Secondhand Smoke Induces Inflammation and Impairs Immunity to Respiratory Infections.
ABSTRACT: Despite advocacy to reduce smoking-related diseases, >1 billion people worldwide continue to smoke. Smoking is immunosuppressive and an important etiological factor in the development of several human disorders including respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, there is a critical gap in the knowledge of the role of secondhand smoke (SHS) in inflammation and immunity. We therefore studied the influence of SHS on pulmonary inflammation and immune responses to respiratory infection by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) recurrently found in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. Chronic SHS-exposed mice were chronically infected with NTHI and pulmonary inflammation was evaluated by histology. Immune cell numbers and cytokines were measured by flow cytometry and ELISA, respectively. Chronic SHS exposure impaired NTHI P6 Ag-specific B and T cell responses following chronic NTHI infection as measured by ELISPOT assays, reduced the production of Abs in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage, and enhanced albumin leak into the bronchoalveolar lavage as determined by ELISA. Histopathological examination of lungs revealed lymphocytic accumulation surrounding airways and bronchovasculature following chronic SHS exposure and chronic infection. Chronic SHS exposure enhanced the levels of inflammatory cytokines IL-17A, IL-6, IL-1?, and TNF-? in the lungs, and impaired the generation of adaptive immunity following either chronic infection or P6 vaccination. Chronic SHS exposure diminished bacterial clearance from the lungs after acute NTHI challenge, whereas P6 vaccination improved clearance equivalent to the level seen in air-exposed, non-vaccinated mice. Our study provides unequivocal evidence that SHS exposure has long-term detrimental effects on the pulmonary inflammatory microenvironment and immunity to infection and vaccination.
Project description:The detrimental impact of tobacco on human health is clearly recognized, and despite aggressive efforts to prevent smoking, close to one billion individuals worldwide continue to smoke. People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are susceptible to recurrent respiratory infections with pathogens, including nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI), yet the reasons for this increased susceptibility are poorly understood. Because mortality rapidly increases with multiple exacerbations, development of protective immunity is critical to improving patient survival. Acute NTHI infection has been studied in the context of cigarette smoke exposure, but this is the first study, to our knowledge, to investigate chronic infection and the generation of adaptive immune responses to NTHI after chronic smoke exposure. After chronic NTHI infection, mice that had previously been exposed to cigarette smoke developed increased lung inflammation and compromised adaptive immunity relative to air-exposed controls. Importantly, NTHI-specific T cells from mice exposed to cigarette smoke produced lower levels of IFN-? and IL-4, and B cells produced reduced levels of Abs against outer-membrane lipoprotein P6, with impaired IgG1, IgG2a, and IgA class switching. However, production of IL-17, which is associated with neutrophilic inflammation, was enhanced. Interestingly, cigarette smoke-exposed mice exhibited a similar defect in the generation of adaptive immunity after immunization with P6. Our study has conclusively demonstrated that cigarette smoke exposure has a profound suppressive effect on the generation of adaptive immune responses to NTHI and suggests the mechanism by which prior cigarette smoke exposure predisposes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients to recurrent infections, leading to exacerbations and contributing to mortality.
Project description:Nrf2 is a leucine zipper transcription factor that protects against oxidant-induced injury. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is responsible for frequent disease exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is responsible for causing otitis media in young children. We hypothesized that Nrf2 would limit inflammatory responses to nontypeable H. influenzae. The objective of this study was to assess the role of Nrf2 in chronic lung inflammation and regulation of immune responses to nontypeable H. influenzae in mice. Wild-type (C57BL/6) mice and Nrf2(-/-) mice were instilled by oropharyngeal aspiration of 1 × 10(6) colony-forming units of live, nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHI) twice a week for 4 to 16 consecutive weeks to generate a chronic inflammatory milieu within the lungs that models chronic bronchitis. Nrf2(-/-) mice had increased lymphocytic airway inflammation compared with WT mice after NTHI challenge. Although the extent of NTHI-induced peribronchovascular inflammation did not significantly differ between the genotypes, plasma cell infiltration was significantly more abundant in Nrf2(-/-) mice. Most strikingly, Nrf2(-/-) mice generated significantly enhanced and persistent levels of serum antibodies against P6, a key outer membrane protein of NTHI. Lung dendritic cells from Nrf2(-/-) mice challenged with NTHI had increased activation markers compared with dendritic cells from similarly treated WT mice. Nrf2 regulates NTHI-induced airway inflammation characterized by lymphocytic and plasma cell infiltration and the activation of lung dendritic cells and B-cell responses in mice. Nrf2 may be a potential therapeutic target in limiting the bacterial infection-induced airway inflammation that drives exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Project description:Nutrient iron sequestration is the most significant form of nutritional immunity and causes bacterial pathogens to evolve strategies of host iron scavenging. Cigarette smoking contains iron particulates altering lung and systemic iron homeostasis, which may enhance colonization in the lungs of patients suffering chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by opportunistic pathogens such as nontypeable. NTHi is a heme auxotroph, and the NTHi genome contains multiple heme acquisition systems whose role in pulmonary infection requires a global understanding. In this study, we determined the relative contribution to NTHi airway infection of the four heme-acquisition systems HxuCBA, PE, SapABCDFZ, and HbpA-DppBCDF that are located at the bacterial outer membrane or the periplasm. Our computational studies provided plausible 3D models for HbpA, SapA, PE, and HxuA interactions with heme. Generation and characterization of single mutants in the hxuCBA, hpe, sapA, and hbpA genes provided evidence for participation in heme binding-storage and inter-bacterial donation. The hxuA, sapA, hbpA, and hpe genes showed differential expression and responded to heme. Moreover, HxuCBA, PE, SapABCDFZ, and HbpA-DppBCDF presented moonlighting properties related to resistance to antimicrobial peptides or glutathione import, together likely contributing to the NTHi-host airway interplay, as observed upon cultured airway epithelia and in vivo lung infection. The observed multi-functionality was shown to be system-specific, thus limiting redundancy. Together, we provide evidence for heme uptake systems as bacterial factors that act in a coordinated and multi-functional manner to subvert nutritional- and other sources of host innate immunity during NTHi airway infection.
Project description:Rationale:Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common inhabitant of the human nasopharynx and upper airways that can cause opportunistic infections of the airway mucosa including bronchopulmonary infections in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is clear that opportunistic infections contribute significantly to inflammatory exacerbations of COPD; however, there remains much to be learned regarding specific host and microbial determinants of persistence and/or clearance in this context. Methods:In this study, we used a recently described ferret model for COPD, in which animals undergo chronic long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, to define host-pathogen interactions during COPD-related NTHi infections. Results:NTHi bacteria colonised the lungs of smoke-exposed animals to a greater extent than controls, and elicited acute host inflammation and neutrophilic influx and activation, along with a significant increase in airway resistance and a decrease in inspiratory capacity consistent with inflammatory exacerbation; notably, these findings were not observed in air-exposed control animals. NTHi bacteria persisted within multicellular biofilm communities within the airway lumen, as evidenced by immunofluorescent detection of bacterial aggregates encased within a sialylated matrix as is typical of NTHi biofilms and differential bacterial gene expression consistent with the biofilm mode of growth. Conclusions:Based on these results, we conclude that acute infection with NTHi initiates inflammatory exacerbation of COPD disease. The data also support the widely held hypothesis that NTHi bacteria persist within multicellular biofilm communities in the lungs of patients with COPD.
Project description:Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is an opportunistic pathogen that is an important cause of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). COPD is an inflammatory disease of the airways, and exacerbations are acute inflammatory events superimposed on this background of chronic inflammation. Azithromycin (AZM) is a macrolide antibiotic with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and a clinically proven potential for AECOPD prevention and management. Relationships between AZM efficacy and resistance by NTHI and between bactericidal and immunomodulatory effects on NTHI respiratory infection have not been addressed. In this study, we employed two pathogenic NTHI strains with different AZM susceptibilities (NTHI 375 [AZM susceptible] and NTHI 353 [AZM resistant]) to evaluate the prophylactic and therapeutic effects of AZM on the NTHI-host interplay. At the cellular level, AZM was bactericidal toward intracellular NTHI inside alveolar and bronchial epithelia and alveolar macrophages, and it enhanced NTHI phagocytosis by the latter cell type. These effects correlated with the strain MIC of AZM and the antibiotic dose. Additionally, the effect of AZM on NTHI infection was assessed in a mouse model of pulmonary infection. AZM showed both preventive and therapeutic efficacies by lowering NTHI 375 bacterial counts in lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and by reducing histopathological inflammatory lesions in the upper and lower airways of mice. Conversely, AZM did not reduce bacterial loads in animals infected with NTHI 353, in which case a milder anti-inflammatory effect was also observed. Together, the results of this work link the bactericidal and anti-inflammatory effects of AZM and frame the efficacy of this antibiotic against NTHI respiratory infection.
Project description:Interactions of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) with macrophages are implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the immunologic mechanisms that mediate NTHI-macrophage inflammation are poorly understood. Outer membrane protein (OMP) P6 and lipooligosaccharide (LOS) of NTHI are potent immunomodulators. We theorized that alveolar macrophages in COPD possess fundamental immune defects that permit NTHI to evade host responses.To test this hypothesis, we obtained human alveolar and blood macrophages from exsmokers with COPD, exsmokers without COPD, and nonsmokers.Alveolar and blood macrophages from each donor were incubated with purified LOS and OMP P6 and with OMP P2 and the total outer membrane preparation (0.1-1 microg/ml).Supernatants (24 h) were assayed for IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-12, and IL-8 by multianalyte multiplexed flow cytometry.Comparative induction of COPD and non-COPD alveolar macrophages by LOS and OMP P6 revealed diminished IL-8, TNF-alpha, and IL-1beta responses of COPD alveolar macrophages (p < or = 0.03 for each). COPD alveolar macrophages also had diminished responses to total outer membrane (p < or = 0.03 for each). In contrast, COPD blood macrophages had no significant differences among donor groups in IL-8, TNF-alpha, or IL-1beta responsiveness to NTHI antigens. Diminished IL-12 responses of COPD blood macrophages to NTHI antigens, compared with nonsmokers, could not be independently dissociated from group differences in age and pack-years.These findings support a paradigm of defective immune responsiveness of alveolar macrophages, but not blood macrophages, in COPD.
Project description:Therapies that are safe, effective, and not vulnerable to developing resistance are highly desirable to counteract bacterial infections. Host-directed therapeutics is an antimicrobial approach alternative to conventional antibiotics based on perturbing host pathways subverted by pathogens during their life cycle by using host-directed drugs. In this study, we identified and evaluated the efficacy of a panel of host-directed drugs against respiratory infection by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). NTHi is an opportunistic pathogen that is an important cause of exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We screened for host genes differentially expressed upon infection by the clinical isolate NTHi375 by analyzing cell whole-genome expression profiling and identified a repertoire of host target candidates that were pharmacologically modulated. Based on the proposed relationship between NTHi intracellular location and persistence, we hypothesized that drugs perturbing host pathways used by NTHi to enter epithelial cells could have antimicrobial potential against NTHi infection. Interfering drugs were tested for their effects on bacterial and cellular viability, on NTHi-epithelial cell interplay, and on mouse pulmonary infection. Glucocorticoids and statins lacked in vitro and/or in vivo efficacy. Conversely, the sirtuin-1 activator resveratrol showed a bactericidal effect against NTHi, and the PDE4 inhibitor rolipram showed therapeutic efficacy by lowering NTHi375 counts intracellularly and in the lungs of infected mice. PDE4 inhibition is currently prescribed in COPD, and resveratrol is an attractive geroprotector for COPD treatment. Together, these results expand our knowledge of NTHi-triggered host subversion and frame the antimicrobial potential of rolipram and resveratrol against NTHi respiratory infection.
Project description:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by abnormal inflammation and impaired airway immunity, providing an opportunistic platform for nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) infection. In this context, therapies targeting not only overactive inflammation without significant adverse effects, but also infection are of interest. Increasing evidence suggests that polyphenols, plant secondary metabolites with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, may be protective. Here, a Cistus salviifolius plant extract containing quercetin, myricetin, and punicalagin was shown to reduce NTHi viability. Analysis of these polyphenols revealed that quercetin has a bactericidal effect on NTHi, does not display synergies, and that bacteria do not seem to develop resistance. Moreover, quercetin lowered NTHi airway epithelial invasion through a mechanism likely involving inhibition of Akt phosphorylation, and reduced the expression of bacterially-induced proinflammatory markers il-8, cxcl-1, il-6, pde4b, and tnf?. We further tested quercetin's effect on NTHi murine pulmonary infection, showing a moderate reduction in bacterial counts and significantly reduced expression of proinflammatory genes, compared to untreated mice. Quercetin administration during NTHi infection on a zebrafish septicemia infection model system showed a bacterial clearing effect without signs of host toxicity. In conclusion, this study highlights the therapeutic potential of the xenohormetic molecule quercetin against NTHi infection.
Project description:Airway infection by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) associates to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation and asthma neutrophilic airway inflammation. Lipids are key inflammatory mediators in these disease conditions and consequently, NTHi may encounter free fatty acids during airway persistence. However, molecular information on the interplay NTHi-free fatty acids is limited, and we lack evidence on the importance of such interaction to infection. Maintenance of the outer membrane lipid asymmetry may play an essential role in NTHi barrier function and interaction with hydrophobic molecules. VacJ/MlaA-MlaBCDEF prevents phospholipid accumulation at the bacterial surface, being the only system involved in maintaining membrane asymmetry identified in NTHi. We assessed the relationship among the NTHi VacJ/MlaA outer membrane lipoprotein, bacterial and exogenous fatty acids, and respiratory infection. The vacJ/mlaA gene inactivation increased NTHi fatty acid and phospholipid global content and fatty acyl specific species, which in turn increased bacterial susceptibility to hydrophobic antimicrobials, decreased NTHi epithelial infection, and increased clearance during pulmonary infection in mice with both normal lung function and emphysema, maybe related to their shared lung fatty acid profiles. Altogether, we provide evidence for VacJ/MlaA as a key bacterial factor modulating NTHi survival at the human airway upon exposure to hydrophobic molecules.
Project description:Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) colonizes human upper respiratory airways and plays a key role in the course and pathogenesis of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Currently, it is not possible to distinguish COPD isolates of NTHi from other clinical isolates of NTHi using conventional genotyping methods. Here, we analysed the core and accessory genome of 568 NTHi isolates, including 40 newly sequenced isolates, to look for genetic distinctions between NTHi isolates from COPD with respect to other illnesses, including otitis media, meningitis and pneumonia. Phylogenies based on polymorphic sites in the core-genome did not show discrimination between NTHi strains collected from different clinical phenotypes. However, pan-genome-wide association studies identified 79 unique NTHi accessory genes that were significantly associated with COPD. Furthermore, many of the COPD-related NTHi genes have known or predicted roles in virulence, transmembrane transport of metal ions and nutrients, cellular respiration and maintenance of redox homeostasis. This indicates that specific genes may be required by NTHi for its survival or virulence in the COPD lung. These results advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of NTHi infection in COPD lungs.