Inflammasome signaling in human placental trophoblasts regulates immune defense against Listeria monocytogenes infection.
ABSTRACT: The human placenta is a dynamic organ that modulates physiological adaptations to pregnancy. To define the immunological signature of the human placenta, we performed unbiased profiling of secreted immune factors from human chorionic villi isolated from placentas at mid and late stages of pregnancy. We show that placental trophoblasts constitutively secrete the inflammasome-associated cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which is blocked by NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors and occurs without detectable gasdermin D cleavage. We further show that placenta-derived IL-1β primes monocytes for inflammasome induction to protect against Listeria monocytogenes infection. Last, we show that the human placenta responds to L. monocytogenes infection through additional inflammasome activation and that inhibition of this pathway sensitizes villi to infection. Our results thus identify the inflammasome as an important mechanism by which the human placenta regulates systemic and local immunity during pregnancy to defend against L. monocytogenes infection.
Project description:The placenta is essential for pregnancy and produces both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Excessive production of inflammatory cytokines, involving interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and IL-8, from placental tissues is associated with pregnancy complications. Olive leaf extract has several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory functions. OleaVita is a new commercial olive leaf extract; it is hypothesized to suppress placental inflammation. In human placental tissue culture, OleaVita treatment inhibited the secretion of inflammatory cytokines and NF-κB p65 protein expression. OleaVita also suppressed toll-like receptor ligands-induced IL-1β secretion in human placental tissues. IL-1β is regulated by the NLRP3 inflammasomes, a pivotal regulator of various diseases. OleaVita significantly decreased NLRP3 and pro-IL-1β protein expression, suggesting that it has an inhibitory effect on NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Thus, OleaVita is beneficial as an inhibitor of inflammation and NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and may be used as a supplement for the treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases.
Project description:The placenta controls the growth of the fetus and ensures its immune protection. Key to these functions, the syncytiotrophoblast (SYN) is a syncytium formed by fusion of underlying mononuclear trophoblasts. The SYN covers the placental surface and is bathed in maternal blood to mediate nutritional and waste exchanges between the mother and fetus. The bacterial pathogen <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i> breaches the trophoblast barrier and infects the placental/fetal unit resulting in poor pregnancy outcomes. In this work, we analyzed the <i>L. monocytogenes</i> intracellular lifecycle in primary human trophoblasts. In accordance with previous studies, we found that the SYN is 20-fold more resistant to infection compared to mononuclear trophoblasts, forming a protective barrier to infection at the maternal interface. We show for the first time that this is due to a significant reduction in <i>L. monocytogenes</i> uptake by the SYN rather than inhibition of the bacterial intracellular division or motility. We here report the first transcriptomic analysis of <i>L. monocytogenes</i>-infected trophoblasts (RNA sequencing). Pathway analysis showed that infection upregulated TLR2, NOD-like, and cytosolic DNA sensing pathways, as well as downstream pro-inflammatory circuitry (NF-κB, AP-1, IRF4, IRF7) leading to the production of mediators known to elicit the recruitment and activation of maternal leukocytes (IL8, IL6, TNFα, MIP-1). Signature genes associated with poor pregnancy outcomes were also upregulated upon infection. Measuring the release of 54 inflammatory mediators confirmed the transcriptomic data and revealed sustained production of tolerogenic factors (IL-27, IL-10, IL-1RA, TSLP) despite infection. Both the SYN and mononuclear trophoblasts produced cytokines, but surprisingly, some cytokines were predominantly produced by the SYN (IL-8, IL-6) or by non-fused trophoblasts (TNFα). Collectively, our data support that trophoblasts act as placental gatekeepers that limit and detect <i>L. monocytogenes</i> infection resulting in a pro-inflammatory response, which may contribute to the poor pregnancy outcomes if the pathogen persists.
Project description:Pathological maternal inflammation and abnormal placentation contribute to several pregnancy-related disorders, including preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, and preeclampsia. TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), a serine/threonine kinase, has been implicated in the regulation of various physiological processes, including innate immune response, autophagy, and cell growth. However, the relevance of TBK1 in the placental pro-inflammatory environment has not been investigated. In this study, we assessed the effect of TBK1 inhibition on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation and its underlying mechanisms in human trophoblast cell lines and mouse placenta. TBK1 phosphorylation was upregulated in the trophoblasts and placenta in response to LPS. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of TBK1 in trophoblasts ameliorated LPS-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation, placental inflammation, and subsequent interleukin (IL)-1 production. Moreover, maternal administration of amlexanox, a TBK1 inhibitor, reversed LPS-induced adverse pregnancy outcomes. Notably, TBK1 inhibition prevented LPS-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation by targeting the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Thus, this study provides evidence for the biological significance of TBK1 in placental inflammation, suggesting that amlexanox may be a potential therapeutic candidate for treating inflammation-associated pregnancy-related complications.
Project description:P2X5 is a member of the P2X purinergic receptor family of ligand-gated cation channels and has recently been shown to regulate inflammatory bone loss. In this study, we report that P2X5 is a protective immune regulator during <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i> infection, as P2X5-deficient mice exhibit increased bacterial loads in the spleen and liver, increased tissue damage, and early (within 3-6 d) susceptibility to systemic <i>L. monocytogenes</i> infection. Whereas P2X5-deficient mice experience normal monocyte recruitment in response to <i>L. monocytogenes</i>, P2X5-deficient bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) exhibit defective cytosolic killing of <i>L. monocytogenes</i> We further showed that P2X5 is required for <i>L. monocytogenes</i>-induced inflammasome activation and IL-1β production and that defective <i>L. monocytogenes</i> killing in P2X5-deficient BMMs is substantially rescued by exogenous IL-1β or IL-18. Finally, in vitro BMM killing and in vivo <i>L. monocytogenes</i> infection experiments employing either P2X7 deficiency or extracellular ATP depletion suggest that P2X5-dependent anti-<i>L. monocytogenes</i> immunity is independent of the ATP-P2X7 inflammasome activation pathway. Together, our findings elucidate a novel and specific role for P2X5 as a critical mediator of protective immunity.
Project description:Placental malaria (PM) is associated with severe inflammation leading to abortion, preterm delivery, and intrauterine growth restriction. Innate immunity responses play critical roles, but the mechanisms underlying placental immunopathology are still unclear. Here, we investigated the role of inflammasome activation in PM by scrutinizing human placenta samples from an endemic area and ablating inflammasome components in a PM mouse model. The reduction in birth weight in babies from infected mothers is paralleled by increased placental expression of AIM2 and NLRP3 inflammasomes. Using genetic dissection, we reveal that inflammasome activation pathways are involved in the production and detrimental action of interleukin-1? (IL-1?) in the infected placenta. The IL-1R pharmacological antagonist Anakinra improved pregnancy outcomes by restoring fetal growth and reducing resorption in an experimental model. These findings unveil that IL-1?-mediated signaling is a determinant of PM pathogenesis, suggesting that IL-1R antagonists can improve clinical outcomes of malaria infection in pregnancy.
Project description:Innate immunity is one of the main protection mechanisms against viral infections, but how this system works at the maternal-fetal interface, especially during HIV infection, is still poorly known. In this study, we investigated the relationship between pregnancy and innate mechanisms associated with HIV immunity by evaluating the expression of DAMPs, inflammasome components and type I/III IFNs in placenta and serum samples from HIV-infected mothers and exposed newborns. Our results showed that most of these factors, including HMGB1, IL-1, and IFN, were increased in placental villi from HIV-infected mothers. Curiously, however, these factors were simultaneously repressed in serum from HIV-infected mothers and their exposed newborns, suggesting that pregnancy could restrict HIV immune activation systemically but preserve the immune response at the placental level. An effective local antiviral status associated with a suppressed inflammatory environment can balance the maternal immune response, promoting homeostasis for fetal development and protection against HIV infection in neonates.
Project description:Bacterial infections are a major cause of chronic infections and mortality. Innate immune control is crucial for protection against bacterial pathogens. Bile acids facilitate intestinal absorption of lipid-soluble nutrients and modulate various metabolic pathways through the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and Takeda G-protein-coupled receptor 5 (TGR5). Here, we identified a new role of FXR and TGR5 in promoting inflammasome activation during bacterial infection. Caspase-1/11 activation and release of cleaved interleukin (IL)-1β in FXR- and TGR5-deficient mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages upon <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i> or <i>Escherichia coli</i> infection was significantly reduced. In contrast, FXR- or TGR5-deficiency did not affect the transcription of caspase-1/11 and IL-1β. Inflammasome activation is critical for host immune defense against bacterial infections. Consistent with this, the deletion of FXR or TGR5 impaired effective clearance of <i>L. monocytogenes</i> or <i>E. coli in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>, which was associated with greater mortality and bacterial burden than that of wild-type mice. Pretreatment with an FXR agonist decreased bacterial burden <i>in vitro</i> and increased survival <i>in vivo</i>. Thus, FXR and TGR5 promote inflammasome-mediated antimicrobial responses and may represent novel antibacterial therapeutic targets.
Project description:Preeclampsia is a common obstetric disorder affecting 2-8% of pregnancy worldwide. Fibrosis is an important histological change occurring in preeclamptic placenta, and might depend on the excess deposition of collagen I. However, the role of fibrotic placenta and collagen I in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia remains unclear. Therefore, we analyzed the collagen deposition and the expression of Collagen I in human placenta by Masson staining, Sirius red staining and western blotting. Further, the role of collagen I in preeclampsia pathogenesis was studied in C57BL/6 mice. HTR-8/SVneo cells were used to investigate the mechanisms underlying the effects of collagen I in trophoblasts by transcriptome sequencing and pharmacological agonists. Human preeclamptic placenta exhibited a significantly higher degree of fibrosis in stem villi and terminal villi than normal placenta, and was characterized by collagen I deposition. <i>In vivo</i>, a single injection of collagen I on gestational day 0.5 led to an increase in systolic pressure of pregnant mice from gestational days 4.5-17.5, to a decrease in weight and number of embryos, and to enhanced placental collagen I expression and degree of fibrosis compared with control mice. <i>In vitro</i>, collagen I attenuated the proliferation and invasion of HTR-8SV/neo cells. This effect could be reversed by treatment with agonists of ERK and β-catenin. Moreover, transcriptome sequencing demonstrated that signaling pathways related to cell proliferation and invasion were significantly downregulated in HTR-8SV/neo cells. Thus, we propose that collagen I induced preeclampsia-like symptoms by suppressing the proliferation and invasion of trophoblasts through inhibition of the ERK phosphorylation and WNT/β-catenin signaling pathways. Our findings could pave the way to the discovery of small-molecule inhibitors for preeclampsia treatment and future studies with larger sample size are required.
Project description:The nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome, a multiprotein complex, is an essential intracellular mediator of antiviral immunity. In murine dendritic cells, this complex responds to a wide array of signals, including ion efflux and influenza A virus infection, to activate caspase-1-mediated proteolysis of IL-1β and IL-18 into biologically active cytokines. However, the presence and function of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome in human dendritic cells, in response to various triggers, including viral infection, has not been defined clearly. Here, we delineate the contribution of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome to the secretion of IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-1α by human dendritic cells (monocyte-derived and primary conventional dendritic cells). Activation of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome in human dendritic cells by various synthetic activators resulted in the secretion of bioactive IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-1α and induction of pyroptotic cell death. Cellular IL-1β release depended on potassium efflux and the activity of proteins nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 and caspase-1. Likewise, influenza A virus infection of dendritic cells resulted in priming and activation of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome and secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 in an M2- and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3-dependent manner. The magnitude of priming by influenza A virus varied among different strains and inversely corresponded to type I IFN production. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the existence and function of the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome in human dendritic cells and the ability of influenza A virus to prime and activate this pathway in human dendritic cells, with important implications for antiviral immunity and pathogenesis.
Project description:Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease. Liver inflammation underlies infection-induced fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer but the processes that promote hepatic inflammation by HCV are not defined. We provide a systems biology analysis with multiple lines of evidence to indicate that interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production by intrahepatic macrophages confers liver inflammation through HCV-induced inflammasome signaling. Chronic hepatitis C patients exhibited elevated levels of serum IL-1β compared to healthy controls. Immunohistochemical analysis of healthy control and chronic hepatitis C liver sections revealed that Kupffer cells, resident hepatic macrophages, are the primary cellular source of hepatic IL-1β during HCV infection. Accordingly, we found that both blood monocyte-derived primary human macrophages, and Kupffer cells recovered from normal donor liver, produce IL-1β after HCV exposure. Using the THP-1 macrophage cell-culture model, we found that HCV drives a rapid but transient caspase-1 activation to stimulate IL-1β secretion. HCV can enter macrophages through non-CD81 mediated phagocytic uptake that is independent of productive infection. Viral RNA triggers MyD88-mediated TLR7 signaling to induce IL-1β mRNA expression. HCV uptake concomitantly induces a potassium efflux that activates the NLRP3 inflammasome for IL-1β processing and secretion. RNA sequencing analysis comparing THP1 cells and chronic hepatitis C patient liver demonstrates that viral engagement of the NLRP3 inflammasome stimulates IL-1β production to drive proinflammatory cytokine, chemokine, and immune-regulatory gene expression networks linked with HCV disease severity. These studies identify intrahepatic IL-1β production as a central feature of liver inflammation during HCV infection. Thus, strategies to suppress NLRP3 or IL-1β activity could offer therapeutic actions to reduce hepatic inflammation and mitigate disease.