IL-22 biology in TB/HIV


Highly effective combinatorial antiretroviral therapy (ART), while effective in reducing viral loads in periphery and lungs of Mtb/SIV co-infected macaques, fails to reduce the rate of reactivation of LTBI. Thus, understanding the driving forces behind chronic immune activation in a relevant co-infected preclinical model underscores the discovery of key biomarkers and development of intervention strategies.

We therefore aim to gain insight into the mechanism of mucosal damage, paramount factor in chronic immune activation, during Mtb/SIV co-infection by investigating the role of IL-22, a key cytokine in protection from HIV and respiratory diseases including TB. We aim to identify the mechanism by which IL-22 disarms the host immune response leading to SIV driven immune activation and ultimately, the reactivation of LTBI, in a macaque model of Mtb/SIV co-infection. Specifically, we focus on investigation of the SIV-mediated loss of IL-22 that results in (i) prolonged immune activation that ART is unable to resolve (ii) reduced phagolysosomal activation (iii) reduced Mtb killing and (iv) LTBI reactivation in co-infected macaques.

Highlighted Publications

  • Sharan, R, M Perez-Cruz, G Kervoaze, Pierre Gosset, V Weynants, F Godfroid, P Hermand, F Trottein, M Pichavant, and P Gosset. (2017) 2017. “Interleukin-22 Protects Against Non-Typeable Haemophilus Influenzae Infection: Alteration During Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”. Mucosal Immunology 10 (1): 139-49.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a major health problem becoming a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A large part of these disorders is associated with acute exacerbations resulting from infection by bacteria, such as non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Our understanding of the pathogenesis of these exacerbations is still elusive. We demonstrate herein that NTHi infection of mice chronically exposed to cigarette smoke (CS), an experimental model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), not only causes acute pulmonary inflammation but also impairs the production of interleukin (IL)-22, a cytokine with potential anti-bacterial activities. We also report that mice lacking IL-22, as well as mice exposed to CS, have a delayed clearance of NTHi bacteria and display enhanced alveolar wall thickening and airway remodeling compared with controls. Supplementation with IL-22 not only boosted bacterial clearance and the production of anti-microbial peptides but also limited lung damages induced by infection both in IL-22-/- and CS-exposed mice. In vitro exposure to CS extract altered the NTHi-induced IL-22 production by spleen cells. This study shows for the first time that a defect in IL-22 is involved in the acute exacerbation induced by NTHi infection during experimental COPD and opens the way to innovative therapeutic strategies.

  • Pichavant, Muriel, Riti Sharan, Olivier Le Rouzic, Cécile Olivier, Florence Hennegrave, Gaëlle Rémy, Magdiel Pérez-Cruz, et al. (2015) 2015. “IL-22 Defect During Streptococcus Pneumoniae Infection Triggers Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”. EBioMedicine 2 (11): 1686-96.

    Progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is linked to episodes of exacerbations caused by bacterial infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Our objective was to identify during COPD, factors of susceptibility to bacterial infections among cytokine network and their role in COPD exacerbations. S. pneumoniae was used to sub-lethally challenge mice chronically exposed to air or cigarette smoke (CS) and to stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from non-smokers, smokers and COPD patients. The immune response and the cytokine production were evaluated. Delayed clearance of the bacteria and stronger lung inflammation observed in infected CS-exposed mice were associated with an altered production of IL-17 and IL-22 by innate immune cells. This defect was related to a reduced production of IL-1β and IL-23 by antigen presenting cells. Importantly, supplementation with recombinant IL-22 restored bacterial clearance in CS-exposed mice and limited lung alteration. In contrast with non-smokers, blood NK and NKT cells from COPD patients failed to increase IL-17 and IL-22 levels in response to S. pneumoniae, in association with a defect in IL-1β and IL-23 secretion. This study identified IL-17 and IL-22 as susceptibility factors in COPD exacerbation. Therefore targeting such cytokines could represent a potent strategy to control COPD exacerbation.