Histoplasma capsulatum (Hc) is a facultative, intracellular parasite of worldwide significance. Infection with Hc produces a broad spectrum of diseases and may progress to a life-threatening systemic disease, particularly in individuals with HIV infection. Resolution of histoplasmosis is associated with the activation of cell-mediated immunity, and leukotriene B4 plays an important role in this event. Lipid bodies (LBs) are increasingly being recognized as multifunctional organelles with roles in inflammation and infection. In this study, we investigated LB formation in histoplasmosis and its putative function in innate immunity. LB formation in leukocytes harvested from Hc-infected C57BL/6 mice peaks on day 2 postinfection and correlates with enhanced generation of lipid mediators, including leukotriene B4 and PGE2. Pretreatment of leukocytes with platelet-activating factor and BLT1 receptor antagonists showed that both lipid mediators are involved in cell signaling for LB formation. Alveolar leukocytes cultured with live or dead Hc also presented an increase in LB numbers. The yeast alkali-insoluble fraction 1, which contains mainly β-glucan isolated from the Hc cell wall, induced a dose- and time-dependent increase in LB numbers, indicating that β-glucan plays a signaling role in LB formation. In agreement with this hypothesis, β-glucan-elicited LB formation was inhibited in leukocytes from 5-LO−/−, CD18low and TLR2−/− mice, as well as in leukocytes pretreated with anti-Dectin-1 Ab. Interestingly, human monocytes from HIV-1-infected patients failed to produce LBs after β-glucan stimulation. These results demonstrate that Hc induces LB formation, an event correlated with eicosanoid production, and suggest a role for these lipid-enriched organelles in host defense during fungal infection.
Lafoensia pacari St. Hil. (Lythraceae) is used in traditional medicine to treat inflammation. Previously, we demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effect that the ethanolic extract of L. pacari has in Toxocara canis infection (a model of systemic eosinophilia). In this study, we tested the anti-inflammatory activity of the same L. pacari extract in mice injected intraperitoneally with beta-glucan present in fraction 1 (F1) of the Histoplasma capsulatum cell wall (a model of acute eosinophilic inflammation). We also determined the anti-oedematous, analgesic and anti-pyretic effects of L. pacari extract in carrageenan-induced paw oedema, acetic acid writhing and LPS-induced fever, respectively. L. pacari extract significantly inhibited leucocyte recruitment into the peritoneal cavity induced by beta-glucan. In addition, the L. pacari extract presented significant analgesic, anti-oedematous and anti-pyretic effects. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the L. pacari extract in the F1 model led us to identify ellagic acid. As did the extract, ellagic acid presented anti-inflammatory, anti-oedematous and analgesic effects. However, ellagic acid had no anti-pyretic effect, suggesting that other compounds present in the plant stem are responsible for this effect. Nevertheless, our results demonstrate potential therapeutic effects of L. pacari extract and ellagic acid, providing new prospects for the development of drugs to treat pain, oedema and inflammation.
Extracts from the plant Synadenium carinatum latex are widely and indiscriminately used in popular medicine to treat a great number of inflammatory disorders and although the mechanisms underlying these effects remain undefined, the lectin isolated from S. carinatum latex (ScLL) is thought to be in part responsible for these anti-inflammatory effects. In order to elucidate possible immunoregulatory activities of ScLL, we investigated the effects of ScLL administration in models of acute and chronic inflammation. Oral administration of ScLL significantly inhibited neutrophil and eosinophil extravasation in models of acute and chronic inflammation and reduced eosinophil and mononuclear blood counts during chronic inflammation. ScLL administration reduced IL(interleukin)-4 and IL-5 levels but increased interferon-gamma and IL-10 in an asthma inflammatory model, which suggested that it might induce a TH2 to TH1 shift in the adaptive immune response. ScLL also inhibited IkappaBalpha degradation, a negative regulator of proinflammatory NF-kappaB. Taken together, these results provide the first description of a single factor isolated from S. carinatum latex extract with immunoregulatory functions and suggest that ScLL may be useful in the treatment of allergic inflammatory disorders.
Infection with Schistosoma mansoni causes a chronic parasitic disease that progress to severe liver and gastrointestinal damage, and eventually death. During its development into mammalian hosts, immature schistosomula transit through the lung vasculature before they reach the liver to mature into adult worms. A low grade inflammatory reaction is induced during this process. However, molecules that are required for efficient leukocyte accumulation in the lungs of S. mansoni-infected subjects are unknown. In addition, specific leukocyte subsets that mediate pulmonary response during S. mansoni migration through the lung remain to be elucidated. β2 integrins are fundamental regulators of leukocyte trans-endothelial migration and function. Therefore, we investigated their role during experimental schistosomiasis. Mice that express low levels of CD18 (the common β2 integrin subunit) and wild type C57BL/6 mice were subcutaneously infected with S. mansoni cercariae. Cellular profiles of lungs and livers were evaluated in different time points after infection by flow cytometry. Low levels of CD18 affected the accumulation of patrolling Ly6Clow, intermediate Ly6Cinter monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages and monocyte-derived dendritic cells in the lungs 7 days after infection. This correlated with increased TNF-α levels. Strikingly, low CD18 expression resulted in monocytopenia both in the peripheral blood and bone marrow during acute infection. After 48 days, S. mansoni worm burdens were higher in the hepatic portal system of CD18low mice, which also displayed reduced hepatic accumulation of patrolling Ly6Clow and intermediate Ly6Cinter, but not inflammatory Ly6Chigh monocytes. Higher parasite burden resulted in increased granulomatous lesions in the liver, increased egg deposition and enhanced mortality. Overall, our data point for a fundamental role of CD18 for monocyte hematopoiesis during infection, which promotes an efficient host response against experimental schistosomiasis.
Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) is essential for host immune defence. It increases neutrophil recruitment, phagocytosis and pathogen clearance, and decreases oedema and inflammasome activation. The host response and the role of LTB4 during Achromobacter xylosoxidans infection remain unexplored. Wild-type (129sv) and LTB4 deficient (Alox5
−/−) mice were intratracheally infected with A. xylosoxidans. Wild-type 129sv infected mice survived beyond the 8th day post-infection, exhibited increased levels of LTB4 in the lung on the 1st day, while levels of PGE2 increased on the 7th day post-infection. Infected Alox5
−/− mice showed impaired bacterial clearance, increased lung inflammation, and succumbed to the infection by the 7th day. We found that exogenous LTB4 does not affect the phagocytosis of A. xylosoxidans by alveolar macrophages in vitro. However, treatment of infected animals with LTB4 protected from mortality, by reducing the bacterial load and inflammation via BLT1 signalling, the high affinity receptor for LTB4. Of importance, we uncovered that LTB4 induces gene and protein expression of α-defensin-1 during the infection. This molecule is essential for bacterial clearance and exhibits potent antimicrobial activity by disrupting A. xylosoxidans cell wall. Taken together, our data demonstrate a major role for LTB4 on the control of A. xylosoxidans infection.
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