MicroRNA-889 Inhibits Autophagy To Maintain Mycobacterial Survival in Patients with Latent Tuberculosis Infection by Targeting TWEAK.
ABSTRACT: Autophagy plays an important role in protecting the host against pathogens. Mycobacterium tuberculosis can suppress autophagy and then remain dormant and survive within the host for an extended period, which is responsible for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Here, we explored the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in LTBI. The miRNA profiles were explored using the next-generation sequencing approach, followed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR validation. The biological function of candidate miRNA was evaluated using immunoblotting, immunofluorescence techniques, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in an in vitro human TB granuloma model. An increased miR-889 expression was observed in patients with LTBI compared with that in patients without infection. The reporter assay identified tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) as the target of miR-889. Mycobacterial infection induced TWEAK upregulation in the early phase. TWEAK induced autophagy and promoted mycobacterial autophagosome maturation through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Upon entry to LTBI status, elevated miR-889 levels were associated with TNF alpha (TNF-?) and granuloma formation/maintenance. MiR-889 inhibited autophagy via posttranscriptional suppression of TWEAK expression to maintain mycobacterial survival in granulomas. Adalimumab (anti-TNF-? monoclonal antibody) treatment reduced levels of both TNF-? and miR-889 and caused granuloma destruction and LTBI reactivation. The circulating miR-889 and TWEAK levels were correlated with LTBI and subsequently associated with anti-TNF-?-related LTBI reactivation in patients. We propose that miR-889 and TWEAK can act as targets that can be manipulated for antimycobacterial therapeutic purposes and act as candidate biomarkers for LTBI and LTBI reactivation, respectively.IMPORTANCE TB remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Approximately one-quarter of the world's population has latent TB infection. TWEAK is a multiple-function cytokine and may be used as a target for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and renal diseases. Here, we demonstrated a novel relationship between TWEAK and activation of the autophagic machinery which promotes antimycobacterial immunity. Additionally, TB infection is highly dynamic and determined by the interaction between the host and mycobacterium. We demonstrated a mechanism of fine-tuned balance between the mycobacterium and host for granuloma formation and/or maintenance in LTBI status. Once patients entered LTBI status, the upregulation of miR-889 was associated with TNF-? levels and granuloma formation to maintain mycobacterial survival. Adalimumab (a TNF-? inhibitor) reduced both TNF-? and miR-889 levels and caused LTBI reactivation and, thus, TWEAK enhancement. MiR-889 and TWEAK may become potential diagnostic biomarkers or therapeutic targets for LTBI and LTBI reactivation, respectively.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) still represents an important issue for public health in underdeveloped countries, but the use of antitumor necrosis factor agents (anti-TNF) for the treatment of inflammatory rheumatic disorders has reopened the problem also in countries with low TB incidence, due to the increased risk of TB reactivation in subjects with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Over the last 5 years, several non-anti-TNF-targeted biologics have been licensed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. We reviewed the epidemiology of TB, the role of different cytokines and of the immune system cells involved in the immune response against TB infection, the methods to detect LTBI, and the risk of TB reactivation in patients exposed to non-anti-TNF-targeted biologics. Given the limited role exerted by the cytokines different from TNF, as expected, data from controlled trials, national registries of biologics, and postmarketing surveillance show that the risk of TB reactivation in patients receiving non-anti-TNF-targeted biologics is negligible, hence raising the question whether the screening procedures for LTBI would be necessary.
Project description:Increased rates of tuberculosis (TB) reactivation have been reported in humans treated with TNF-? (TNF)-neutralizing drugs, and higher rates are observed with anti-TNF Abs (e.g., infliximab) as compared with TNF receptor fusion protein (etanercept). Mechanisms driving differential reactivation rates and differences in drug action are not known. We use a computational model of a TB granuloma formation that includes TNF/TNF receptor dynamics to elucidate these mechanisms. Our analyses yield three important insights. First, drug binding to membrane-bound TNF critically impairs granuloma function. Second, a higher risk of reactivation induced from Ab-type treatments is primarily due to differences in TNF/drug binding kinetics and permeability. Apoptotic and cytolytic activities of Abs and pharmacokinetic fluctuations in blood concentration of drug are not essential to inducing TB reactivation. Third, we predict specific host factors that, if augmented, would improve granuloma function during anti-TNF therapy. Our findings have implications for the development of safer anti-TNF drugs to treat inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), the causative agent of human tuberculosis (TB), is estimated to be harbored by up to 2 billion people in a latent TB infection (LTBI) state. The only TB vaccine approved for use in humans, BCG, does not confer protection against establishment of or reactivation from LTBI, so new vaccine candidates are needed to specifically address this need. Following the hypothesis that mycobacterial biofilms resemble aspects of LTBI, we modified BCG by deleting the BCG1419c gene to create the BCG?BCG1419c vaccine strain. In this study, we compared cytokine profiles, bacterial burden, and lung lesions after immunization with BCG or BCG?BCG1419c before and after 6 months of aerosol infection with M. tuberculosis H37Rv in the resistant C57BL/6 mouse model. Our results show that in infected mice, BCG?BCG1419c significantly reduced lung lesions and IL-6 in comparison to the unmodified BCG strain, and was the only vaccine that decreased production of TNF-? and IL-10 compared to non-vaccinated mice, while vaccination with BCG or BCG?BCG1419c significantly reduced IFN-? production. Moreover, transcriptome profiling of BCG?BCG1419c suggests that compared to BCG, it has decreased expression of genes involved in mycolic acids (MAs) metabolism, and antigenic chaperones, which might be involved in reduced pathology compared to BCG-vaccinated mice.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) granulomas are organized collections of immune cells comprised of macrophages, lymphocytes and other cells that form in the lung as a result of immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Formation and maintenance of granulomas are essential for control of Mtb infection and are regulated in part by a pro-inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF). To characterize mechanisms that control TNF availability within a TB granuloma, we developed a multi-scale two compartment partial differential equation model that describes a granuloma as a collection of immune cells forming concentric layers and includes TNF/TNF receptor binding and trafficking processes. We used the results of sensitivity analysis as a tool to identify experiments to measure critical model parameters in an artificial experimental model of a TB granuloma induced in the lungs of mice following injection of mycobacterial antigen-coated beads. Using our model, we then demonstrated that the organization of immune cells within a TB granuloma as well as TNF/TNF receptor binding and intracellular trafficking are two important factors that control TNF availability and may spatially coordinate TNF-induced immunological functions within a granuloma. Further, we showed that the neutralization power of TNF-neutralizing drugs depends on their TNF binding characteristics, including TNF binding kinetics, ability to bind to membrane-bound TNF and TNF binding stoichiometry. To further elucidate the role of TNF in the process of granuloma development, our modeling and experimental findings on TNF-associated molecular scale aspects of the granuloma can be incorporated into larger scale models describing the immune response to TB infection. Ultimately, these modeling and experimental results can help identify new strategies for TB disease control/therapy.
Project description:High Ag load in chronic viral infections has been associated with impairment of Ag-specific T cell responses; however, the relationship between Ag load in chronic Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and functional capacity of M. tuberculosis-specific T cells in humans is not clear. We compared M. tuberculosis-specific T cell-associated cytokine production and proliferative capacity in peripheral blood from adults with progressively higher mycobacterial loads-that is, persons with latent M. tuberculosis infection (LTBI), with smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), and smear-positive TB. Patients with smear-positive TB had decreased polyfunctional IFN-?(+)IL-2(+)TNF-?(+) and IL-2-producing specific CD4 T cells and increased TNF-? single-positive cells, when compared with smear-negative TB and LTBI. TB patients also had increased frequencies of M. tuberculosis-specific CD8 T cells, compared with LTBI. M. tuberculosis-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell proliferative capacity was profoundly impaired in individuals with smear-positive TB, and correlated positively with ex vivo IFN-?(+)IL-2(+)TNF-?(+) CD4 T cells, and inversely with TNF-? single-positive CD4 T cells. During 6 mo of anti-TB treatment, specific IFN-?(+)IL-2(+)TNF-?(+) CD4 and CD8 T cells increased, whereas TNF-? and IFN-? single-positive T cells decreased. These results suggest progressive impairment of M. tuberculosis-specific T cell responses with increasing mycobacterial load and recovery of responses during therapy. Furthermore, these data provide a link between specific cytokine-producing subsets and functional capacity of M. tuberculosis-specific T cells, and between the presence of specific CD8 T cells ex vivo and active TB disease. These data have potentially significant applications for the diagnosis of TB and for the identification of T cell correlates of TB disease progression.
Project description:We compared two interferon gamma release assays (IGRAs), QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) and T-SPOT.TB, for diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in patients before and while receiving tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-? antagonist therapy. This study evaluated the significance of sensitive IGRAs for LTBI screening and monitoring.Before starting TNF-? antagonist therapy, 156 consecutive patients with rheumatic diseases were screened for LTBI using QFT-GIT and T-SPOT.TB tests. According to our study protocol, QFT-GIT-positive patients received LTBI treatment. Patients positive by any IGRAs were subjected to follow-up IGRA tests after completing LTBI-treatment and/or during TNF-? antagonist therapy.At the initial LTBI screening, 45 (28.9%) and 70 (44.9%) patients were positive by QFT-GIT and T-SPOT.TB, respectively. The agreement rate between IGRA results was 78.8% (k = 0.56; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.43 to 0.68). Of 29 patients who were positive only by T-SPOT.TB in the initial screening, 83% (19/23) were persistently positive by T-SPOT.TB, while QFT-GIT testing showed that 36% (9/25) had conversion during TNF-? antagonist therapy. By the end of the follow-up period (218 to 1,264 days), four patients (4/137, 2.9%) developed active tuberculosis (TB) diseases during receiving TNF-? antagonist therapy. Among them, one was Q-T+, one was Q+T-, and the remaining two were Q-T- at the initial screening (Q, QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube; T, T-SPOT.TB; +, positive; -, negative). Two (2/4, 50%) patients with TB reactivation had at least one prior risk factor consistent with previous TB infection.This study demonstrated the need to capitalize on sensitive IGRAs to monitor for LTBI in at-risk patients for a more sensitive diagnosis in countries with an intermediate TB burden.
Project description:We estimated the rate of reactivation tuberculosis (TB) in the United States, overall and by population subgroup, using data on TB cases and Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolate genotyping reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during 2006-2008. The rate of reactivation TB was defined as the number of non-genotypically clustered TB cases divided by the number of person-years at risk for reactivation due to prevalent latent TB infection (LTBI). LTBI was ascertained from tuberculin skin tests given during the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Clustering of TB cases was determined using TB genotyping data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and analyzed via spatial scan statistic. Of the 39,920 TB cases reported during 2006-2008, 79.7% were attributed to reactivation. The overall rate of reactivation TB among persons with LTBI was estimated as 0.084 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.083, 0.085) cases per 100 person-years. Rates among persons with and without human immunodeficiency virus coinfection were 1.82 (95% CI: 1.74, 1.89) and 0.073 (95% CI: 0.070, 0.075) cases per 100 person-years, respectively. The rate of reactivation TB among persons with LTBI was higher among foreign-born persons (0.098 cases/100 person-years; 95% CI: 0.096, 0.10) than among persons born in the United States (0.082 cases/100 person-years; 95% CI: 0.080, 0.083). Differences in rates of TB reactivation across subgroups support current recommendations for targeted testing and treatment of LTBI.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) in young children differs from adult TB in that the risk of rapid progression to active TB (aTB) is higher in children than in adults. The reasons for this increased risk are not fully understood. Early differentiation remains difficult between children at risk to develop aTB from those who will remain healthy and develop a latent TB infection (LTBI). Biomarkers to differentiate aTB from LTBI in children, especially in very young children, are urgently needed. To identify M. tuberculosis-specific functional T cell subsets related to clinical manifestations in children, we enrolled 87 children exposed to M. tuberculosis. After standard clinical assessment, the children were classified as aTB, LTBI, or uninfected. Their CD4+ T cell cytokine profiles (IFN-?, TNF-?, IL-2, IL-17) were analyzed at the single-cell level by flow cytometry after stimulation with three mycobacterial antigens, purified protein derivative (PPD), early-secreted-antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6), or heparin-binding hemagglutinin (HBHA). This approach identified age-related discriminative markers between aTB and LTBI. Whereas among the 3- to 15-year-old children, an excellent discrimination between aTB and LTBI was provided by comparing the ratio between the proportions of ESAT-6-induced IFN-?single+ and ESAT-6-induced TNF-?single+CD4+ T lymphocytes, this was not the case for children younger than 3?years. By contrast, in this group (<3years), the analysis of HBHA-induced IL-17single+CD4+ T lymphocytes allowed us to identify children with LTBI by the high proportion of this cellular lymphocyte subset, whereas this was not the case for children with aTB. The analysis at the single-cell level of T cell immune responses induced by mycobacterial antigens are, thus, different in infected children younger or older than 3?years of age. HBHA-induced IL-17 production by CD4+ T lymphocytes was associated with protection only in children under 3?years who are at high risk for rapid progression to aTB. This suggests that the HBHA-induced IL-17 production by CD4+ T lymphocytes is a potential new correlate of protection against M. tuberculosis in humans, and that the distinction between children with LTBI and those with aTB is possible based on age-related diagnostic markers.
Project description:A major contribution to the burden of Tuberculosis (TB) comes from latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections (LTBI) becoming clinically active. TB and LTBI probably exist as a spectrum and currently there are no correlates available to identify individuals with LTBI most at risk of developing active disease. We set out to identify immune parameters associated with ex vivo mycobacterial growth control among individuals with active TB disease or LTBI to define the spectrum of TB infection. We used a whole blood mycobacterial growth inhibition assay to generate a functional profile of growth control among individuals with TB, LTBI or uninfected controls. We subsequently used a multi-platform approach to identify an immune signature associated with this profile. We show, for the first time, that patients with active disease had the greatest control of mycobacterial growth, whilst there was a continuum of responses among latently infected patients, likely related to the degree of immune activation in response to bacillary load. Control correlated with multiple factors including inflammatory monocytes, activated and atypical memory B cells, IgG1 responses to TB-specific antigens and serum cytokines/chemokines. Our findings offer a method to stratify subclinical TB infections and the future potential to identify individuals most at risk of progressing to active disease and benefit from chemoprophylaxis.
Project description:We sought to develop and characterize a novel paucibacillary model in mice, which develop necrotic lung granulomas following infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Paucibacillary infection was established, recapitulating the sterilizing activities of human LTBI regimens. TNF neutralization led to increased lung bacillary load, disrupted granuloma architecture with expanded necrotic foci and reduced tissue hypoxia, and accelerated animal mortality. TNF-neutralized mouse lungs and sera showed significant upregulation of IFN?, IL-1?, IL-6, IL-10, CCL2, CCL3, and matrix metalloproteinase genes Six weeks after aerosol-immunization with recombinant M. bovis BCG overexpressing the 30-kilodalton antigen, C3HeB/FeJ mice were aerosol-infected with M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Six weeks later, mice were treated with one of three standard regimens for latent TB infection (LTBI) or TNF-neutralizing antibody. Mouse lungs were analyzed by histology, positron emission tomography/computed tomography, whole-genome microarrays, and RT-PCR. Lungs and sera were studied by multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays