Lung disease causes significant morbidity and mortality, and is exacerbated by environmental injury, e.g. through lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or ozone (O3). Toll-like receptors (TLRs) orchestrate immune responses to injury by recognizing pathogen- or danger-associated molecular patterns. TLR4, the prototypic receptor for LPS, also mediates inflammation after O3, triggered by endogenous hyaluronan. Regulation of TLR4 signaling is incompletely understood. TLR5, the flagellin receptor, is expressed in alveolar macrophages, and regulates immune responses to environmental injury. Using in vivo animal models of TLR4-mediated inflammations (LPS, O3, hyaluronan), we show that TLR5 impacts the in vivo response to LPS, hyaluronan and O3. We demonstrate that immune cells of human carriers of a dominant negative TLR5 allele have decreased inflammatory response to O3 exposure ex vivo and LPS exposure in vitro. Using primary murine macrophages, we find that TLR5 physically associates with TLR4 and biases TLR4 signaling towards the MyD88 pathway. Our results suggest an updated paradigm for TLR4/TLR5 signaling.
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- Stavros Garantziotis
- Michael B Fessler
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Mice were given access to water and chow ad libitum, and were maintained at a 12-hour dark-light cycle. All experiments are approved by the NIEHS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
Human subjects: All subjects signed informed consent and all clinical research protocols were approved by the IRBs at Duke University Medical Center and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as applicable. The study described herein is using data collected as part of several clinical or translational studies (NCT01087307, NCT00341237, NCT00574158) and were approved by NIEHS and Duke IRBs (Protocol IRB approvals # 10-E-0063, 04-E-0053, 12496-CP-004)
- Jos WM van der Meer, Radboud University Medical Centre, Netherlands
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
Age-associated DNA methylation in blood cells convey information on health status. However, the mechanisms that drive these changes in circulating cells and their relationships to gene regulation are unknown. We identified age-associated DNA methylation sites in six purified blood-borne immune cell types (naive B, naive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, granulocytes, monocytes, and NK cells) collected from healthy individuals interspersed over a wide age range. Of the thousands of age-associated sites, only 350 sites were differentially methylated in the same direction in all cell types and validated in an independent longitudinal cohort. Genes close to age-associated hypomethylated sites were enriched for collagen biosynthesis and complement cascade pathways, while genes close to hypermethylated sites mapped to neuronal pathways. In silico analyses showed that in most cell types, the age-associated hypo- and hypermethylated sites were enriched for ARNT (HIF1β) and REST transcription factor (TF) motifs, respectively, which are both master regulators of hypoxia response. To conclude, despite spatial heterogeneity, there is a commonality in the putative regulatory role with respect to TF motifs and histone modifications at and around these sites. These features suggest that DNA methylation changes in healthy aging may be adaptive responses to fluctuations of oxygen availability.
Infection with Influenza A virus (IAV) causes the well-known symptoms of the flu, including fever, loss of appetite, and excessive sleepiness. These responses, mediated by the brain, will normally disappear once the virus is cleared from the system, but a severe respiratory virus infection may cause long-lasting neurological disturbances. These include encephalitis lethargica and narcolepsy. The mechanisms behind such long lasting changes are unknown. The hypothalamus is a central regulator of the homeostatic response during a viral challenge. To gain insight into the neuronal and non-neuronal molecular changes during an IAV infection, we intranasally infected mice with an H1N1 virus and extracted the brain at different time points. Using single-nucleus RNA sequencing (snRNA-seq) of the hypothalamus, we identify transcriptional effects in all identified cell populations. The snRNA-seq data showed the most pronounced transcriptional response at 3 days past infection, with a strong downregulation of genes across all cell types. General immune processes were mainly impacted in microglia, the brain resident immune cells, where we found increased numbers of cells expressing pro-inflammatory gene networks. In addition, we found that most neuronal cell populations downregulated genes contributing to the energy homeostasis in mitochondria and protein translation in the cytosol, indicating potential reduced cellular and neuronal activity. This might be a preventive mechanism in neuronal cells to avoid intracellular viral replication and attack by phagocytosing cells. The change of microglia gene activity suggest that this is complemented by a shift in microglia activity to provide increased surveillance of their surroundings.