• Biodegradable chitosan nanoparticle coatings on titanium for the delivery of BMP-2.

      Poth, Nils; Seiffart, Virginia; Gross, Gerhard; Menzel, Henning; Dempwolf, Wibke; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015)
      A simple method for the functionalization of a common implant material (Ti6Al4V) with biodegradable, drug loaded chitosan-tripolyphosphate (CS-TPP) nanoparticles is developed in order to enhance the osseointegration of endoprostheses after revision operations. The chitosan used has a tailored degree of acetylation which allows for a fast biodegradation by lysozyme. The degradability of chitosan is proven via viscometry. Characteristics and degradation of nanoparticles formed with TPP are analyzed using dynamic light scattering. The particle degradation via lysozyme displays a decrease in particle diameter of 40% after 4 days. Drug loading and release is investigated for the nanoparticles with bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2), using ELISA and the BRE luciferase test for quantification and bioactivity evaluation. Furthermore, nanoparticle coatings on titanium substrates are created via spray-coating and analyzed by ellipsometry, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Drug loaded nanoparticle coatings with biologically active BMP-2 are obtained in vitro within this work. Additionally, an in vivo study in mice indicates the dose dependent induction of ectopic bone growth through CS-TPP-BMP-2 nanoparticles. These results show that biodegradable CS-TPP coatings can be utilized to present biologically active BMP-2 on common implant materials like Ti6Al4V.
    • ImmunoPET/MR imaging allows specific detection of Aspergillus fumigatus lung infection in vivo.

      Rolle, Anna-Maria; Hasenberg, Mike; Thornton, Christopher R; Solouk-Saran, Djamschid; Männ, Linda; Weski, Juliane; Maurer, Andreas; Fischer, Eliane; Spycher, Philipp R; Schibli, Roger; Boschetti, Frederic; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; Severin, Gregory W; Autenrieth, Stella E; Krappmann, Sven; Davies, Genna; Pichler, Bernd J; Gunzer, Matthias; Wiehr, Stefan; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-02-23)
      Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a life-threatening lung disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, and is a leading cause of invasive fungal infection-related mortality and morbidity in patients with hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplants. We developed and tested a novel probe for noninvasive detection of A. fumigatus lung infection based on antibody-guided positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance (immunoPET/MR) imaging. Administration of a [(64)Cu]DOTA-labeled A. fumigatus-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), JF5, to neutrophil-depleted A. fumigatus-infected mice allowed specific localization of lung infection when combined with PET. Optical imaging with a fluorochrome-labeled version of the mAb showed colocalization with invasive hyphae. The mAb-based newly developed PET tracer [(64)Cu]DOTA-JF5 distinguished IPA from bacterial lung infections and, in contrast to [(18)F]FDG-PET, discriminated IPA from a general increase in metabolic activity associated with lung inflammation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that antibody-guided in vivo imaging has been used for noninvasive diagnosis of a fungal lung disease (IPA) of humans, an approach with enormous potential for diagnosis of infectious diseases and with potential for clinical translation.
    • Increased susceptibility for superinfection with Streptococcus pneumoniae during influenza virus infection is not caused by TLR7-mediated lymphopenia.

      Stegemann, Sabine; Dahlberg, Sofia; Kröger, Andrea; Gereke, Marcus; Bruder, Dunja; Henriques-Normark, Birgitta; Gunzer, Matthias; Otto-von-Guericke University, Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Magdeburg, Germany. (2009)
      Influenza A virus (IAV) causes respiratory tract infections leading to recurring epidemics with high rates of morbidity and mortality. In the past century IAV induced several world-wide pandemics, the most aggressive occurring in 1918 with a death toll of 20-50 million cases. However, infection with IAV alone is rarely fatal. Instead, death associated with IAV is usually mediated by superinfection with bacteria, mainly Streptococcus pneumoniae. The reasons for this increased susceptibility to bacterial superinfection have not been fully elucidated. We previously demonstrated that triggering of TLR7 causes immune incompetence in mice by induction of lymphopenia. IAV is recognized by TLR7 and infections can lead to lymphopenia. Since lymphocytes are critical to protect from S. pneumoniae it has long been speculated that IAV-induced lymphopenia might mediate increased susceptibility to superinfection. Here we show that sub-lethal pre-infections of mice with IAV-PR8/A/34 strongly increased their mortality in non-lethal SP infections, surprisingly despite the absence of detectable lymphopenia. In contrast to SP-infection alone co-infected animals were unable to control the exponential growth of SP. However, lymphopenia forced by TLR7-triggering or antibody-mediated neutropenia did not increase SP-susceptibility or compromise the ability to control SP growth. Thus, the immune-incompetence caused by transient lympho- or leukopenia is not sufficient to inhibit potent antibacterial responses of the host and mechanisms distinct from leukodepletion must account for increased bacterial superinfection during viral defence.
    • Production of extracellular traps against Aspergillus fumigatus in vitro and in infected lung tissue is dependent on invading neutrophils and influenced by hydrophobin RodA.

      Bruns, Sandra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Hasenberg, Mike; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Nietzsche, Sandor; Thywissen, Andreas; Jeron, Andreas; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Brakhage, Axel A; Gunzer, Matthias; Department of Molecular and Applied Microbiology, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology-Hans-Knoell-Institute (HKI), Jena, Germany. (2010-04)
      Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Macrophages and neutrophils are known to kill conidia, whereas hyphae are killed mainly by neutrophils. Since hyphae are too large to be engulfed, neutrophils possess an array of extracellular killing mechanisms including the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) consisting of nuclear DNA decorated with fungicidal proteins. However, until now NET formation in response to A. fumigatus has only been demonstrated in vitro, the importance of neutrophils for their production in vivo is unclear and the molecular mechanisms of the fungus to defend against NET formation are unknown. Here, we show that human neutrophils produce NETs in vitro when encountering A. fumigatus. In time-lapse movies NET production was a highly dynamic process which, however, was only exhibited by a sub-population of cells. NETosis was maximal against hyphae, but reduced against resting and swollen conidia. In a newly developed mouse model we could then demonstrate the existence and measure the kinetics of NET formation in vivo by 2-photon microscopy of Aspergillus-infected lungs. We also observed the enormous dynamics of neutrophils within the lung and their ability to interact with and phagocytose fungal elements in situ. Furthermore, systemic neutrophil depletion in mice almost completely inhibited NET formation in lungs, thus directly linking the immigration of neutrophils with NET formation in vivo. By using fungal mutants and purified proteins we demonstrate that hydrophobin RodA, a surface protein making conidia immunologically inert, led to reduced NET formation of neutrophils encountering Aspergillus fungal elements. NET-dependent killing of Aspergillus-hyphae could be demonstrated at later time-points, but was only moderate. Thus, these data establish that NET formation occurs in vivo during host defence against A. fumigatus, but suggest that it does not play a major role in killing this fungus. Instead, NETs may have a fungistatic effect and may prevent further spreading.
    • TLR7 contributes to the rapid progression but not to the overall fatal outcome of secondary pneumococcal disease following influenza A virus infection.

      Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Gereke, Marcus; Orrskog, Sofia; Lienenklaus, Stefan; Pasche, Bastian; Bader, Sophie R; Gruber, Achim D; Akira, Shizuo; Weiss, Siegfried; Henriques-Normark, Birgitta; Bruder, Dunja; Gunzer, Matthias; Immune Regulation Group, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2013)
      Increased risk for bacterial superinfections substantially contributes to the mortality caused by influenza A virus (IAV) epidemics. While the mechanistic basis for this lethal synergism is still insufficiently understood, immune modulation through the viral infection has been shown to be involved. Since the pattern-recognition receptor (PRR) toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) is a major sensor for the viral genome, we studied how IAV recognition by TLR7 influences the development of secondary pneumococcal infection. In a mouse model of IAV, TLR7-deficient hosts induced a potent antiviral response and showed unchanged survival. In secondary pneumococcal infection during acute influenza, TLR7ko mice showed a fatal outcome similar to wild-type (WT) hosts, despite significantly delayed disease progression. Also, when bacterial superinfection occurred after virus clearance, WT and TLR7-deficient hosts showed similar mortality, even though we found the phagocytic activity of alveolar macrophages isolated from IAV-pre-infected hosts to be enhanced in TLR7ko over WT mice. Thus, we show that a virus-sensing PRR modulates the progression of secondary pneumococcal infection following IAV. However, the fatal overall outcome in WT as well as TLR7ko hosts suggests that processes distinct from TLR7-triggering override the contribution of this single PRR.