NLRX1 is a key regulator of immune signaling during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

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NLRX1 is a key regulator of immune signaling during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

PLoS Pathog. 2020 Sep 21;16(9):e1008854

Authors: Kastelberg B, Tubau-Juni N, Ayubi T, Leung A, Leber A, Hontecillas R, Bassaganya-Riera J, Kale SD

Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen of immunocompromised patient populations. Mortality is thought to be context-specific and occurs via both enhanced fungal growth and immuno-pathogenesis. NLRX1 is a negative regulator of immune signaling and metabolic pathways implicated in host responses to microbes, cancers, and autoimmune diseases. Our study indicates loss of Nlrx1 results in enhanced fungal burden, pulmonary inflammation, immune cell recruitment, and mortality across immuno-suppressed and immuno-competent models of IPA using two clinically derived isolates (AF293, CEA10). We observed that the heightened mortality is due to enhanced recruitment of CD103+ dendritic cells (DCs) that produce elevated amounts of IL-4 resulting in a detrimental Th2-mediated immune response. Adoptive transfer of Nlrx1-/- CD103+ DCs in neutropenic NRG mice results in enhanced mortality that can be ablated using IL-4 neutralizing antibodies. In vitro analysis of CD103+ DCs indicates loss of Nlrx1 results in enhanced IL-4 production via elevated activation of the JNK/JunB pathways. Interestingly, loss of Nlrx1 also results in enhanced recruitment of monocytes and neutrophils. Chimeras of irradiated Nlrx1-/- mice reconstituted with wild type bone marrow have enhanced neutrophil recruitment and survival during models of IPA. This enhanced immune cell recruitment in the absence of Nlrx1 is mediated by excessive production of CXCL8/IL-8 family of chemokines and IL-6 via early and enhanced activation of P38 in response to A. fumigatus conidia as shown in BEAS-2B airway epithelial cells. In summary, our results point strongly towards the cell-specific and contextual function of Nlrx1 during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and may lead to novel therapeutics to reduce Th2 responses by CD103+ DCs or heightened recruitment of neutrophils.

PMID: 32956405 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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