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Article Reference [Immunity to antigens of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae strains].
Nonencapsulated (nontypeable) Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a Gram-negative coccobacillus colonizing upper respiratory tract of most healthy people and causing such diseases as otitis media, sinusitis, exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and bronchitis. NTHi may cause systemic infection. As a result, over the past decade the bacterium has been the subject of intense research. However immune response to NTHi has not been well characterized. Data on research of immune response to NTHi are presented.
Article Reference Interleukin 18 participates in the early inflammatory response and bacterial clearance during pneumonia caused by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common gram-negative respiratory pathogen. To determine the role of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 18 (IL-18) during NTHi pneumonia, normal wild-type (WT) and IL-18 knockout (KO) mice were intranasally infected with NTHi. IL-18 KO mice displayed a delayed clearance of NTHi from the respiratory tract, resulting in >20-fold higher bacterial loads in their lungs at 24 h after infection, preceded by a strongly attenuated pulmonary innate immune response as determined by cytokine and chemokine induction and histopathology. These data identify IL-18 as part of an adequate innate immune response during NTHi pneumonia.
Article Reference Efficacy of immunization with outer membrane proteins for induction of pulmonary clearance of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in a rat respiratory model.
Three strains of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae namely NTHi-I, NTHi-II and NTHi-III were isolated from the sputum of patients with bronchitis and identified by biochemical, serological and electron microscopy. The polypeptide patterns of isolates were compared and found to have similar sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) polypeptide patterns, although some of the bands were specific in some strains. A similar comparison was made on extracted outer membrane proteins (OMPs) on the above mentioned strains, using Triton X-100 and sodium dodecyle sulphate (SDS). It was found that the polypeptides with molecular weights of 70, 42, 33 and 27 KDa were identified as P1, P2, P4 and P5 respectively. The protein estimation of crude OMPs from the three strains were calculated, and OPM-I prepared from NTHi-I showed the highest amount of protein and was chosen for its immunogenicity in a rat respiratory model. The efficacy of immunization with OMP was determined by enhancement of pulmonary clearance of live bacteria in the rat lung. A significant protective immune response induced by OMP was observed by enhanced respiratory clearance of nontypeable H. influenzae following mucosal immunization.
Article Reference Effects of macrolides on antigen presentation and cytokine production by dendritic cells and T lymphocytes.
Macrolides are effective therapeutic agents for chronic respiratory tract diseases, such as chronic sinusitis, sinobronchial syndrome and diffuse panbronchiolitis. Although only limited information is available about their mechanisms, suppression of various inflammatory cytokines (IL-8, etc.) and some transcription factors has been reported to be involved. Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is one of the most important pathogens of the respiratory tract. P6 is one of the outer membrane proteins of NTHI and the target antigen of protective antibodies. To analyze the influence of macrolides on human dendritic cells (DCs), we treated DCs with macrolides and used them as antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Clarithromycin, roxithromycin and prednisolone suppressed the in vitro proliferative response of CD4+ T cells to P6 and also the production of cytokines. As a control, we also cultured DCs alone and exposed them to the medicament, while conversely culturing T cells without adding any drugs to the cultures. The results showed similar tendencies for suppression of immune responses. These findings suggest that macrolides suppress the antigen-specific immune responses of DCs in vitro.
Article Reference Kinetics of mouse antibody and lymphocyte responses during intranasal vaccination with a lipooligosaccharide-based conjugate vaccine.
We investigated the kinetics of humoral immunity and its related cellular immune responses to intranasal (IN) immunization with a detoxified lipooligosaccharide (dLOS)-tetanus toxoid (TT) conjugate against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) in mice. IN vaccination with dLOS-TT elicited high titers of LOS-specific IgA in nasal washes and IgG in sera during a course of 4 inoculations while high titers of TT-specific IgA and IgG were found in sera. A significant increase of LOS-specific IgA antibody forming cells (AFCs) was observed in nasopharyngeal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) and nasal passages. However, TT induced broad responses with higher numbers of IgA and IgG AFCs found in NALT and nasal passages, less but significant IgA AFCs in cervical lymphoid nodes (CLN), spleen, and lungs. Phenotypic analysis revealed a significant rise of total B220+ B-lymphocytes in NALT and CLN, particularly a rise in IgA+/IgM+ cells in the NALT after the immunization. The latter result was complied with a significant rise of IL-4 but not IFN-gamma positive CD4+ T-lymphocytes in NALT. Analysis of IgG antibody subclasses showed that an IgG1 response to both LOS and TT epitopes dominated in serum when compared to IgG2a. These kinetic antibody patterns and cellular responses may provide useful information regarding to effective mucosal vaccines against NTHi infections.
Article Reference Identification of human T-cell epitopes and highly immunogenic analog peptides on the non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae P6 outer membrane protein.
P6 outer membrane protein is one of the candidates for a vaccine formulation against non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) infection. However, otitis-prone children who have recurrent episodes of acute otitis media due to NTHi fail to respond adequately to P6. An innovative approach to vaccination is therefore required to augment such children's immune response. To develop an effective peptide vaccine, we established P6-specific CD4(+) T-cell lines (TCLs) restricted by the human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR9 molecule, and revealed a human T-cell epitope on P6 and its core peptide sequence (p77-85; EYNIALGQR). Furthermore, we found that 3 analog peptides, E77D (the substitution of E at position 77 with D), N79G, and R85K, induced high proliferative responses as well as marked cytokine production when compared to the T-cell epitope peptide. These peptides may be candidates for a peptide vaccine formulation effective against NTHi infections, even in otitis-prone children.
Article Reference Dynamics of dendritic cell migration and the subsequent induction of protective immunity in the lung after repeated airway challenges by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae outer membrane protein.
To determine the dynamics of dendritic cell (DCs) migration and their role in recurrent infections by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), the migration of mature DC into pulmonary lymph nodes (LN) and the development of a P6-specific immune response and bacterial clearance in the lung were examined after repeated airway challenges with outer membrane protein (OMP) at 1-week intervals in mice. Although the migration of mature DC into the pulmonary LN is attenuated after repeated airway challenge with OMP, the in vitro P6-specific T cell proliferation in the cultured pulmonary LN cells was enhanced and was subsequently linked to the development of P6-specific IgA production and the development of protective immunity in the airway of mice.
Article Reference The transforming growth factor-beta-Smad3/4 signaling pathway acts as a positive regulator for TLR2 induction by bacteria via a dual mechanism involving functional cooperation with NF-kappaB and MAPK phosphatase 1-dependent negative cross-talk with p38 MAPK.
The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) pathway represents an important signaling pathway involved in the regulation of diverse biological processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Despite the known role of TGF-betaR-mediated signaling in suppressing immune response, its role in regulating human Toll-like receptors (TLRs), key host defense receptors that recognize invading bacterial pathogens, however, remains unknown. Here, we show for the first time that TGF-betaR-Smad3/4 signaling pathway acts as a positive regulator for TLR2 induction by bacterium nontypeable Hemophilus influenzae (NTHi) in vitro and in vivo. The positive regulation of TLR2 induction by TGF-betaR is mediated via a dual mechanism involving distinct signaling pathways. One mechanism involves functional cooperation between the TGF-betaR-Smad3/4 pathway and NF-kappaB pathway. Another involves MAP kinase phosphatase 1 (MKP-1)-dependent inhibition of p38 MAPK, a known negative regulator for TLR2 induction. Moreover, we showed that TbetaR-mediated signaling is probably activated by NTHi-derived TGF-beta mimicry molecule via an autocrine-independent mechanism. Thus, our study provides new insights into the role of TGF-beta signaling in positively regulating host defense response by tightly controlling the expression level of TLR2 during bacterial infections and may lead to new therapeutic strategies for modulating host defense and inflammatory response.
Article Reference Spiral ligament fibrocytes release chemokines in response to otitis media pathogens.
Spiral ligament fibrocytes (SLFs) may be involved in the innate immune response of the inner ear by producing chemoattractants for recruiting inflammatory cells such as neutrophils and monocytes.
Article Reference Kinetic Th1/Th2 responses of transgenic mice with bacterial meningitis induced by Haemophilus influenzae.
To investigate the kinetic Th1/Th2 immunopathogenic mechanisms of Haemophilus influenzae meningitis, we established a murine experimental model of meningitis and elucidated the Th1/Th2 immune responses in T1/T2 doubly transgenic mice based on a BALB/c background under the control of the IFN-gamma (interferon-gamma)/IL-4 (interleukin-4) promoters respectively. NTHi (non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae) meningitis was induced in these mice by inoculation with either a colonized (CNTHi) or invasive (INTHi) strain of NTHi. Mice inoculated with CNTHi displayed a less severe degree of disease in terms of clinical symptoms, mortality rate and brain histopathology. Conversely, INTHi-inoculated mice had more severe clinical symptoms. CNTHi-inoculated mice had a more significant Th1 response in terms of a higher percentage and longer maintenance of Th1 cells, and more production of IFN-gamma from strain-specific antigen-stimulated splenocytes than INTHi-inoculated mice. In contrast, INTHi-inoculated mice had a more significant Th2 response. This was due to a significant increase in IL-4-producing CD4(+) T-cells (Th2 cells) and more production of IL-4 from strain-specific antigen-stimulated splenocytes accompanied by a rapid decline of Th1 cells in INTHi-inoculated mice. In conclusion, the preferential Th1/Th2 trend in this murine model of NTHi meningitis is correlated with clinical severity as well as isolated characteristics of the pathogens themselves.
Article Reference Inhalation of beta 2 agonists impairs the clearance of nontypable Haemophilus influenzae from the murine respiratory tract.
Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common bacterial pathogen causing human respiratory tract infections under permissive conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Inhalation of beta2-receptor agonists is a widely used treatment in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of inhalation of beta2 agonists on the host immune response to respiratory tract infection with NTHi.
Article Reference Impaired alveolar macrophage response to Haemophilus antigens in chronic obstructive lung disease.
Interactions of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) with macrophages are implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the immunologic mechanisms that mediate NTHI-macrophage inflammation are poorly understood. Outer membrane protein (OMP) P6 and lipooligosaccharide (LOS) of NTHI are potent immunomodulators. We theorized that alveolar macrophages in COPD possess fundamental immune defects that permit NTHI to evade host responses.
Article Reference The MyD88-dependent, but not the MyD88-independent, pathway of TLR4 signaling is important in clearing nontypeable haemophilus influenzae from the mouse lung.
TLRs are important for the recognition of conserved motifs expressed by invading bacteria. TLR4 is the signaling receptor for LPS, the major proinflammatory component of the Gram-negative cell wall, whereas CD14 serves as the ligand-binding part of the LPS receptor complex. Triggering of TLR4 results in the activation of two distinct intracellular pathways, one that relies on the common TLR adaptor MyD88 and one that is mediated by Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adaptor-inducing IFN-beta (TRIF). Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common Gram-negative respiratory pathogen that expresses both TLR4 (LPS and lipooligosaccharide) and TLR2 (lipoproteins) ligands. To determine the roles of CD14, TLR4, and TLR2 during NTHi pneumonia, the following studies were performed: 1) Alveolar macrophages from CD14 and TLR4 knockout (KO) mice were virtually unresponsive to NTHi in vitro, whereas TLR2 KO macrophages displayed a reduced NTHi responsiveness. 2) After intranasal infection with NTHi, CD14 and TLR4 KO mice showed an attenuated early inflammatory response in their lungs, which was associated with a strongly reduced clearance of NTHi from the respiratory tract; in contrast, in TLR2 KO mice, lung inflammation was unchanged, and the number of NTHi CFU was only modestly increased at the end of the 10-day observation period. 3) MyD88 KO, but not TRIF mutant mice showed an increased bacterial load in their lungs upon infection with NTHi. These data suggest that the MyD88-dependent pathway of TLR4 is important for an effective innate immune response to respiratory tract infection caused by NTHi.
Article Reference Epidermal growth factor receptor acts as a negative regulator for bacterium nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae-induced Toll-like receptor 2 expression via an Src-dependent p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been shown to play important roles in regulating diverse biological processes, including cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, adhesion, and migration. Its role in regulating human Toll-like receptors (TLRs), key host defense receptors that recognize invading bacterial pathogens, however, remains unknown. Here we show for the first time that EGFR acts as a negative regulator for TLR2 induction by the bacterium nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) in vitro and in vivo. The negative regulation of TLR2 induction by EGFR is mediated via an Src-MKK3/6-p38 alpha/beta MAP kinase-dependent mechanism. Moreover, direct activation of EGFR signaling by the bacterium NTHi-derived EGF-like factor appears to be responsible for triggering the downstream Src-MKK3/6-p38 MAPK signaling, which in turn leads to the negative regulation of TLR2 induction. Finally, exogenous EGF increases NTHi invasion of host epithelial cells, thereby demonstrating the biological significance of TLR2 regulation by EGFR signaling. The evidence we provided in the present study may suggest a novel strategy utilized by bacteria to attenuate host defensive and immune response by negatively regulating the expression of host defense receptor TLR2. These studies may bring new insight for fully understanding the important role of EGFR signaling in regulating host defense and immune response by tightly controlling TLR2 induction during bacterial infections.
Article Reference Role of an immunodominant T cell epitope of the P6 protein of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in murine protective immunity.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is a common cause of otitis media in children and lower respiratory tract infection in adults with chronic lung disease. The highly conserved P6 protein of NTHI infection is under evaluation as a vaccine antigen in several animal models. To elucidate the role of cellular immune response to P6 in protective immunity, the goal of this study was to identify and characterize T cell epitope(s) on P6 and to investigate the role of these epitope(s) in eliciting antigen specific antibody responses and in mediating pulmonary clearance of NTHI. We report that T cells from BALB/c immunized with P6 recognize a single, immunodominant region, represented by 15 amino acids (residues 41-55) of the P6 protein. To verify the ability of this epitope to elicit T cell responses to the P6 protein, mice were immunized with a synthetic peptide corresponding to the sequence of dominant peptide. T cells isolated from mice primed in vivo with the peptide responded following in vitro stimulation with either the peptide or with the whole P6 molecule. Substitution of single amino acids and N or C terminal truncations of the dominant peptide resulted in complete abrogation of the response, implicating their importance to the T cell response. Furthermore, mucosal immunization of mice with a chimeric peptide that encompassed the dominant T cell epitope and a putative B cell epitope resulted in enhanced bacterial clearance following pulmonary challenge with NTHI. Collectively, these results establish that, in a mouse model, P6 contains a single immunodominant T cell epitope and this epitope plays an important role in protective immune responses induced by immunization with P6.
Article Reference The C-terminal fragment of the internal 110-kilodalton passenger domain of the Hap protein of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is a potential vaccine candidate.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is a major causative agent of bacterial otitis media in children. H. influenzae Hap autotransporter protein is an adhesin composed of an outer membrane Hapbeta region and a moiety of an extracellular internal 110-kDa passenger domain called Hap(S). The Hap(S) moiety promotes adherence to human epithelial cells and extracellular matrix proteins, and it also mediates bacterial aggregation and microcolony formation. A recent work (D. L. Fink, A. Z. Buscher, B. A. Green, P. Fernsten, and J. W. St. Geme, Cell. Microbiol. 5:175-186, 2003) demonstrated that Hap(S) adhesive activity resides within the C-terminal 311 amino acids (the cell binding domain) of the protein. In this study, we immunized mice subcutaneously with recombinant proteins corresponding to the C-terminal region of Hap(S) from H. influenzae strains N187, P860295, and TN106 and examined the resulting immune response. Antisera against the recombinant proteins from all three strains not only recognized native Hap(S) purified from strain P860295 but also inhibited H. influenzae Hap-mediated adherence to Chang epithelial cells. Furthermore, when mice immunized intranasally with recombinant protein plus mutant cholera toxin CT-E29H were challenged with strain TN106, they were protected against nasopharyngeal colonization. These observations demonstrate that the C-terminal region of Hap(S) is capable of eliciting cross-reacting antibodies that reduce nasopharyngeal colonization, suggesting utility as a vaccine antigen for the prevention of nontypeable H. influenzae diseases.
Article Reference Platelet-activating factor receptor-deficient mice show an unaltered clearance of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae from their respiratory tract.
Platelet-activating factor (PAF), a glycerophospholipid with proinflammatory properties, exerts its biological effects by interacting with the PAF receptor (PAFR) expressed on many different cell types. The PAFR specifically binds phosphorylcholine, the biologically active component of PAF. However, phosphorylcholine is also a component of the cell wall of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). In recently published in vitro experiments, the invasion of respiratory epithelial cells by NTHi was mediated by the PAFR. To determine the role of the PAFR in host defense against pneumonia induced by NTHi, PAFR-deficient (PAFR-/-) and normal wild-type mice were intranasally inoculated with NTHi. The absence of a functional PAFR was associated with a normal innate immune response as indicated by similar bacterial counts, myeloperoxidase activity, and inflammation within the pulmonary compartment of PAFR-/- and wild-type mice. These data indicate that the PAFR does not interfere with the clearance of NTHi from the respiratory tract.
Article Reference Reduction of nasal colonization of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae following intranasal immunization with rLP4/rLP6/UspA2 proteins combined with aqueous formulation of RC529.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and Moraxella catarrhalis are common causative agents of human mucosal infections. To formulate a mucosal vaccine against these pathogens, recombinant lipidated P4 (rLP4) and P6 (rLP6) proteins of NTHi and ubiquitous cell surface protein A (UspA) of M. catarrhalis were used for active immunization experiments in a mouse nasal challenge model. BALB/c mice were immunized intranasally with these proteins formulated with a chemically synthesized adjuvant, RC529 in an aqueous formulation (RC529-AF). Three weeks after the last immunization, these animals were challenged intranasally with NTHi strain SR7332.P1 and nasal colonization measured 3 days later. To determine local and systemic immune responses, bronchoalveolar washes (BAW) and sera were collected prior to NTHi challenge. The serum and mucosal samples were analyzed by ELISA for rLP4, rLP6 and UspA2 protein-specific IgG, IgG subclass and IgA antibody titers and bactericidal titers were determined against the TTA24 and 430-345 strains of M. catarrhalis. Results of these experiments show that these proteins combined with RC529-AF administered intranasally to mice elicited (1) significantly increased rLP4/rLP6/UspA2 protein-specific circulating IgG and IgA antibody responses; (2) local rLP4/rLP6/UspA2-specific IgA responses in the respiratory tract; and (3) more than a two log reduction of nasal colonization of NTHi strain SR7332 from the nasal tissues of mice. The serum IgG subclass distribution was predominantly IgG2a, representing a Th1 response. The antiserum also exhibited bactericidal activities to several strains of M. catarrhalis. These data indicate that intranasal immunization with rLP4/rLP6/UspA2 proteins combined with RC529-AF may be able to provide a way for inducing local mucosal immunity and for prevention of otitis media in children.
Article Reference Vaccines for Moraxella catarrhalis and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae.
The development of vaccines against non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis represents a difficult challenge. Both bacteria are mucosal surface pathogens and protection may require a mucosal immune response. In addition, the surface antigens of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae are hypervariable and animal models of infection with these bacteria may not be predictive of human efficacy. Vaccine development has focused on conserved surface exposed antigens, including integral outer membrane proteins, pili and other attachment factors, membrane-associated proteins, and lipooligosaccharide-protein conjugates. Several vaccine candidates are described that are antigenically conserved among strains, elicit biologically functional antibodies, and have efficacy in animal models.
Article Reference The fourth surface-exposed region of the outer membrane protein P5-homologous adhesin of nontypable Haemophilus influenzae is an immunodominant but nonprotective decoying epitope.
Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae is a major cause of otitis media and other mucosal infections. After natural disease in children and experimental disease in chinchillas, we found a hierarchical pattern of immunodominance among the four surface-exposed regions of the P5-homologous adhesin, with the greatest response directed to region 4. However, Ab to region 4 is not protective. When this natural but biased response was refocused to region 3 by immunization, augmented bacterial clearance and protection from ascending otitis media was observed. Collectively, the data indicate that region 4 contains a highly immunodominant but nonprotective decoying epitope, the presence of which dampens the immune response to a subdominant but protective epitope in region 3.