Beyond "Big Eaters": The Versatile Role of Alveolar Macrophages in Health and Disease.
ABSTRACT: Macrophages act as immune scavengers and are important cell types in the homeostasis of various tissues. Given the multiple roles of macrophages, these cells can also be found as tissue resident macrophages tightly integrated into a variety of tissues in which they fulfill crucial and organ-specific functions. The lung harbors at least two macrophage populations: interstitial and alveolar macrophages, which occupy different niches and functions. In this review, we provide the latest insights into the multiple roles of alveolar macrophages while unraveling the distinct factors which can influence the ontogeny and function of these cells. Furthermore, we will highlight pulmonary diseases, which are associated with dysfunctional macrophages, concentrating on congenital diseases as well as pulmonary infections and impairment of immunological pathways. Moreover, we will provide an overview about different treatment approaches targeting macrophage dysfunction. Improved knowledge of the role of macrophages in the onset of pulmonary diseases may provide the basis for new pharmacological and/or cell-based immunotherapies and will extend our understanding to other macrophage-related disorders.
Project description:Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) comprises a heterogenous group of diseases characterized by abnormal surfactant accumulation resulting in respiratory insufficiency, and defects in alveolar macrophage- and neutrophil-mediated host defense. Basic, clinical and translational research over the past two decades have raised PAP from obscurity, identifying the molecular pathogenesis in over 90% of cases as a spectrum of diseases involving the disruption of GM-CSF signaling. Autoimmune PAP represents the vast majority of cases and is caused by neutralizing GM-CSF autoantibodies. Genetic mutations that disrupt GM-CSF receptor signaling comprise a rare form of hereditary PAP. In both autoimmune and hereditary PAP, loss of GM-CSF signaling blocks the terminal differentiation of alveolar macrophages in the lungs impairing the ability of alveolar macrophages to catabolize surfactant and to perform many host defense functions. Secondary PAP occurs in a variety of clinical diseases that presumedly cause the syndrome by reducing the numbers or functions of alveolar macrophages, thereby impairing alveolar macrophage-mediated pulmonary surfactant clearance. A similar phenotype occurs in mice deficient in the production of GM-CSF or GM-CSF receptors. PAP and related research has uncovered a critical and emerging role for GM-CSF in the regulation of pulmonary surfactant homeostasis, lung host defense, and systemic immunity.
Project description:<h4>Rationale</h4>Individuals with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 1 (HPS-1), an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by defective biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles, develop an accelerated form of progressive fibrotic lung disease. The etiology of pulmonary fibrosis associated with HPS-1 is unknown.<h4>Objectives</h4>To investigate the potential pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis in HPS-1, lung cells and proteins from individuals with HPS-1 were studied.<h4>Methods</h4>Forty-one subjects with HPS-1 with and without pulmonary fibrosis were evaluated with pulmonary function tests, high-resolution computed tomography scan, and bronchoscopy. Bronchoalveolar lavage cells and analytes were analyzed.<h4>Measurements and main results</h4>Concentrations of total bronchoalveolar lavage cells and alveolar macrophages were significantly higher in epithelial lining fluid from subjects with HPS-1 with and without pulmonary fibrosis compared with healthy research volunteers. Concentrations of cytokines and chemokines (i.e., monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) in alveolar epithelial lining fluid were significantly higher in subjects with HPS-1 with and without pulmonary fibrosis compared with healthy research volunteers (P < 0.001). In vitro, HPS-1 pulmonary fibrosis alveolar macrophages, which did not express HPS1 mRNA, secreted significantly higher concentrations of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, and regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) protein compared with normal cells (P = 0.001, P = 0.014, and P = 0.011, respectively). Pirfenidone suppressed HPS-1 alveolar macrophage cytokine and chemokine secretion in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In HPS-1, alveolar inflammation predominantly involves macrophages and is associated with high lung concentrations of cytokines and chemokines. HPS-1 alveolar macrophages provide a model system in which to study the pathogenesis and treatment of HPS pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:Studies in various animal models suggest an important role for pulmonary macrophages in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Yet, the molecular mechanisms characterizing the functional macrophage phenotype relative to time and pulmonary localization and compartmentalization remain largely unknown. In this study, we used a hypoxic murine model of PH in combination with FACS to quantify and isolate lung macrophages from two compartments over time and characterize their programing via RNA sequencing approaches. In response to hypoxia, we found an early increase in macrophage number that was restricted to the interstitial/perivascular compartment, without recruitment of macrophages to the alveolar compartment or changes in the number of resident alveolar macrophages. Principal component analysis demonstrated significant differences in overall gene expression between alveolar and interstitial macrophages (IMs) at baseline and after 4 and 14 d hypoxic exposure. Alveolar macrophages at both day 4 and 14 and IMs at day 4 shared a conserved hypoxia program characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction, proinflammatory gene activation, and mTORC1 signaling, whereas IMs at day 14 demonstrated a unique anti-inflammatory/proreparative programming state. We conclude that the pathogenesis of vascular remodeling in hypoxic PH involves an early compartment-independent activation of lung macrophages toward a conserved hypoxia program, with the development of compartment-specific programs later in the course of the disease. Thus, harnessing time- and compartment-specific differences in lung macrophage polarization needs to be considered in the therapeutic targeting of macrophages in hypoxic PH and potentially other inflammatory lung diseases.
Project description:Alveolar macrophages are sentinels of the pulmonary mucosa and central to maintaining immunological homeostasis. However, their role in governing the response to allergen is not fully understood. Inappropriate responses to the inhaled environment manifest as asthma.We utilized a mechanistic IL-13-driven model and a house dust mite allergen mucosal sensitization model of allergic airway disease to investigate the role of alveolar macrophages in regulating pulmonary inflammation.IL-13-dependent eosinophilic and Th2 inflammation was enhanced in mice depleted of alveolar macrophages using clodronate liposomes. Similarly, depletion of alveolar macrophages during house dust mite sensitization or established disease resulted in augmented Th2 immunity and increased allergen-specific IgG1 and IgE. Clodronate treatment also delayed the resolution of tissue inflammation following cessation of allergen challenge. Strikingly, tissue interstitial macrophages were elevated in alveolar macrophage-deficient mice identifying a new homeostatic relationship between different macrophage subtypes. A novel role for the macrophage-derived immunoregulatory cytokine IL-27 was identified in modulating Th2 inflammation following mucosal allergen exposure.In summary, alveolar macrophages are critical regulators of Th2 immunity and their dysregulation promotes an inflammatory environment with exacerbation of allergen-induced airway pathology. Manipulating IL-27 may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of asthma.
Project description:Alveolar macrophages and BDMCs undergo sequential biochemical changes during the chronic inflammatory response to chemically induced lung carcinogenesis in mice. Herein, we examine two chronic lung inflammation models-repeated exposure to BHT and infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis-to establish whether similar macrophage phenotype changes occur in non-neoplastic pulmonary disease. Exposure to BHT or M. tuberculosis results in pulmonary inflammation characterized by an influx of macrophages, followed by systemic effects on the BM and other organs. In both models, pulmonary IFN-gamma and IL-4 production coincided with altered polarization of alveolar macrophages. Soon after BHT administration or M. tuberculosis infection, IFN-gamma content in BALF increased, and BAL macrophages became classically (M1) polarized, as characterized by increased expression of iNOS. As inflammation progressed in both models, the amount of BALF IFN-gamma content and BAL macrophage iNOS expression decreased, and BALF IL-4 content and macrophage arginase I expression rose, indicating alternative/M2 polarization. Macrophages present in M. tuberculosis-induced granulomas remained M1-polarized, implying that these two pulmonary macrophage populations, alveolar and granuloma-associated, are exposed to different activating cytokines. BDMCs from BHT-treated mice displayed polarization profiles similar to alveolar macrophages, but BDMCs in M. tuberculosis-infected mice did not become polarized. Thus, only alveolar macrophages in these two models of chronic lung disease exhibit a similar progression of polarization changes; polarization of BDMCs was specific to BHT-induced pulmonary inflammation, and polarization of granuloma macrophages was specific to the M. tuberculosis infection.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating lung disorder with increasing incidence. Mitochondrial oxidative stress in alveolar macrophages is directly linked to pulmonary fibrosis. Mitophagy, the selective engulfment of dysfunctional mitochondria by autophagasomes, is important for cellular homeostasis and can be induced by mitochondrial oxidative stress. Here, we show Akt1 induced macrophage mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitophagy. Mice harboring a conditional deletion of Akt1 in macrophages (Akt1(-/-)Lyz2-cre) and Park2(-/-) mice had impaired mitophagy and reduced active transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1). Although Akt1 increased TGF-?1 expression, mitophagy inhibition in Akt1-overexpressing macrophages abrogated TGF-?1 expression and fibroblast differentiation. Importantly, conditional Akt1(-/-)Lyz2-cre mice and Park2(-/-) mice had increased macrophage apoptosis and were protected from pulmonary fibrosis. Moreover, IPF alveolar macrophages had evidence of increased mitophagy and displayed apoptosis resistance. These observations suggest that Akt1-mediated mitophagy contributes to alveolar macrophage apoptosis resistance and is required for pulmonary fibrosis development.
Project description:Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is an opportunistic gram-negative pathogen that causes respiratory infections and is associated with progression of respiratory diseases. Cigarette smoke is a main risk factor for development of respiratory infections and chronic respiratory diseases. Glucocorticoids, which are anti-inflammatory drugs, are still the most common therapy for these diseases. Alveolar macrophages are professional phagocytes that reside in the lung and are responsible for clearing infections by the action of their phagolysosomal machinery and promotion of local inflammation. In this study, we dissected the interaction between NTHI and alveolar macrophages and the effect of cigarette smoke on this interaction. We showed that alveolar macrophages clear NTHI infections by adhesion, phagocytosis, and phagolysosomal processing of the pathogen. Bacterial uptake requires host actin polymerization, the integrity of plasma membrane lipid rafts, and activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling cascade. Parallel to bacterial clearance, macrophages secrete tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) upon NTHI infection. In contrast, exposure to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) impaired alveolar macrophage phagocytosis, although NTHI-induced TNF-alpha secretion was not abrogated. Mechanistically, our data showed that CSE reduced PI3K signaling activation triggered by NTHI. Treatment of CSE-exposed cells with the glucocorticoid dexamethasone reduced the amount of TNF-alpha secreted upon NTHI infection but did not compensate for CSE-dependent phagocytic impairment. The deleterious effect of cigarette smoke was observed in macrophage cell lines and in human alveolar macrophages obtained from smokers and from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Project description:DAP12 is an adapter protein that associates with several receptors in macrophages. Little is known about the biological role of DAP12 in alveolar macrophages. In genome-wide profiling, we previously found that two DAP12-associated receptors, myeloid DAP12-associated lectin-1 and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2), were highly induced in alveolar macrophages from habitual smokers. Here, we found that transcript levels for these receptors in alveolar macrophages increased with packs per day of cigarettes smoked and expression of TREM2 protein was increased in lung macrophages of former smokers with emphysema compared with that in controls. In vitro, cigarette smoke directly induced expression of myeloid DAP12-associated lectin-1 and TREM2 and activation of DAP12 signaling in mouse macrophages. To determine whether DAP12 plays a role in cigarette smoke-induced pulmonary inflammation, we exposed wild-type and DAP12-deficient mice to chronic cigarette smoke and found significant reduction in recruitment of alveolar macrophages in DAP12-deficient mice. Because cigarette smoking induces the macrophage chemoattractant CCL2, we tested the chemotactic ability of DAP12-deficient macrophages and found abrogation of chemotaxis toward CCL2 in vitro. Airway administration of CCL2 also resulted in a significant reduction of macrophage recruitment to the lungs of DAP12-deficient mice compared with that in controls. DAP12 was also required for normal macrophage migration in a "scratch" assay. Reconstitution studies revealed that phosphorylation of the DAP12 ITAM was required for normal migration in vitro and association with TREM2 was sufficient for normal migration. These findings indicate that DAP12, possibly through association with TREM2, contributes to alveolar macrophage chemotaxis and recruitment to the lung and may mediate macrophage accumulation in lung diseases such as emphysema.
Project description:Ozone (O3) is a criteria air pollutant that exacerbates and increases the incidence of chronic pulmonary diseases. O3 exposure is known to induce pulmonary inflammation, but little is known regarding how exposure alters processes important to the resolution of inflammation. Efferocytosis is a resolution process, whereby macrophages phagocytize apoptotic cells. The purpose of this protocol is to measure alveolar macrophage efferocytosis following O3-induced lung injury and inflammation. Several methods have been described for measuring efferocytosis; however, most require ex vivo manipulations. Described in detail here is a protocol to measure in vivo alveolar macrophage efferocytosis 24 h after O3 exposure, which avoids ex vivo manipulation of macrophages and serves as a simple technique that can be used to accurately represent perturbations in this resolution process. The protocol is a technically non-intensive and relatively inexpensive method that involves whole-body O3 inhalation followed by oropharyngeal aspiration of apoptotic cells (i.e., Jurkat T cells) while under general anesthesia. Alveolar macrophage efferocytosis is then measured by light microscopy evaluation of macrophages collected from bronchoalveolar (BAL) lavage. Efferocytosis is finally measured by calculating an efferocytic index. Collectively, the outlined methods quantify efferocytic activity in the lung in vivo while also serving to analyze the negative health effects of O3 or other inhaled insults.
Project description:Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are associated with an increased susceptibility to a variety of common and devastating pulmonary diseases including community- and hospital-acquired pneumonias, as well as the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Alveolar macrophages play an important role in preventing the development of these disorders through maintaining lung sterility and resolving lung inflammation. Although alcohol exposure has been associated with aberrant alveolar macrophage function in animal models, the clinical relevance of these observations in humans is not established. Therefore, we sought to determine the effects of AUDs on human alveolar macrophage gene expression.Whole genome microarray analysis was performed on alveolar macrophages obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage from a test cohort of subjects with AUDs (n = 7), and controls (n = 7) who were pair-matched on age, gender, and smoking. Probe set expression differences in this cohort were validated by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT RT-PCR). Functional analysis with web-based bioinformatics tools was utilized with microarray data to assess differentially expressed candidate genes (p < 0.01) based on alcohol consumption. Alveolar macrophage mRNA samples from a second cohort of subjects with AUDs (n = 7) and controls (n = 7) were used to confirm gene expression differences related to AUDs.In both the test and the confirmatory cohorts, AUDs were associated with upregulation of alveolar macrophage gene expression related to apoptosis, including perforin-1, granzyme A, and CXCR4 (fusin). Pathways governing the regulation of progression through cell cycle and immune response were also affected, as was upregulation of gene expression for mitochondrial superoxide dismutase. Overall, 12 genes' expression was affected by AUDs independent of smoking.Alcohol use disorders are associated with unique changes in human alveolar macrophage gene expression. Novel therapies targeting alveolar macrophage gene expression in the setting of AUDs may prove to be clinically useful in limiting susceptibility for pulmonary disorders in these individuals.