Neutrophil chemotaxis and transcriptomics in term and preterm neonates.
ABSTRACT: Neutrophils play a crucial role in combating life-threatening bacterial infections in neonates. Previous studies investigating neonatal cell function have been limited because of restricted volume sampling. Here, using novel microfluidic approaches, we provide the first description of neutrophil chemotaxis and transcriptomics from whole blood of human term and preterm neonates, as well as young adults. Ex vivo percent cell migration, neutrophil velocity, and directionality to N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine were measured from whole blood using time-lapse imaging of microfluidic chemotaxis. Genome-wide expression was also evaluated in CD66b+ cells using microfluidic capture devices. Neutrophils from preterm neonates migrated in fewer numbers compared to term neonates (preterm 12.3%, term 30.5%, P = 0.008) and at a reduced velocity compared to young adults (preterm 10.1 ?m/min, adult 12.7 ?m/min, P = 0.003). Despite fewer neutrophils migrating at slower velocities, neutrophil directionality from preterm neonates was comparable to adults and term neonates. 3607 genes were differentially expressed among the 3 groups (P < 0.001). Differences in gene expression between neutrophils from preterm and term neonates were consistent with reduced pathogen recognition and antimicrobial activity but not neutrophil migration, by preterm neonates. In summary, preterm neonates have significant disturbances in neutrophil chemotaxis compared to term neonates and adults, and these differences in phenotype appear at the transcriptional level to target inflammatory pathways in general, rather than in neutrophil migration and chemotaxis.
Project description:Neonates rely on their innate immune system, and neutrophils in particular, to recognize and combat life-threatening bacterial infections. Pretreatment with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 agonist, improves survival to polymicrobial sepsis in neonatal mice by enhancing neutrophil recruitment. To understand the response of human neonatal neutrophils to TLR4 stimulation, ex vivo spontaneous neutrophil migration, neutrophil transcriptomics, and cytokine production in the presence and absence of LPS were measured directly from whole blood of adults, term neonates, and preterm neonates. Spontaneous neutrophil migration was measured on novel microfluidic devices with time-lapse imaging for 10 h. Genome-wide neutrophil transcriptomics and plasma cytokine concentrations were also determined. Preterm neonates had significantly fewer spontaneously migrating neutrophils at baseline, and both term and preterm neonates had decreased neutrophil velocity, compared to adults. In the presence of LPS stimulation, the number of spontaneously migrating neutrophils was reduced in preterm neonates compared to term neonates and adults. Neutrophil velocity was not significantly different among groups with LPS stimulation. Preterm neonates upregulated expression of genes associated with the recruitment and response of neutrophils following LPS stimulation, but failed to upregulate the expression of genes associated with antimicrobial and antiviral responses. Plasma levels of IL-1?, IL-6, IL-8, MIP-1?, and TNF-? increased in response to LPS stimulation in all groups, but IL-10 was increased only in term and preterm neonates. In conclusion, age-specific changes in spontaneous neutrophil migration counts are not affected by LPS despite changes in gene expression and cytokine production. KEY MESSAGES:Preterm neonates have reduced spontaneous neutrophil migration compared to term neonates and adults in the absence and presence of TLR4 stimulation. Preterm and term neonates have reduced neutrophil velocities compared to adults in the absence of TLR4 stimulation but no difference in the presence of TLR4 stimulation. Unique transcriptomic response to TLR4 stimulation is observed in neutrophils from preterm neonates, term neonates, and adults. TLR4 stimulation produces an age-specific cytokine response.
Project description:Animal models of human disease differ in innate immune responses to stress, pathogens, or injury. Precise neutrophil phenotype measurements could facilitate interspecies comparisons. However, such phenotype comparisons could not be performed accurately with the use of current assays, as they require the separation of neutrophils from blood using species-specific protocols, and they introduce distinct artifacts. Here, we report a microfluidic technology that enables robust characterization of neutrophil migratory phenotypes in a manner independent of the donor species and performed directly in a droplet of whole blood. The assay relies on the particular ability of neutrophils to deform actively during chemotaxis through microscale channels that block the advance of other blood cells. Neutrophil migration is measured directly in blood, in the presence of other blood cells and serum factors. Our measurements reveal important differences among migration counts, velocity, and directionality among neutrophils from 2 common mouse strains, rats, and humans.
Project description:At birth neonatal neutrophil composition differs from that of adults due to a higher number of circulating immature forms. To date only a single study has evaluated neutrophil performance based on cell maturity. For this study, we examined functional differences in chemotaxis and phagocytosis between neonatal and adult neutrophils based on cell development and labor exposure.Neutrophils were obtained by venipuncture from adults and cord blood from healthy term neonates delivered vaginally or by cesarean section. Transwells and the chemoattractant fMLP were used to evaluate chemotaxis. Phagocytosis assays were performed using GFP-labeled E.coli (RS218) and whole blood. Neutrophil maturation was measured by an accurate and verified flow cytometry technique using the markers CD45, CD11b, and CD16. QuantiGene Plex and Procarta immunoassays were used to determine cytokine and chemokine gene expression and protein concentration, respectively.Labor exposure did not alter neonatal neutrophil function in this study. Neonatal and adult mature neutrophils performed chemotaxis and phagocytosis equally well, while immature forms showed marked impairments. Neonatal immature granulocytes, though, completed chemotaxis more proficiently than those of adults. Although cytokine and chemokine levels varied between neonatal and adult groups, no differences were detected in neonates based upon labor exposure.Historically documented functional impairments of neonatal neutrophils may be due to the increased number of developmentally immature forms at birth rather than absolute global deficiencies.
Project description:The directional migration of human neutrophils in classical chemotaxis assays is often described as a "biased random walk" implying significant randomness in speed and directionality. However, these experiments are inconsistent with in vivo observations, where neutrophils can navigate effectively through complex tissue microenvironments towards their targets. Here, we demonstrate a novel biomimetic assay for neutrophil chemotaxis using enclosed microfluidic channels. Remarkably, under these enclosed conditions, neutrophils recapitulate the highly robust and efficient navigation observed in vivo. In straight channels, neutrophils undergo sustained, unidirectional motion towards a chemoattractant source. In more complex maze-like geometries, neutrophils are able to select the most direct route over 90% of the time. Finally, at symmetric bifurcations, neutrophils split their leading edge into two sections and a "tug of war" ensues. The competition between the two new leading edges is ultimately resolved by stochastic, symmetry-breaking behavior. This behavior is suggestive of directional decision-making localized at the leading edge and a signaling role played by the cellular cytoskeleton.
Project description:Neutrophils express a variety of collagen receptors at their surface, yet their functional significance remains unclear. Although integrins are essential for neutrophil adhesion and migration on 2-dimensional (2D) surfaces, neutrophils can compensate for the absence of integrins in 3-dimensional (3D) lattices. In contrast, we demonstrate that the inhibition of the tyrosine-kinase collagen receptor discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) has no impact on human primary neutrophil migration on 2D surfaces but is an important regulator of neutrophil chemotaxis in 3D collagen matrices. In this context, we show that DDR2 activation specifically regulates the directional migration of neutrophils in chemoattractant gradients. We further demonstrate that DDR2 regulates directionality through its ability to increase secretion of metalloproteinases and local generation of collagen-derived chemotactic peptide gradients. Our findings highlight the importance of collagen-derived extracellular signaling during neutrophil chemotaxis in 3D matrices.
Project description:Neutrophil migration and chemotaxis are critical for our body's immune system. Microfluidic devices are increasingly used for investigating neutrophil migration and chemotaxis owing to their advantages in real-time visualization, precise control of chemical concentration gradient generation, and reduced reagent and sample consumption. Recently, a growing effort has been made by the microfluidic researchers toward developing integrated and easily operated microfluidic chemotaxis analysis systems, directly from whole blood. In this direction, the first all-on-chip method was developed for integrating the magnetic negative purification of neutrophils and the chemotaxis assay from small blood volume samples. This new method permits a rapid sample-to-result neutrophil chemotaxis test in 25 min. In this paper, we provide detailed construction, operation and data analysis method for this all-on-chip chemotaxis assay with a discussion on troubleshooting strategies, limitations and future directions. Representative results of the neutrophil chemotaxis assay testing a defined chemoattractant, N-Formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP), and sputum from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patient, using this all-on-chip method are shown. This method is applicable to many cell migration-related investigations and clinical applications.
Project description:The recruitment and activation of neutrophils at infected tissues is essential for host defense against invading microorganisms. However, excessive neutrophil recruitment or activation can also damage the surrounding tissues and cause unwanted inflammation. Hence, the responsiveness of neutrophils needs to be tightly regulated. In this study, we have investigated the functional role of tumor suppressor PTEN in neutrophils by using a mouse line in which PTEN is disrupted only in myeloid-derived cells. Chemoattractant-stimulated PTEN(-/-) neutrophils displayed significantly higher Akt phosphorylation and actin polymerization. A larger fraction of these neutrophils displayed membrane ruffles in response to chemoattractant stimulation. In addition, chemoattractant-induced transwell migration and superoxide production were also augmented. Single-cell chemotaxis assays showed that PTEN(-/-) neutrophils have a small (yet statistically significant) defect in directionality. However, these neutrophils also showed an increase in cell speed. As a result, overall chemotaxis, which depends on speed and directionality, was not affected. Consistent with the increased responsiveness of PTEN(-/-) neutrophils, the in vivo recruitment of these cells to the inflamed peritoneal cavity was significantly enhanced. Thus, as a physiologic-negative regulator, PTEN should be a promising therapeutic target for modulating neutrophil functions in various infectious and inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Neutrophil chemotaxis plays an essential role in innate immunity, but the underlying cellular mechanism is still not fully characterized. Here, using a small-molecule functional screening, we identified NADPH oxidase-dependent reactive oxygen species as key regulators of neutrophil chemotactic migration. Neutrophils with pharmacologically inhibited oxidase, or isolated from chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) patients and mice, formed more frequent multiple pseudopodia and lost their directionality as they migrated up a chemoattractant concentration gradient. Knocking down NADPH oxidase in differentiated neutrophil-like HL60 cells also led to defective chemotaxis. Consistent with the in vitro results, adoptively transferred CGD murine neutrophils showed impaired in vivo recruitment to sites of inflammation. Together, these results present a physiological role for reactive oxygen species in regulating neutrophil functions and shed light on the pathogenesis of CGD.
Project description:Improvements in neutrophil chemotaxis assays have advanced our understanding of the mechanisms of neutrophil recruitment; however, traditional methods limit biologic inquiry in important areas. We report a microfluidic technology that enables neutrophil purification and chemotaxis on-chip within minutes, using nanoliters of whole blood, and only requires a micropipette to operate. The low sample volume requirements and novel lid-based method for initiating the gradient of chemoattractant enabled the measurement of human neutrophil migration on a cell monolayer to probe the adherent and migratory states of neutrophils under inflammatory conditions; mouse neutrophil chemotaxis without sacrificing the animal; and both 2D and 3D neutrophil chemotaxis. First, the neutrophil chemotaxis on endothelial cells revealed 2 distinct neutrophil phenotypes, showing that endothelial cell-neutrophil interactions influence neutrophil chemotactic behavior. Second, we validated the mouse neutrophil chemotaxis assay by comparing the adhesion and chemotaxis of neutrophils from chronically inflamed and wild-type mice; we observed significantly higher neutrophil adhesion in blood obtained from chronically inflamed mice. Third, we show that 2D and 3D neutrophil chemotaxis can be directly compared using our technique. These methods allow for new avenues of research while reducing the complexity, time, and sample volume requirements to perform neutrophil chemotaxis assays.
Project description:The dynamics of neutrophil chemotaxis under competing chemoattractant gradients was studied using a microfluidic platform. This microfluidic platform, which establishes a stable and dynamic gradient of chemoattractants across a cell culture chamber, enabled the investigation of human neutrophil migration patterns in the presences of four different chemoattractants (leukotriene B(4), chemokine C-X-C motif ligands 2 and 8, and fMLP) and competing gradients of all pairwise combinations. The migration patterns for individual cells were tracked and quantitatively analyzed, and the results suggest a hierarchy among these chemoattractants of fMLP > CXCL8 > CXCL2 > leukotriene B(4). In all conditions, over 60% of neutrophils exposed to a competing gradient move toward the stronger signal though the weaker chemoattractant still influences neutrophil motility. These results yield insight about how each chemoattractant contributes to overall neutrophil chemotaxis within complex physiological environments.