Age-Related Loss of Innate Immune Antimicrobial Function of Dermal Fat Is Mediated by Transforming Growth Factor Beta.
ABSTRACT: Dermal fibroblasts (dFBs) resist infection by locally differentiating into adipocytes and producing cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide in response to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Here, we show that neonatal skin was enriched with adipogenic dFBs and immature dermal fat that highly expressed cathelicidin. The pool of adipogenic and antimicrobial dFBs declined after birth, leading to an age-dependent loss of dermal fat and a decrease in adipogenesis and cathelidicin production in response to infection. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-?), which acted on uncommitted embryonic and adult dFBs and inhibited their adipogenic and antimicrobial function, was identified as a key upstream regulator of this process. Furthermore, inhibition of the TGF-? receptor restored the adipogenic and antimicrobial function of dFBs in culture and increased resistance of adult mice to S. aureus infection. These results provide insight into changes that occur in the skin innate immune system between the perinatal and adult periods of life.
Project description:Dermal fibroblasts (dFB) resist infection by locally differentiating into adipocytes and producing the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin in response to S. aureus. We found that neonatal dFB were highly adipogenic whereas this adipogenic function was lost during adulthood. To better understand the molecular nature of the change in antimicrobial and adipogenic function of dFB, we profiled the transcriptomes of primary dFB isolated at different ages by RNA-seq. RNA-seq identified the pro-adipogenic to pro-fibrotic gene signature switch in dFB during aging, and identified TGF-beta as the top up-regulated pathway that was activated in 2M dFB compared to neonatal P1 dFB. Overall design: Examination of differentially expressed genes in cultured primary dermal fibroblasts/pre-adipocytes isolated from mouse skin with various ages.
Project description:Infections are a major complication of obesity, but the mechanisms responsible for impaired defense against microbes are not well understood. Here, we found that adipocyte progenitors were lost from the dermis during diet-induced obesity (DIO) in humans and mice. The loss of adipogenic fibroblasts from mice resulted in less antimicrobial peptide production and greatly increased susceptibility to <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> infection. The decrease in adipocyte progenitors in DIO mice was explained by expression of transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) by mature adipocytes that then inhibited adipocyte progenitors and the production of cathelicidin in vitro. Administration of a TGFβ receptor inhibitor or a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ agonist reversed this inhibition in both cultured adipocyte progenitors and in mice and subsequently restored the capacity of obese mice to defend against <i>S. aureus</i> skin infection. Together, these results explain how obesity promotes dysfunction of the antimicrobial function of reactive dermal adipogenesis and identifies potential therapeutic targets to manage skin infection associated with obesity.
Project description:Adipocytes have been suggested to be immunologically active, but their role in host defense is unclear. We observed rapid proliferation of preadipocytes and expansion of the dermal fat layer after infection of the skin by Staphylococcus aureus. Impaired adipogenesis resulted in increased infection as seen in Zfp423(nur12) mice or in mice given inhibitors of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ?. This host defense function was mediated through the production of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide from adipocytes because cathelicidin expression was decreased by inhibition of adipogenesis, and adipocytes from Camp(-/-) mice lost the capacity to inhibit bacterial growth. Together, these findings show that the production of an antimicrobial peptide by adipocytes is an important element for protection against S. aureus infection of the skin.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a major human bacterial pathogen responsible for deep tissue skin infections. Recent observations have suggested that rapid, localized digestion of hyaluronic acid in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the dermis may influence bacterial invasion and tissue inflammation. In this study we find that cell migration-inducing protein (Cemip) is the major inducible gene responsible for hyaluronan catabolism in mice. Cemip-/- mice failed to digest hyaluronan and had significantly less evidence of infection after intradermal bacterial challenge by S. aureus. Stabilization of large-molecular-weight hyaluronan enabled increased expression of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (Camp) that was due in part to enhanced differentiation of preadipocytes to adipocytes, as seen histologically and by increased expression of Pref1, PPARg, and Adipoq. Cemip-/- mice challenged with S. aureus also had greater IL-6 expression and neutrophil infiltration. These observations describe a mechanism for hyaluronan in the dermal ECM to regulate tissue inflammation and host antimicrobial defense.
Project description:LL-37 is a human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide that is released in the skin after injury and acts to defend against infection and modulate the local cellular immune response. We observed in human dermal keloids that fibrosis was inversely related to the expression of cathelicidin and sought to determine how LL-37 influenced expression of types I and III collagen genes in dermal fibroblasts. At nano-molar concentrations, LL-37 inhibited baseline and transforming growth factor-beta-induced collagen expression. At these concentrations, LL-37 also induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) within 30 minutes. Activation of ERK, and the activation of a G-protein-dependent pathway, was essential for inhibition of collagen expression as pertussis toxin or an inhibitor of ERK blocked the inhibitory effects of LL-37. c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors did not alter the effects of cathelicidin. Silencing of the Ets-1 reversed inhibitory effects of LL-37. Taken together, these findings show that LL-37 can directly act on dermal fibroblasts and may have antifibrotic action during the wound repair process.
Project description:An essential element of the innate immune response to injury is the capacity to recognize microbial invasion and stimulate production of antimicrobial peptides. We investigated how this process is controlled in the epidermis. Keratinocytes surrounding a wound increased expression of the genes coding for the microbial pattern recognition receptors CD14 and TLR2, complementing an increase in cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide expression. These genes were induced by 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 (1,25D3; its active form), suggesting a role for vitamin D3 in this process. How 1,25D3 could participate in the injury response was explained by findings that the levels of CYP27B1, which converts 25OH vitamin D3 (25D3) to active 1,25D3, were increased in wounds and induced in keratinocytes in response to TGF-beta1. Blocking the vitamin D receptor, inhibiting CYP27B1, or limiting 25D3 availability prevented TGF-beta1 from inducing cathelicidin, CD14, or TLR2 in human keratinocytes, while CYP27B1-deficient mice failed to increase CD14 expression following wounding. The functional consequence of these observations was confirmed by demonstrating that 1,25D3 enabled keratinocytes to recognize microbial components through TLR2 and respond by cathelicidin production. Thus, we demonstrate what we believe to be a previously unexpected role for vitamin D3 in innate immunity, enabling keratinocytes to recognize and respond to microbes and to protect wounds against infection.
Project description:Patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) have an abnormal skin barrier and are frequently colonized by S. aureus. In this study we investigated if S. aureus penetrates the epidermal barrier of subjects with AD and sought to understand the mechanism and functional significance of this entry. S. aureus was observed to be more abundant in the dermis of lesional skin from AD patients. Bacterial entry past the epidermis was observed in cultured human skin equivalents and in mice but was found to be increased in the skin of cathelicidin knockout and ovalbumin-sensitized filaggrin mutant mice. S. aureus penetration through the epidermis was dependent on bacterial viability and protease activity, because killed bacteria and a protease-null mutant strain of S. aureus were unable to penetrate. Entry of S. aureus directly correlated with increased expression of IL-4, IL-13, IL-22, thymic stromal lymphopoietin, and other cytokines associated with AD and with decreased expression of cathelicidin. These data illustrate how abnormalities of the epidermal barrier in AD can alter the balance of S. aureus entry into the dermis and provide an explanation for how such dermal dysbiosis results in increased inflammatory cytokines and exacerbation of disease.
Project description:<i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>, an important cause of mastitis in mammals, is becoming increasingly problematic due to the development of resistance to conventional antibiotics. The ability of <i>S. aureus</i> to invade host cells is key to its propensity to evade immune defense and antibiotics. This study focuses on the functions of cathelicidins, small cationic peptides secreted by epithelial cells and leukocytes, in the pathogenesis of <i>S. aureus</i> mastitis in mice. We determined that endogenous murine cathelicidin (CRAMP; <i>Camp</i>) was important in controlling <i>S. aureus</i> infection, as cathelicidin knockout mice (<i>Camp<sup>-/-</sup></i> ) intramammarily challenged with <i>S. aureus</i> had higher bacterial burdens and more severe mastitis than did wild-type mice. The exogenous administration of both a synthetic human cathelicidin (LL-37) and a synthetic murine cathelicidin (CRAMP) (8??M) reduced the invasion of <i>S. aureus</i> into the murine mammary epithelium. Additionally, this exogenous LL-37 was internalized into cultured mammary epithelial cells and impaired <i>S. aureus</i> growth <i>in vitro</i> We conclude that cathelicidins may be potential therapeutic agents against mastitis; both endogenous and exogenous cathelicidins conferred protection against <i>S. aureus</i> infection by reducing bacterial internalization and potentially by directly killing this pathogen.
Project description:The pulmonary airways are continuously exposed to bacteria. As a first line of defense against infection, the airway surface liquid (ASL) contains a complex mixture of antimicrobial factors that kill inhaled and aspirated bacteria. The composition of ASL is critical for antimicrobial effectiveness. For example, in cystic fibrosis an abnormally acidic ASL inhibits antimicrobial activity. Here, we tested the effect of pH on the activity of an ASL defensin, human ?-defensin-3 (hBD-3), and the cathelicidin-related peptide, LL-37. We found that reducing pH from 8.0 to 6.8 reduced the ability of both peptides to kill Staphylococcus aureus. An acidic pH also attenuated LL-37 killing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, we discovered synergism between hBD-3 and LL-37 in killing S. aureus. LL-37 and lysozyme were also synergistic. Importantly, an acidic pH reduced the synergistic effects of combinations of ASL antibacterials. These results indicate that an acidic pH reduces the activity of individual ASL antimicrobials, impairs synergism between them, and thus may disrupt an important airway host defense mechanism.
Project description:Multidrug-resistant bacterial strains are a rapidly emerging healthcare threat; therefore it is critical to develop new therapies to combat these organisms. Prior antibacterial strategies directly target pathogen growth or viability. Host-directed strategies to increase antimicrobial defenses may be an effective alternative to antibiotics and reduce development of resistant strains. In this study, we demonstrated the efficacy of a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor, N-phosphonacetyl-L-aspartate (PALA), to enhance clearance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii strains by primary human dermal fibroblasts in vitro. PALA did not have a direct bactericidal effect, but enhanced cellular secretion of the antimicrobial peptides human ?-defensin 2 (HBD2) and HBD3 from fibroblasts. When tested in porcine and human skin explant models, a topical PALA formulation was efficacious to enhance MRSA, P. aeruginosa, and A. baumannii clearance. Topical PALA treatment of human skin explants also resulted in increased HBD2 and cathelicidin (LL-37) production. The antimicrobial actions of PALA required expression of nucleotide-binding, oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2), receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 2 (RIP2), and carbamoyl phosphatase synthase II/aspartate transcarbamylase/dihydroorotase (CAD). Our results indicate that PALA may be a new option to combat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections of the skin through enhancement of an integral pathway of the cutaneous innate immune defense system.