Neutropenia alters lung cytokine production in mice and reduces their susceptibility to pulmonary cryptococcosis
Neutrophils are generally considered to contribute to host defense through their potent microbicidal activity. However, there is accumulating evidence that neutrophils also have an important regulatory role in establishing the balance of Th1 and Th2 responses. This study investigated the role of neutrophils in defense against pulmonary Cryptococcus neoformans infection using neutrophil-depleted BALB/c mice generated by administering mAb RB6-8C5. Neutropenic mice with pulmonary infection survived significantly longer than control mice, but there was no difference between groups infected intravenously. On day 1 of infection, neutropenic mice had significantly smaller fungal burdens than control mice. On day 7, neutropenic mice had significantly higher lung concentrations of IL-10, TNF-alpha, IL-4, and IL-12 than control mice, but there was no difference in IFN-gamma and MCP-1 levels. Neutrophils influenced the outcome of cryptococcal infection in mice through mechanisms that did not involve a reduction in early fungal burden. The absence of neutrophils in lung tissue during the initial stages of infection appeared to alter the inflammatory response in a manner that was subsequently beneficial to the host. Higher levels of Th1- and Th2-associated cytokines in neutropenic mice could have simultaneously promoted a strong cellular response while reducing inflammatory damage to the lung. Our results support the emerging concept that neutrophils play an important function in modulating the development of the immune response.
Antibody-mediated protection in murine Cryptococcus neoformans infection is associated with pleotrophic effects on cytokine and leukocyte responses
Cryptococcus neoformans, an encapsulated yeast, is a common cause of life-threatening meningoencephalitis in immunosuppressed patients. We previously observed that administration of a monoclonal antibody (MAb) to the capsular polysaccharide to mice with pulmonary infection prolonged survival and enhanced granulomatous inflammation without reducing lung CFU. To understand the mechanism of MAb action, we studied leukocyte recruitment and cytokine profiles in lungs of A/JCr mice. B lymphocytes were the predominant cell type in lung infiltrates, comprising 15 to 30% of the leukocytes. Despite alterations in histological appearance, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis revealed no significant difference in total numbers of lung leukocytes in MAb-treated mice and controls. Differences in the immune response to C. neoformans between MAb-treated mice and controls included (i) an increase in the percentage of granulocytes among lung leukocytes on day 14, (ii) higher macrophage surface expression of CD86 on day 28, (iii) larger amounts of IL-10 in lung homogenates at day 7, (iv) a trend toward smaller amounts of gamma interferon mRNA and protein on day 7, and (v) a smaller increase in the levels of interleukin-4 mRNA and protein on day 7. Hence, the immune responses to C. neoformans infection in the presence and absence of specific antibody were qualitatively similar, and antibody administration was associated with several subtle quantitative differences in immune response parameters that could translate into enhanced survival. MAb may function partly by down-regulating the inflammatory response and reducing host damage. Our findings demonstrate unexpected complexity in the interaction between specific MAb and other components of the host immune response.
Clearance and organ distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipoarabinomannan (LAM) in the presence and absence of LAM-binding immunoglobulin M
Lipoarabinomannan (LAM) is a component of the mycobacterial surface which has been associated with a variety of deleterious effects on immune system function. Despite the importance of LAM to the pathogenesis of mycobacterial infection, there is no information available on its fate in vivo. In this study, we determined the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of exogenously administered LAM in mice. For measurements of serum and tissue LAM concentrations, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay which used monoclonal antibodies of different isotypes to capture and detect LAM at concentrations of >/=0.4 microg/ml. Intravenous administration of LAM to mice resulted in transient serum levels with organ deposition in the spleen and in the liver. Immunohistochemical studies localized LAM to the spleen marginal zone macrophages and, to a lesser degree, to liver macrophages. When LAM was administered to mice previously given a LAM-binding immunoglobulin M (IgM), LAM was very rapidly cleared from circulation. In those mice, deposition of LAM in the spleen was significantly reduced while LAM deposition in the liver increased. Administration of LAM-binding IgM resulted in significant levels of IgM to LAM in bile consistent with an increased hepatobiliary excretion of LAM in the presence of specific antibody. Bile, liver extracts, and bile salts were found to rapidly inactivate the immunoreactivity of LAM. The results indicate that serum clearance and organ deposition of LAM in mice are affected by the presence of LAM-binding antibody and suggest a mechanism by which antibody could modify the course of mycobacterial infection.