissue consisting of epithelial cells (luminal, glandular) surrounded by a multicellular stroma, with the latter containing an extensive vascular compartment as well as fluctuating populations of immune cells that play an important role in regulating tissue function. The role of MCs in the human uterus is poorly understood with little known about their regulation or the impact of steroids on their differentiation status. The current study had two aims: 1) To investigate the spatial and temporal location of uterine MCs and determine their phenotype; 2) To determine whether MCs express receptors for steroids implicated in uterine function, including oestrogen (ER?, ER?), progesterone (PR) and glucocorticoids (GR). <b>Methods:</b> Tissue samples from women (n=46) were used for RNA extraction (n=26) or fixed (n=20) for immunohistochemistry. <b>Results:</b> Messenger RNAs encoded by <i>TPSAB1</i> (tryptase) and <i>CMA1</i> (chymase) were detected in endometrial tissue homogenates. Immunohistochemistry revealed the relative abundance of tryptase MCs was myometrium>basal endometrium>functional endometrium. We show for the first time that uterine MCs are predominantly of the classical MC subtypes: (positive, +; negative, -) tryptase+/chymase- and tryptase+/chymase+, but a third subtype was also identified (tryptase-/chymase+). Tryptase+ MCs were of an ER?+/ER?-/PR-/GR+ phenotype mirroring other uterine immune cell populations, including natural killer cells. <b>Conclusions:</b> Endometrial tissue resident immune MCs have three protease-specific phenotypes. Expression of both ER? and GR in MCs mirrors that of other immune cells in the endometrium and suggests that MC function may be altered by the local steroid microenvironment.
Project description:OBJECTIVES: Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) express toll-like receptors (TLR) that facilitate microbial recognition. Stimulation of TLR ligands induces a transient increase in epithelial cell shedding, a mechanism that serves the antibacterial and antiviral host defence of the epithelium and promotes elimination of intracellular pathogens. Although activation of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway has been described during inflammatory shedding, its functional involvement is currently unclear. DESIGN: We investigated the functional involvement of caspase-8 signalling in microbial-induced intestinal cell shedding by injecting Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic bacterial pathogens and poly(I:C) as a probe for RNA viruses in vivo. RESULTS: TLR stimulation of IEC was associated with a rapid activation of caspase-8 and increased epithelial cell shedding. In mice with an epithelial cell-specific deletion of caspase-8 TLR stimulation caused Rip3-dependent epithelial necroptosis instead of apoptosis. Mortality and tissue damage were more severe in mice in which IECs died by necroptosis than apoptosis. Inhibition of receptor-interacting protein (Rip) kinases rescued the epithelium from TLR-induced gut damage. TLR3-induced necroptosis was directly mediated via TRIF-dependent pathways, independent of Tnf-? and type III interferons, whereas TLR4-induced tissue damage was critically dependent on Tnf-?. CONCLUSIONS: Together, our data demonstrate an essential role for caspase-8 in maintaining the gut barrier in response to mucosal pathogens by permitting inflammatory shedding and preventing necroptosis of infected cells. These data suggest that therapeutic strategies targeting the cell death machinery represent a promising new option for the treatment of inflammatory and infective enteropathies.
Project description:Airway epithelial cell defenses to viral infections are often compromised in disease or injury. Danger molecules, including ATP, are released during infection and contribute to nucleotide receptor-dependent inflammatory responses, largely through P2X(7). Although respiratory epithelium has been shown to express a variety of nucleotide receptors, the functional contribution of P2X(7) to the epithelial cell inflammatory response is unclear. We used human donor bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) and primary brushed epithelium to explore responses upon nucleotide and Toll-like receptor stimulation. P2X(7) messenger RNA and protein were observed in unprimed BECs, whereas inflammatory cytokine stimulation increased both messenger RNA and protein. Functional pore activity characteristic of P2X(7) was observed in BECs, and IL-1? was rapidly released by BECs after Toll-like receptor 3 agonist, polyinosine-polycytidylic acid, priming followed by ATP administration, although no change was observed in IL-18 release. BECs produced more IL-1? after stimulation with polyinosine-polycytidylic acid than LPS, showing a different preferential response than monocytes. In addition, blockade of nucleotide receptors with oxidized ATP significantly increased human rhinovirus (HRV) recovered 24 hours after infection in BECs, whereas 2'-3'-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl) ATP treatment of brushed epithelial cells and respiratory cell lines nonsignificantly decreased HRV recovery. IL-1? release was detected after HRV infection in both BECs and brushed cells, but BzATP did not significantly increase IL-1? release further. BEC processing of pro-IL-1? to the mature, cleaved, 17-kD form was confirmed by Western blotting. These results support the expression of functional P2X(7) in human lung epithelium, although its role in epithelial pathogen defense is likely independent of IL-1 family cytokine processing.
Project description:Severe asthma (SA) remains poorly understood. Mast cells (MC) are implicated in asthma pathogenesis, but it remains unknown how their phenotype, location, and activation relate to asthma severity.To compare MC-related markers measured in bronchoscopically obtained samples with clinically relevant parameters between normal subjects and subjects with asthma to clarify their pathobiologic importance.Endobronchial biopsies, epithelial brushings, and bronchoalveolar lavage were obtained from subjects with asthma and normal subjects from the Severe Asthma Research Program (N = 199). Tryptase, chymase, and carboxypeptidase A (CPA)3 were used to identify total MC (MC(Tot)) and the MC(TC) subset (MCs positive for both tryptase and chymase) using immunostaining and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Lavage was analyzed for tryptase and prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) by ELISA.Submucosal MC(Tot) (tryptase-positive by immunostaining) numbers were highest in "mild asthma/no inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy" subjects and decreased with greater asthma severity (P = 0.002). In contrast, MC(TC) (chymase-positive by immunostaining) were the predominant (MC(TC)/MC(Tot) > 50%) MC phenotype in SA (overall P = 0.005). Epithelial MC(Tot) were also highest in mild asthma/no ICS, but were not lower in SA. Instead, they persisted and were predominantly MC(TC). Epithelial CPA3 and tryptase mRNA supported the immunostaining data (overall P = 0.008 and P = 0.02, respectively). Lavage PGD2 was higher in SA than in other steroid-treated groups (overall P = 0.02), whereas tryptase did not differentiate the groups. In statistical models, PGD2 and MC(TC)/MC(Tot) predicted SA.Severe asthma is associated with a predominance of MC(TC) in the airway submucosa and epithelium. Activation of those MC(TC) may contribute to the increases in PGD2 levels. The data suggest an altered and active MC population contributes to SA pathology.
Project description:During infection and tissue damage, virulence factors and alarmins are pro-inflammatory and induce activation of various immune cells including macrophages and mast cells (MCs). Activated MCs instantly release preformed inflammatory mediators, including several proteases. The chymase mouse mast cell protease (MCPT)-4 is thought to be pro-inflammatory, whereas human chymase also degrades pro-inflammatory cytokines, suggesting that chymase instead limits inflammation. Here we explored the contribution of MCPT4 and human chymase to the control of danger-induced inflammation. We found that protein extracts from wild type (WT), carboxypeptidase A3-, and MCPT6-deficient mice and MCs and recombinant human chymase efficiently degrade the Trichinella spiralis virulence factor heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) as well as endogenous Hsp70. MC-(W(sash))-, serglycin-, NDST2-, and MCPT4-deficient extracts lacked this capacity, indicating that chymase is responsible for the degradation. Chymase, but not MC tryptase, also degraded other alarmins, i.e. biglycan, HMGB1, and IL-33, a degradation that was efficiently blocked by the chymase inhibitor chymostatin. IL-7, IL-22, GM-CSF, and CCL2 were resistant to chymase degradation. MCPT4-deficient conditions ex vivo and in vivo showed no reduction in added Hsp70 and only minor reduction of IL-33. Peritoneal challenge with Hsp70 resulted in increased neutrophil recruitment and TNF-? levels in the MCPT4-deficient mice, whereas IL-6 and CCL2 levels were similar to the levels found in WT mice. The rapid and MC chymase-specific degradation of virulence factors and alarmins may depend on the presence of accessible extended recognition cleavage sites in target substrates and suggests a protective and regulatory role of MC chymase during danger-induced inflammation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Previously, we found that mast cell tryptases and carboxypeptidase A3 (CPA3) are differentially expressed in the airway epithelium in asthmatic subjects. We also found that asthmatic subjects can be divided into 2 subgroups ("T(H)2 high" and "T(H)2 low" asthma) based on epithelial cell gene signatures for the activity of T(H)2 cytokines.<h4>Objectives</h4>We sought to characterize intraepithelial mast cells (IEMCs) in asthma.<h4>Methods</h4>We performed gene expression profiling in epithelial brushings and stereology-based quantification of mast cell numbers in endobronchial biopsy specimens from healthy control and asthmatic subjects before and after treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs). We also performed gene expression and protein quantification studies in cultured airway epithelial cells and mast cells.<h4>Results</h4>By means of unsupervised clustering, mast cell gene expression in the airway epithelium related closely to the expression of IL-13 signature genes. The levels of expression of mast cell genes correlate positively with lung function improvements with ICSs. IEMC density was 2-fold higher than normal in subjects with T(H)2-high asthma compared with that seen in subjects with T(H)2-low asthma or healthy control subjects (P = .015 for both comparisons), and these cells were characterized by expression of tryptases and CPA3 but not chymase. IL-13 induced expression of stem cell factor in cultured airway epithelial cells, and mast cells exposed to conditioned media from IL-13-activated epithelial cells showed downregulation of chymase but no change in tryptase or CPA3 expression.<h4>Conclusion</h4>IEMC numbers are increased in subjects with T(H)2-high asthma, have an unusual protease phenotype (tryptase and CPA3 high and chymase low), and predict responsiveness to ICSs. IL-13-stimulated production of stem cell factor by epithelial cells potentially explains mast cell accumulation in T(H)2-high asthmatic epithelium.
Project description:Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a leading cause of viral encephalitis. However, the mechanisms of JEV penetration of the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) remain poorly understood. Mast cells (MCs) are granulated innate immune sentinels located perivascularly, including at the BBB. Here we show that JEV activates MCs, leading to the release of granule-associated proteases in vivo. MC-deficient mice display reduced BBB permeability during JEV infection compared to congenic wild-type (WT) mice, indicating that enhanced vascular leakage in the brain during JEV infection is MC-dependent. Moreover, MCs promoted increased JEV infection in the central nervous system (CNS), enhanced neurological deficits, and reduced survival in vivo. Mechanistically, chymase, a MC-specific protease, enhances JEV-induced breakdown of the BBB and cleavage of tight-junction proteins. Chymase inhibition reversed BBB leakage, reduced brain infection and neurological deficits during JEV infection, and prolonged survival, suggesting chymase is a novel therapeutic target to prevent JEV encephalitis.
Project description:Trichomonas vaginalis is an extracellular protozoan parasite that binds to the epithelium of the human urogenital tract during infection. In this study, we examined the propensities of 26 T. vaginalis strains to bind to and lyse prostate (BPH-1) and ectocervical (Ect1) epithelium and to lyse red blood cells (RBCs). We found that only three of the strains had a statistically significant preference for either BPH-1 (MSA1103) or Ect1 (LA1 and MSA1123). Overall, we observed that levels of adherence are highly variable among strains, with a 12-fold range of adherence on Ect1 cells and a 45-fold range on BPH-1 cells. Cytolysis levels displayed even greater variability, from no detectable cytolysis to 80% or 90% cytolysis of Ect1 and BPH-1, respectively. Levels of adherence and cytolysis correlate for weakly adherent/cytolytic strains, and a threshold of attachment was found to be necessary to trigger cytolysis; however, this threshold can be reached without inducing cytolysis. Furthermore, cytolysis was completely blocked when we prevented attachment of the parasites to host cells while allowing soluble factors complete access. We demonstrate that hemolysis was a rare trait, with only 4 of the 26 strains capable of lysing >20% RBCs with a 1:30 parasite/RBC ratio. Hemolysis also did not correlate with adherence to or cytolysis of either male (BPH-1)- or female (Ect1)-derived epithelial cell lines. Our results reveal that despite a broad range of pathogenic properties among different T. vaginalis strains, all strains show strict contact-dependent cytolysis.
Project description:Malnutrition and cryptosporidiosis form a vicious cycle and lead to acute and long-term growth impairment in children from developing countries. Insights into mechanisms underlying the vicious cycle will help to design rational therapies to mitigate this infection. We tested the effect of short-term protein malnutrition on Cryptosporidium parvum infection in a murine model by examining stool shedding, tissue burden, and histologic change and explored the mechanism underlying the interaction between malnutrition and cryptosporidiosis through immunostaining and immunoblotting. Protein malnutrition increased stool shedding and the number of intestine-associated C. parvum organisms, accompanied by significant suppression of C. parvum-induced caspase 3 activity and expression of PCNA and Ki67, but activation of the Akt survival pathway in intestinal epithelial cells. We find that even very brief periods of protein malnutrition may enhance (or intensify) cryptosporidiosis by suppressing C. parvum-induced cell turnover and caspase-dependent apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells. This implicates a potential strategy to attenuate C. parvum's effects by modulating apoptosis and promoting regeneration in the intestinal epithelium.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>An increasing number of studies using primary human bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) have reported intrinsic differences in the expression of several genes between cells from asthmatic and non-asthmatic donors. The stability of gene expression by primary BECs with increasing cell passage number has not been well characterized.<h4>Methods</h4>To determine if expression by primary BECs from asthmatic and non-asthmatic children of selected genes associated with airway remodeling, innate immune response, immunomodulatory factors, and markers of differentiated airway epithelium, are stable over increasing cell passage number, we studied gene expression patterns in passages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 BECs from asthmatic (n?=?6) and healthy (n?=?6) subjects that were differentiated at an air-liquid interface. RNA was harvested from BECs and RT-PCR was performed for TGF?1, TGF?2, activin A, FSTL3, MUC5AC, TSLP, IL-33, CXCL10, IFIH1, p63, KT5, TUBB4A, TJP1, OCLN, and FOXJ1.<h4>Results</h4>Expression of TGF?1, TGF?2, activin A, FSTL3, MUC5AC, CXCL10, IFIH1, p63, KT5, TUBB4A, TJP1, OCLN, and FOXJ1 by primary BECs from asthmatic and healthy children was stable with no significant differences between passages 1, 2 and 3; however, gene expression at cell passages 4 and 5 was significantly greater and more variable compared to passage 1 BECs for many of these genes. IL-33 and FOXJ1 expression was also stable between passages 1 through 3, however, expression at passages 4 and 5 was significantly lower than by passage 1 BECs. TSLP, p63, and KRT5 expression was stable across BEC passages 1 through 5 for both asthmatic and healthy BECs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These observations illustrate the importance of using BECs from passage ?3 when studying gene expression by asthmatic and non-asthmatic primary BECs and characterizing the expression pattern across increasing cell passage number for each new gene studied, as beyond passage 3 genes expressed by primary BECs appear to less accurately model in vivo airway epithelial gene expression.