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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, December 2012, Vol.80(12), pp.4426-34
    Description: During microbial infection, macrophages are polarized to classically activated (M1) or alternatively activated (M2) cells in response to microbial components and host immune mediators. Proper polarization of macrophages is critical for bacterial clearance. To study the role of macrophage polarization during Haemophilus ducreyi infection, we analyzed a panel of macrophage surface markers in skin biopsy specimens of pustules obtained from experimentally infected volunteers. Lesional macrophages expressed markers characteristic of both M1 and M2 polarization. Monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) also expressed a mixed M1 and M2 profile of surface markers and cytokines/chemokines upon infection with H. ducreyi in vitro. Endogenous interleukin 10 (IL-10) produced by infected MDM downregulated and enhanced expression of several M1 and M2 markers, respectively. Bacterial uptake, mediated mainly by class A scavenger receptors, and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling pathways were required for H. ducreyi-induced IL-10 production in MDM. Compared to M1 cells, IL-10-polarized M2 cells displayed enhanced phagocytic activity against H. ducreyi and similar bacterial killing. Thus, IL-10-modulated macrophage polarization may contribute to H. ducreyi clearance during human infection.
    Keywords: Chancroid -- Immunology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Immunology ; Interleukin-10 -- Immunology ; Macrophage Activation -- Immunology ; Macrophages -- Classification
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2011, Vol.79(8), pp.3338-47
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a genital ulcer disease. In human inoculation experiments, most volunteers fail to clear the bacteria despite the infiltration of innate and adaptive immune cells to the infected sites. The immunosuppressive protein indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the L-tryptophan-kynurenine metabolic pathway. Tryptophan depletion and tryptophan metabolites contribute to pathogen persistence by inhibiting T cell proliferation, inducing T cell apoptosis, and promoting the expansion of FOXP3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells. We previously found that FOXP3(+) Treg cells are enriched in experimental lesions and that H. ducreyi induced IDO transcription in dendritic cells (DC) derived from blood of infected volunteers who developed pustules. Here, we showed that enzymatically active IDO was induced in DC by H. ducreyi. Neutralizing antibodies against interferon alpha/beta receptor 2 chain (IFNAR2) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) inhibited IDO induction. Inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) also inhibited IDO expression. Neither bacterial contact with nor uptake by DC was required for IDO activation. H. ducreyi culture supernatant and H. ducreyi lipooligosaccharides (LOS) induced IDO expression, which required type I interferons, TNF-α, and the three MAPK (p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and extracellular signal regulated kinase) and NF-κB pathways. In addition, LOS-induced IFN-β activated the JAK-STAT pathway. Blocking the LOS/Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling pathway greatly reduced H. ducreyi-induced IDO production. These findings indicate that H. ducreyi-induced IDO expression in DC is largely mediated by LOS via type I interferon- and TNF-α-dependent mechanisms and the MAPK, NF-κB, and JAK-STAT pathways.
    Keywords: Immune Tolerance ; Dendritic Cells -- Immunology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Immunology ; Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase -- Biosynthesis ; Interferon Type I -- Metabolism ; Lipopolysaccharides -- Immunology ; Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2013, Vol.81(8), pp.2997-3008
    Description: Recognition of microbial infection by certain intracellular pattern recognition receptors leads to the formation of a multiprotein complex termed the inflammasome. Inflammasome assembly activates caspase-1 and leads to cleavage and secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and IL-18, which help control many bacterial pathogens. However, excessive inflammation mediated by inflammasome activation can also contribute to immunopathology. Here, we investigated whether Haemophilus ducreyi, a Gram-negative bacterium that causes the genital ulcer disease chancroid, activates inflammasomes in experimentally infected human skin and in monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM). Although H. ducreyi is predominantly extracellular during human infection, several inflammasome-related components were transcriptionally upregulated in H. ducreyi-infected skin. Infection of MDM with live, but not heat-killed, H. ducreyi induced caspase-1- and caspase-5-dependent processing and secretion of IL-1β. Blockage of H. ducreyi uptake by cytochalasin D significantly reduced the amount of secreted IL-1β. Knocking down the expression of the inflammasome components NLRP3 and ASC abolished IL-1β production. Consistent with NLRP3-dependent inflammasome activation, blocking ATP signaling, K(+) efflux, cathepsin B activity, and lysosomal acidification all inhibited IL-1β secretion. However, inhibition of the production and function of reactive oxygen species did not decrease IL-1β production. Polarization of macrophages to classically activated M1 or alternatively activated M2 cells abrogated IL-1β secretion elicited by H. ducreyi. Our study data indicate that H. ducreyi induces NLRP3 inflammasome activation via multiple mechanisms and suggest that the heterogeneity of macrophages within human lesions may modulate inflammasome activation during human infection.
    Keywords: Carrier Proteins -- Immunology ; Chancroid -- Immunology ; Inflammasomes -- Immunology ; Macrophage Activation -- Immunology ; Macrophages -- Immunology
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, February 2013, Vol.81(2), pp.608-17
    Description: The carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) controls a wide variety of bacterial processes, including metabolism, adherence, stress responses, and virulence. Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, harbors a homolog of csrA. Here, we generated an unmarked, in-frame deletion mutant of csrA to assess its contribution to H. ducreyi pathogenesis. In human inoculation experiments, the csrA mutant was partially attenuated for pustule formation compared to its parent. Deletion of csrA resulted in decreased adherence of H. ducreyi to human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF); Flp1 and Flp2, the determinants of H. ducreyi adherence to HFF cells, were downregulated in the csrA mutant. Compared to its parent, the csrA mutant had a significantly reduced ability to tolerate oxidative stress and heat shock. The enhanced sensitivity of the mutant to oxidative stress was more pronounced in bacteria grown to stationary phase compared to that in bacteria grown to mid-log phase. The csrA mutant also had a significant survival defect within human macrophages when the bacteria were grown to stationary phase but not to mid-log phase. Complementation in trans partially or fully restored the mutant phenotypes. These data suggest that CsrA contributes to virulence by multiple mechanisms and that these contributions may be more profound in bacterial cell populations that are not rapidly dividing in the human host.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Carbon -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2012, Vol. 80(2), p.679
    Description: Sialylated glycoconjugates on the surfaces of mammalian cells play important roles in intercellular communication and self-recognition. The sialic acid preferentially expressed in human tissues is N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). In a process called molecular mimicry, many bacterial pathogens decorate their cell surface glycolipids with Neu5Ac. Incorporation of Neu5Ac into bacterial glycolipids promotes bacterial interactions with host cell receptors called Siglecs. These interactions affect bacterial adherence, resistance to serum killing and phagocytosis, and innate immune responses. Haemophilus ducreyi, the etiologic agent of chancroid, expresses lipooligosaccharides (LOS) that are highly sialylated. However, an H. ducreyi sialyltransferase (lst) mutant, whose LOS contain reduced levels of Neu5Ac, is fully virulent in human volunteers. Recently, a second sialyltransferase gene (Hd0053) was discovered in H. ducreyi, raising the possibility that Hd0053 compensated for the loss of lst during human infection. CMP-Neu5Ac is the obligate nucleotide sugar donor for all bacterial sialyltransferases; LOS derived from an H. ducreyi CMP-Neu5Ac synthetase (neuA) mutant has no detectable Neu5Ac. Here, we compared an H. ducreyi neuA mutant to its wild-type parent in several models of pathogenesis. In human inoculation experiments, the neuA mutant formed papules and pustules at rates that were no different than those of its parent. When grown in media with and without Neu5Ac supplementation, the neuA mutant and its parent had similar phenotypes in bactericidal, macrophage uptake, and dendritic cell activation assays. Although we cannot preclude a contribution of LOS sialylation to ulcerative disease, these data strongly suggest that sialylation of LOS is dispensable for H. ducreyi pathogenesis in humans.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Metabolism ; Lipopolysaccharides -- Metabolism ; N-Acetylneuraminic Acid -- Metabolism;
    ISSN: 1098-5522
    ISSN: 10985522
    ISSN: 00199567
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  • 6
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2010, Vol. 78(9), p.3898
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    Source: American Society of Microbiology
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, September 2010, Vol.78(9), pp.3898-904
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi must adapt to the environment of the human host to establish and maintain infection in the skin. Bacteria generally utilize stress response systems, such as the CpxRA two-component system, to adapt to hostile environments. CpxRA is the only obvious two-component system contained in the H. ducreyi genome and negatively regulates the lspB-lspA2 operon, which encodes proteins that enable the organism to resist phagocytosis. We constructed an unmarked, in-frame H. ducreyi cpxA deletion mutant, 35000HPDeltacpxA. In human inoculation experiments, 35000HPDeltacpxA formed papules at a rate and size that were significantly less than its parent and was unable to form pustules compared to the parent. CpxA usually has kinase and phosphatase activities for CpxR, and the deletion of CpxA leads to the accumulation of activated CpxR due to the loss of phosphatase activity and the ability of CpxR to accept phosphate groups from other donors. Using a reporter construct, the lspB-lspA2 promoter was downregulated in 35000HPDeltacpxA, confirming that CpxR was activated. Deletion of cpxA downregulated DsrA, the major determinant of serum resistance in the organism, causing the mutant to become serum susceptible. Complementation in trans restored parental phenotypes. 35000HPDeltacpxA is the first H. ducreyi mutant that is impaired in its ability to form both papules and pustules in humans. Since a major function of CpxRA is to control the flow of protein traffic across the periplasm, uncontrolled activation of this system likely causes dysregulated expression of multiple virulence determinants and cripples the ability of the organism to adapt to the host.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Physiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Protein Kinases -- Physiology
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 8
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2010, Vol. 78(3), p.1176
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi is an extracellular pathogen of human epithelial surfaces that resists human antimicrobial peptides (APs). The organism's genome contains homologs of genes sensitive to antimicrobial peptides (sap operon) in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. In this study, we characterized the sap-containing loci of H. ducreyi 35000HP and demonstrated that sapA is expressed in broth cultures and H. ducreyi-infected tissue; sapA is also conserved among both class I and class II H. ducreyi strains. We constructed a nonpolar sapA mutant of H. ducreyi 35000HP, designated 35000HPsapA, and compared the percent survival of wild-type 35000HP and 35000HPsapA exposed to several human APs, including alpha-defensins, beta-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Unlike an H. influenzae sapA mutant, strain 35000HPsapA was not more susceptible to defensins than strain 35000HP was. However, we observed a significant decrease in the survival of strain 35000HPsapA after exposure to LL-37, which was complemented by introducing sapA in trans. Thus, the Sap transporter plays a role in resistance of H. ducreyi to LL-37. We next compared mutant strain 35000HPsapA with strain 35000HP for their ability to cause disease in human volunteers. Although both strains caused papules to form at similar rates, the pustule formation rate at sites inoculated with 35000HPsapA was significantly lower than that of sites inoculated with 35000HP (33.3% versus 66.7%; P = 0.007). Together, these data establish that SapA acts as a virulence factor and as one mechanism for H. ducreyi to resist killing by antimicrobial peptides. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that an antimicrobial peptide resistance mechanism contributes to bacterial virulence in humans.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2014, Vol.82(8), pp.3492-502
    Description: (p)ppGpp responds to nutrient limitation through a global change in gene regulation patterns to increase survival. The stringent response has been implicated in the virulence of several pathogenic bacterial species. Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, has homologs of both relA and spoT, which primarily synthesize and hydrolyze (p)ppGpp in Escherichia coli. We constructed relA and relA spoT deletion mutants to assess the contribution of (p)ppGpp to H. ducreyi pathogenesis. Both the relA single mutant and the relA spoT double mutant failed to synthesize (p)ppGpp, suggesting that relA is the primary synthetase of (p)ppGpp in H. ducreyi. Compared to the parent strain, the double mutant was partially attenuated for pustule formation in human volunteers. The double mutant had several phenotypes that favored attenuation, including increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. The increased sensitivity to oxidative stress could be complemented in trans. However, the double mutant also exhibited phenotypes that favored virulence. When grown to the mid-log phase, the double mutant was significantly more resistant than its parent to being taken up by human macrophages and exhibited increased transcription of lspB, which is involved in resistance to phagocytosis. Additionally, compared to the parent, the double mutant also exhibited prolonged survival in the stationary phase. In E. coli, overexpression of DksA compensates for the loss of (p)ppGpp; the H. ducreyi double mutant expressed higher transcript levels of dksA than the parent strain. These data suggest that the partial attenuation of the double mutant is likely the net result of multiple conflicting phenotypes.
    Keywords: Guanosine Pentaphosphate -- Deficiency ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Ligases -- Metabolism ; Pyrophosphatases -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2015, Vol.83(8), pp.3281-92
    Description: The (p)ppGpp-mediated stringent response is important for bacterial survival in nutrient limiting conditions. For maximal effect, (p)ppGpp interacts with the cofactor DksA, which stabilizes (p)ppGpp's interaction with RNA polymerase. We previously demonstrated that (p)ppGpp was required for the virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans. Here, we constructed an H. ducreyi dksA mutant and showed it was also partially attenuated for pustule formation in human volunteers. To understand the roles of (p)ppGpp and DksA in gene regulation in H. ducreyi, we defined genes potentially altered by (p)ppGpp and DksA deficiency using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq). In bacteria collected at stationary phase, lack of (p)ppGpp and DksA altered expression of 28% and 17% of H. ducreyi open reading frames, respectively, including genes involved in transcription, translation, and metabolism. There was significant overlap in genes differentially expressed in the (p)ppGpp mutant relative to the dksA mutant. Loss of (p)ppGpp or DksA resulted in the dysregulation of several known virulence determinants. Deletion of dksA downregulated lspB and rendered the organism less resistant to phagocytosis and increased its sensitivity to oxidative stress. Both mutants had reduced ability to attach to human foreskin fibroblasts; the defect correlated with reduced expression of the Flp adhesin proteins in the (p)ppGpp mutant but not in the dksA mutant, suggesting that DksA regulates the expression of an unknown cofactor(s) required for Flp-mediated adherence. We conclude that both (p)ppGpp and DksA serve as major regulators of H. ducreyi gene expression in stationary phase and have both overlapping and unique contributions to pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Guanosine Tetraphosphate -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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