CLEC-1 Acts as a Negative Regulator of Dectin-1 Induced Host Inflammatory Response Signature in Aspergillus fumigatus Keratitis

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2021 May 3;62(6):28. doi: 10.1167/iovs.62.6.28.


PURPOSE: C-type lectin-like receptor-1 (CLEC-1) is a member of the Dectin-1 cluster of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). It is involved in host immunity, has immunoregulatory function, and supports allograft tolerance. Our study aimed to describe the role of CLEC-1 in response to fungal keratitis, in situ, in vivo, and in vitro.

METHODS: Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunofluorescence were used to detect the expression of CLEC-1 in corneas of patients with Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) keratitis. In vitro and in vivo experiments were designed in THP-1 macrophages and C57BL/6 mouse models, respectively. The expression of CLEC-1 in corneas of mice model was determined by qRT-PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence. CLEC-1 overexpression in mouse corneas was achieved by intrastromal injection of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. Disease response was evaluated by slit-lamp photography, clinical score, and colony forming unit (CFU). Bioluminescence imaging system image acquisition, myeloperoxidase (MPO) assays, immunofluorescence staining, qRT-PCR, and Western blot were used to investigate the role of CLEC-1. To further define the role of CLEC-1, we used lentivirus vectors to overexpress CLEC-1 or/and Dectin-1 in THP-1 macrophages.

RESULTS: The expression of CLEC-1 was increased in corneas of patients with A. fumigatus keratitis. In corneas of mice from the A. fumigatus keratitis model, the expression of CLEC-1 was decreased in the acute inflammatory stage and increased during convalescence. Following Natamycin treatment, CLEC-1 was upregulated in A. fumigatus keratitis mice. Compared with normal C57BL/6 mice, overexpression of CLEC-1 converted the characteristic susceptible response to resistance, as demonstrated by slit-lamp photography and clinical score. In vivo studies revealed decreased MPO levels and neutrophils recruitment and higher fungal load after the upregulation of CLEC-1. Compared with control corneas, CLEC-1 overexpression impaired corneal pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β production.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that CLEC-1 may act as a negative regulator of Dectin-1 induced host inflammatory response via suppressing neutrophils recruitment and production of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β production in response to A. fumigatus keratitis.

PMID:34043748 | DOI:10.1167/iovs.62.6.28

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