IL-6 ameliorates acute lung injury in influenza virus infection.
ABSTRACT: 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:The absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) inflammasome plays an important role in many viral and bacterial infections, but very little is known about its role in RNA virus infection, including influenza A virus (IAV). In this study, we have designed in vivo and in vitro studies to determine the role of AIM2 in infections with lethal doses of IAVs A/PR8/34 and A/California/07/09. In wild-type mice, IAV infection enhanced AIM2 expression, induced dsDNA release, and stimulated caspase-1 activation and release of cleaved IL-1? in the lung, which was significantly reduced in AIM2-deficient mice. Interestingly, AIM2 deficiency did not affect the transcription of caspase-1 and IL-1?. In addition, AIM2-deficient mice exhibited attenuated lung injury and significantly improved survival against IAV challenges, but did not alter viral burden in the lung. However, AIM2 deficiency did not seem to affect adaptive immune response against IAV infections. Furthermore, experiments with AIM2-specific small interfering RNA-treated and AIM2-deficient human and mouse lung alveolar macrophages and type II cells indicated a macrophage-specific function of AIM2 in regulation of IAV-stimulated proinflammatory response. Collectively, our results demonstrate that influenza infection activates the AIM2 inflammasome, which plays a critical role in IAV-induced lung injury and mortality. AIM2 might serve as a therapeutic target for combating influenza-associated morbidity and mortality without compromising the host antiviral responses.
Project description:Pro-inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-1? (IL-1?) are upregulated during early responses to tissue damage and are expected to transiently compromise the mechanical microenvironment. Fibroblasts are key regulators of tissue mechanics in the lungs and other organs. However, the effects of IL-1? on fibroblast mechanics and functions remain unclear. Here we treated human pulmonary fibroblasts from control donors with IL-1? and used Atomic Force Microscopy to unveil that IL-1? significantly reduces the stiffness of fibroblasts concomitantly with a downregulation of filamentous actin (F-actin) and alpha-smooth muscle (?-SMA). Likewise, <i>COL1A1</i> mRNA was reduced, whereas that of collagenases <i>MMP1</i> and <i>MMP2</i> were upregulated, favoring a reduction of type-I collagen. These mechanobiology changes were functionally associated with reduced proliferation and enhanced migration upon IL-1? stimulation, which could facilitate lung repair by drawing fibroblasts to sites of tissue damage. Our observations reveal that IL-1? may reduce local tissue rigidity by acting both intracellularly and extracellularly through the downregulation of fibroblast contractility and type I collagen deposition, respectively. These IL-1?-dependent mechanical effects may enhance lung repair further by locally increasing pulmonary tissue compliance to preserve normal lung distension and function. Moreover, our results support that IL-1? provides innate anti-fibrotic protection that may be relevant during the early stages of lung repair.
Project description: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:Apoptosis of fibroblasts/myofibroblasts is a critical event in the resolution of tissue repair responses; however, mechanisms for the regulation of (myo)fibroblast apoptosis/survival remain unclear. In this study, we demonstrate counter-regulatory interactions between the plasminogen activation system and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) in the control of fibroblast apoptosis. Plasmin treatment induced fibroblast apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner in association with proteolytic degradation of extracellular matrix proteins, as detected by the release of soluble fibronectin peptides. Plasminogen, which was activated to plasmin by fibroblasts, also induced fibronectin proteolysis and fibroblast apoptosis, both of which were blocked by alpha2-antiplasmin but not by inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase activity. TGF-beta1 protected fibroblasts from apoptosis induced by plasminogen but not from apoptosis induced by exogenous plasmin. The protection from plasminogen-induced apoptosis conferred by TGF-beta1 is associated with the up-regulation of plasminogen activator-1 (PAI-1) expression and inhibition of plasminogen activation. Moreover, lung fibroblasts from mice genetically deficient in PAI-1 lose the protective effect of TGF-beta1 against plasminogen-induced apoptosis. These findings support a novel role for the plasminogen activation system in the regulation of fibroblast apoptosis and a potential role of TGF-beta1/PAI-1 in promoting (myo)fibroblast survival in chronic fibrotic disorders.
Project description:Although influenza virus infection remains a concerning disease for public health, the roles of individual cytokines during the immune response to influenza infection are not fully understood. We have identified IL-36? as a key mediator of immune protection during both high- and low-pathogenesis influenza infection. Il36g mRNA is upregulated in the lung following influenza infection, and mice lacking IL-36? have greatly increased morbidity and mortality upon infection with either H1N1 or H3N2 influenza. The increased severity of influenza infection in IL-36?-knockout (KO) mice is associated with increased viral titers, higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines early in infection, and more diffuse pathologic conditions late in the disease course. Interestingly, the increased severity of disease in IL-36?-KO mice correlates with a rapid loss of alveolar macrophages following infection. We find that the alveolar macrophages from naive IL-36?-KO mice have higher expression of M2-like surface markers compared with wild-type (WT) mice and show increased apoptosis within 24 h of infection. Finally, transfer of WT alveolar macrophages to IL-36?-KO mice restores protection against lethal influenza challenge to levels observed in WT mice. Together, these data identify a critical role for IL-36? in immunity against influenza virus and demonstrate the importance of IL-36? signaling for alveolar macrophage survival during infection.
Project description:The cytokines generated locally in response to infection play an important role in CD8 T cell trafficking, survival, and effector function, rendering these signals prime candidates for immune intervention. In this paper, we show that localized increases in the homeostatic cytokine IL-15 induced by influenza infection is responsible for the migration of CD8 effector T cells to the site of infection. Moreover, intranasal delivery of IL-15-IL-15R? soluble complexes (IL-15c) specifically restores the frequency of effector T cells lost in the lung airways of IL-15-deficient animals after influenza infection. Exogenous IL-15c quantitatively augments the respiratory CD8 T cell response, and continued administration of IL-15c throughout the contraction phase of the anti-influenza CD8 T cell response magnifies the resultant CD8 T cell memory generated in situ. This treatment extends the ability of these cells to protect against heterologous infection, immunity that typically depreciates over time. Overall, our studies describe what to our knowledge is a new function for IL-15 in attracting effector CD8 T cells to the lung airways and suggest that adjuvanting IL-15 could be used to prolong anti-influenza CD8 T cell responses at mucosal surfaces to facilitate pathogen elimination.
Project description:Fibroblasts are believed to be the major cells responsible for the production and maintenance of extracellular matrix. Alterations in fibroblast functional capacity, therefore, could play a role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary emphysema, which is characterized by inadequate maintenance of tissue structure.To evaluate the hypothesis that deficient fibroblast repair characterizes cells obtained from individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compared with control subjects.Fibroblasts were cultured from lung tissue obtained from individuals undergoing thoracotomy and were characterized in vitro.Fibroblasts from individuals with COPD, defined by reduced FEV(1), manifested reduced chemotaxis toward fibronectin and reduced contraction of three-dimensional collagen gels, two bioassays associated with fibroblast repair function. At least two mechanisms appear to account for these differences. Prostaglandin E (PGE), a known inhibitor of fibroblast repair functions, was produced in increased amount by fibroblasts from subjects with COPD, which also expressed increased amounts of the receptors EP2 and EP4, both of which signal through cyclic AMP. Incubation of fibroblasts with indomethacin or with the PKA inhibitor KT-5720 partially restored COPD subject fibroblast function. In addition, fibroblasts from subjects with COPD produced more transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1, but manifested reduced response to TGF-beta1. The functional alterations in fibroblasts correlated with both lung function assessed by FEV(1) and, for the data available, with severity of emphysema assessed by Dl(CO).Fibroblasts from individuals with COPD have reduced capability to sustain tissue repair, which suggests that this may be one mechanism that contributes to the development of emphysema.
Project description:Influenza-associated mortality continues to occur annually despite available antiviral therapies. New therapies that improve host immunity could reduce influenza virus disease burden. Targeting macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has improved the outcomes of certain inflammatory diseases, but its role in influenza viral infection is unclear. Here, we showed that, during influenza viral infection, Mif-deficient mice have less inflammation, viral load, and mortality compared with WT control mice; conversely, Tg mice, overexpressing Mif in alveolar epithelial cells, had higher inflammation, viral load, and mortality. Antibody-mediated blockade of MIF in WT mice during influenza viral infection improved their survival. Mif-deficient murine lungs showed reduced levels of parkin, a mitophagy protein that negatively regulates antiviral signaling, prior to infection and augmented antiviral type I/III IFN levels in the airspaces after infection as compared with WT lungs. Additionally, in vitro assays with human lung epithelial cells showed that treatment with recombinant human MIF increased the percentage of influenza virus-infected cells. In conclusion, our study reveals that MIF impairs antiviral host immunity and increases inflammation during influenza infection and suggests that targeting MIF could be therapeutically beneficial during influenza viral infection.
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:Alterations in microRNA (miRNA) expression may contribute to COPD pathogenesis. In COPD, lung fibroblast repair functions are altered in multiple ways, including extracellular mediator release. Our prior study revealed miR-503 expression is decreased in COPD lung fibroblasts, although the exact role played by miR-503 is undetermined. The current study examined a role of miR-503 in cytokine, growth factor and fibronectin production by lung fibroblasts from patients with and without COPD. Primary adult lung fibroblasts were isolated from patients with or without COPD. MiR-503 expression and interleukin (IL)-6, -8, PGE2, HGF, KGF, VEGF and fibronectin release were examined with or without inflammatory cytokines, IL-1? and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?. MiR-503 expression was decreased in COPD lung fibroblasts. The expression of miR-503 was positively correlated with %FVC, %FEV1, and %DLco as well as IL-6, -8, PGE2, HGF, KGF, and VEGF in the absence or presence of IL-1ß/TNF-?. In addition, IL-8 and VEGF release from COPD lung fibroblasts were increased compared to those from control. Exogenous miR-503 inhibited VEGF release from primary adult and fetal lung fibroblasts but not IL-8 release. As expected, COPD fibroblasts proliferated more slowly than control fibroblasts. MiR-503 did not affect proliferation of either control or COPD lung fibroblasts. MiR-503 inhibition of VEGF protein production and mRNA was mediated by direct binding to the 3' untranslated region of VEGF mRNA. Endogenous miR-503 was differently regulated by exogenous stimulants associated with COPD pathogenesis, including IL-1ß/TNF-?, TGF-ß1 and PGE2. Endogenous miR-503 inhibition augmented VEGF release by IL-1ß/TNF-? and TGF-ß1 but not by PGE2, demonstrating selectivity of miR-503 regulation of VEGF. In conclusions, reduced miR-503 augments VEGF release from lung fibroblasts from patients with COPD. Since VEGF contributes to disturbed vasculature in COPD, altered miR-503 production might play a role in modulating fibroblast-mediated vascular homeostasis in COPD.