Publications by Year: 2011


Arcos, Jesús, Smitha J Sasindran, Nagatoshi Fujiwara, Joanne Turner, Larry S Schlesinger, and Jordi B Torrelles. (2011) 2011. “Human Lung Hydrolases Delineate Mycobacterium Tuberculosis-Macrophage Interactions and the Capacity to Control Infection”. Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 187 (1): 372-81.

Pulmonary surfactant contains homeostatic and antimicrobial hydrolases. When Mycobacterium tuberculosis is initially deposited in the terminal bronchioles and alveoli, as well as following release from lysed macrophages, bacilli are in intimate contact with these lung surfactant hydrolases. We identified and measured several hydrolases in human alveolar lining fluid and lung tissue that, at their physiological concentrations, dramatically modified the M. tuberculosis cell envelope. Independent of their action time (15 min to 12 h), the effects of the hydrolases on the M. tuberculosis cell envelope resulted in a significant decrease (60-80%) in M. tuberculosis association with, and intracellular growth of the bacteria within, human macrophages. The cell envelope-modifying effects of the hydrolases also led to altered M. tuberculosis intracellular trafficking and induced a protective proinflammatory response to infection. These findings add a new concept to our understanding of M. tuberculosis-macrophage interactions (i.e., the impact of lung surfactant hydrolases on M. tuberculosis infection).

Dwivedi, Varun, Cordelia Manickam, Ruthi Patterson, Katie Dodson, Michael Murtaugh, Jordi B Torrelles, Larry S Schlesinger, and Gourapura J Renukaradhya. (2011) 2011. “Cross-Protective Immunity to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus by Intranasal Delivery of a Live Virus Vaccine With a Potent Adjuvant”. Vaccine 29 (23): 4058-66.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is an immunosuppressive chronic respiratory viral disease of pigs that is responsible for major economic losses to the swine industry worldwide. The efficacy of parenteral administration of widely used modified live virus PRRS vaccine (PRRS-MLV) against genetically divergent PRRSV strains remains questionable. Therefore, we evaluated an alternate and proven mucosal immunization approach by intranasal delivery of PRRS-MLV (strain VR2332) with a potent adjuvant to elicit cross-protective immunity against a heterologous PRRSV (strain MN184). Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole cell lysate (Mtb WCL) was chosen as a potent mucosal adjuvant due to its Th1 biased immune response to PRRS-MLV. Unvaccinated pigs challenged with MN184 had clinical PRRS with severe lung pathology; however, vaccinated (PRRS-MLV+ Mtb WCL) pigs challenged with MN184 were apparently healthy. There was a significant increase in the body weight gain in vaccinated compared to unvaccinated PRRSV challenged pigs. Vaccinated compared to unvaccinated, virus-challenged pigs had reduced lung pathology associated with enhanced PRRSV neutralizing antibody titers and reduced viremia. Immunologically, an increased frequency of Th cells, Th/memory cells, γδ T cells, dendritic cells, and activated Th cells and a reduced frequency of T-regulatory cells were detected at both mucosal and systemic sites. Further, reduced secretion of immunosuppressive cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β) and upregulation of the Th1 cytokine IFN-γ in blood and lungs were detected in mucosally vaccinated, PRRSV-challenged pigs. In conclusion, intranasal immunization of pigs with PRRS-MLV administered with Mtb WCL generated effective cross-protective immunity against PRRSV.

Torrelles, Jordi B, Peter A Sieling, Jesús Arcos, Rose Knaup, Craig Bartling, Murugesan S Rajaram V, Steffen Stenger, Robert L Modlin, and Larry S Schlesinger. (2011) 2011. “Structural Differences in Lipomannans from Pathogenic and Nonpathogenic Mycobacteria That Impact CD1b-Restricted T Cell Responses”. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 286 (41): 35438-46.

Mannosylated molecules on the Mycobacterium tuberculosis surface are important determinants in the immunopathogenesis of tuberculosis. To date, much attention has been paid to mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan, which mediates phagocytosis and intracellular trafficking of M. tuberculosis by engaging the macrophage mannose receptor and subsequently binds to intracellular CD1b molecules for presentation to T cells. Another important mannosylated lipoglycan on the M. tuberculosis surface is lipomannan (LM). Comparative structural detail of the LMs from virulent and avirulent strains is limited as is knowledge regarding their differential capacity to be recognized by the adaptive immune response. Here, we purified LM from the avirulent M. smegmatis and the virulent M. tuberculosis H(37)R(v), performed a comparative structural biochemical analysis, and addressed their ability to stimulate CD1b-restricted T cell clones. We found that M. tuberculosis H(37)R(v) produces a large neutral LM (TB-LM); in contrast, M. smegmatis produces a smaller linear acidic LM (SmegLM) with a high succinate content. Correspondingly, TB-LM was not as efficiently presented to CD1b-restricted T cells as SmegLM. Thus, here we correlate the structure-function relationships for LMs with CD1b-restricted T cell responses and provide evidence that the structural features of TB-LM contribute to its diminished T cell responsiveness.

Sasindran, Smitha J, and Jordi B Torrelles. (2011) 2011. “Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Infection and Inflammation: what is Beneficial for the Host and for the Bacterium?”. Frontiers in Microbiology 2: 2.

Tuberculosis is still a major health problem in the world. Initial interactions between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the host mark the pathway of infection and the subsequent host inflammatory response. This inflammatory response is tightly regulated by both the host and the bacterium during different stages of infection. As infection progresses, the initial intense pro-inflammatory response observed is regulated by suppressive mediators balancing inflammation. In this environment, M. tuberculosis battles to survive interfering with the host inflammatory response. In this review we discuss the major effector molecules involved in inflammation in relation to the different stages of M. tuberculosis infection.

Binjawadagi, Basavaraj, Varun Dwivedi, Cordelia Manickam, Jordi B Torrelles, and Gourapura J Renukaradhya. (2011) 2011. “Intranasal Delivery of an Adjuvanted Modified Live Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Vaccine Reduces ROS Production”. Viral Immunology 24 (6): 475-82.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced predominantly by phagocytic cells in response to microbial infections. When produced at optimal levels ROS have potent antimicrobial properties. However, excessive production of ROS induces apoptosis/necrosis of infected as well as bystander cells, resulting in inflammatory pathology. Previously we showed that vaccination of pigs with a modified live porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus vaccine (PRRS-MLV) administered intranasally with a potent mucosal adjuvant M. tuberculosis whole-cell lysate (Mtb WCL) induces protective immunity against PRRSV challenge. In this study, using bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells harvested from that study were quantified for the levels of ROS produced. Our results indicated that in vaccinated pigs, levels of ROS were lower compared to unvaccinated PRRSV-challenged pigs. In unvaccinated but PRRSV-challenged pigs, the higher ROS production was associated with increased inflammatory lung pathology. In conclusion, our results suggest that intranasal immunization using PRRS-MLV along with a potent mucosal adjuvant protects pigs against both homologous and virulent heterologous PRRSV challenge, which was associated with reduced ROS production and reduced lung pathology compared to control virus-challenged pigs.

Rajaram, Murugesan S, V, Bin Ni, Jessica D Morris, Michelle N Brooks, Tracy K Carlson, Baskar Bakthavachalu, Daniel R Schoenberg, Jordi B Torrelles, and Larry S Schlesinger. (2011) 2011. “Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Lipomannan Blocks TNF Biosynthesis by Regulating Macrophage MAPK-Activated Protein Kinase 2 (MK2) and MicroRNA MiR-125b”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108 (42): 17408-13.

Contact of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) with the immune system requires interactions between microbial surface molecules and host pattern recognition receptors. Major M.tb-exposed cell envelope molecules, such as lipomannan (LM), contain subtle structural variations that affect the nature of the immune response. Here we show that LM from virulent M.tb (TB-LM), but not from avirulent Myocobacterium smegmatis (SmegLM), is a potent inhibitor of TNF biosynthesis in human macrophages. This difference in response is not because of variation in Toll-like receptor 2-dependent activation of the signaling kinase MAPK p38. Rather, TB-LM stimulation leads to destabilization of TNF mRNA transcripts and subsequent failure to produce TNF protein. In contrast, SmegLM enhances MAPK-activated protein kinase 2 phosphorylation, which is critical for maintaining TNF mRNA stability in part by contributing microRNAs (miRNAs). In this context, human miRNA miR-125b binds to the 3' UTR region of TNF mRNA and destabilizes the transcript, whereas miR-155 enhances TNF production by increasing TNF mRNA half-life and limiting expression of SHIP1, a negative regulator of the PI3K/Akt pathway. We show that macrophages incubated with TB-LM and live M.tb induce high miR-125b expression and low miR-155 expression with correspondingly low TNF production. In contrast, SmegLM and live M. smegmatis induce high miR-155 expression and low miR-125b expression with high TNF production. Thus, we identify a unique cellular mechanism underlying the ability of a major M.tb cell wall component, TB-LM, to block TNF biosynthesis in human macrophages, thereby allowing M.tb to subvert host immunity and potentially increase its virulence.