• Chronic lung inflammation primes humoral immunity and augments antipneumococcal resistance.

      Boehme, Julia D; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Autengruber, Andrea; Peters, Nicole; Wissing, Josef; Jänsch, Lothar; Jeron, Andreas; Bruder, Dunja; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-07-10)
      Airway epithelial cells (AECs) display remarkable plasticity in response to infectious stimuli and their functional adaptations are critical for antimicrobial immunity. However, the roles of AECs and humoral mediators to host defense in non-communicable lung inflammation remain elusive. We dissected pulmonary defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae in hosts with pre-existing inflammatory conditions (SPC-HAxTCR-HA mice). Lung tissue transcriptomics and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) proteomics revealed an induction of humoral defense mechanisms in inflamed lungs. Accordingly, besides antibacterial proteins and complement components being overrepresented in inflamed lungs, elevated polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR)-expression in AECs correlated with increased secretory immunoglobulin (SIg) transport. Consequently, opsonization assays revealed augmented pneumococcal coverage by SIgs present in the BALF of SPC-HAxTCR-HA mice, which was associated with enhanced antipneumococcal resistance. These findings emphasize the immunologic potential of AECs as well as their central role in providing antibacterial protection and put forward pIgR as potential target for therapeutic manipulation in infection-prone individuals.
    • Respiratory bordetella bronchiseptica Carriage is Associated with Broad Phenotypic Alterations of Peripheral CD4⁺CD25⁺ T Cells and Differentially Affects Immune Responses to Secondary Non-Infectious and Infectious Stimuli in Mice.

      Jeron, Andreas; Boehme, Julia D; Volckmar, Julia; Gereke, Marcus; Yevsa, Tetyana; Geffers, Robert; Guzmán, Carlos A; Schreiber, Jens; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2018-09-01)
      The respiratory tract is constantly exposed to the environment and displays a favorable niche for colonizing microorganisms. However, the effects of respiratory bacterial carriage on the immune system and its implications for secondary responses remain largely unclear. We have employed respiratory carriage with Bordetella bronchiseptica as the underlying model to comprehensively address effects on subsequent immune responses. Carriage was associated with the stimulation of Bordetella-specific CD4+, CD8+, and CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cell responses, and broad transcriptional activation was observed in CD4+CD25+ T cells. Importantly, transfer of leukocytes from carriers to acutely B. bronchiseptica infected mice, resulted in a significantly increased bacterial burden in the recipient’s upper respiratory tract. In contrast, we found that respiratory B. bronchiseptica carriage resulted in a significant benefit for the host in systemic infection with Listeria monocytogenes. Adaptive responses to vaccination and influenza A virus infection, were unaffected by B. bronchiseptica carriage. These data showed that there were significant immune modulatory processes triggered by B. bronchiseptica carriage, that differentially affect subsequent immune responses. Therefore, our results demonstrated the complexity of immune regulation induced by respiratory bacterial carriage, which can be beneficial or detrimental to the host, depending on the pathogen and the considered compartment.