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Validation of a Medium-Throughput Method for Evaluation of Intracellular Growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Medical Microbiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Kalmar County Hospital.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Medical Microbiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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2010 (English)In: Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, ISSN 1556-6811, E-ISSN 1556-679X, Vol. 17, no 4, 513-517 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Intracellular pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis have adapted to a life inside host cells, in which they utilize host nutrients to replicate and spread. Ineffective methods for the evaluation of growth of intracellular pathogens in their true environment pose an obstacle for basic research and drug screening. Here we present the validation of a luminometry-based method for the analysis of intramacrophage growth of M. tuberculosis. The method, which is performed in a medium-throughput format, can easily be adapted for studies of other intracellular pathogens and cell types. The use of host cells in drug-screening assays dedicated to find antimicrobials effective against intracellular pathogens permits the discovery of not only novel antibiotics but also compounds with immunomodulatory and virulence-impairing activities, which may be future alternatives or complements to antibiotics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Microbiology , 2010. Vol. 17, no 4, 513-517 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-54868DOI: 10.1128/CVI.00446-09ISI: 000276170900004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-54868DiVA: diva2:310845
Available from: 2010-04-16 Created: 2010-04-16 Last updated: 2017-10-31
In thesis
1. Survival strategies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis inside the human macrophage
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Survival strategies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis inside the human macrophage
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (TB). For decades, it was believed that TB was a disease of the past, but the onset of the HIV epidemic resulting in a greatly increased number of TB cases, the emergence of antibiotic resistant Mtb strains, and the relative ineffectiveness of the BCG vaccine have put TB back on the agenda. With almost two million people being killed by TB each year, the World Health Organization has declared it a global emergency. TB is an especially big issue in low-income countries, where crowded living conditions accelerates spread of the disease, and where access to health care and medication is problematic. Mtb spreads by aerosol and infects its host through the airways. The bacterium is phagocytosed by resident macrophages in the lung, and when successful is able to replicate inside these cells, which are actually designed to kill invading microbes. Mtb is able to evade macrophage responses in part by inhibiting the fusion between the phagosome in which it resides and bactericidal lysosomes, as well as by dampening the acidification of the vacuole. The initial macrophage infection results in a pro-inflammatory response and the recruitment of other cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems, giving rise to the hallmark of Mtb infection – the granuloma. It is believed that in up to 50 % of exposed individuals, however, the infection is cleared without the involvement of the adaptive immune system, indicating that the innate immune system may be able to control or clear the infection if activated appropriately. This thesis focuses on the interaction between the host macrophage and Mtb, aiming to understand some of the mechanisms employed by the bacterium to evade macrophage responses to enable replication and spread to new host cells. Furthermore, mechanisms used by the macrophage to keep the infection under control were studied, and a method that could be used to measure the replication of the bacilli inside macrophages in vitro in an efficient way was developed. We found that a mycobacterial glycoprotein, mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM), which is shed from the bacilli during phagocytosis by macrophages, integrates into membrane raft domains of the host cell membrane via its GPI anchor. This integration leads to an inhibition of phagosomal maturation. Subsequently, we developed a luciferase-based method by which intracellular replication of Mtb as well as viability of the host macrophage could be measured in a rapid, inexpensive and quantitative way in a 96-well plate. This method could be used for drug screening as well as for studying the different host and bacterial factors that influence the growth of Mtb inside the host cell. Using this method, we discovered that infection of macrophages with Mtb at a low multiplicity of infection (MOI) led to effective control of bacterial growth by the cell, and that this was dependent on functional lysosomal proteases as well as phagosomal acidification. However, we found no correlation between controlled bacterial growth and the translocation of late endosomal membrane proteins to the phagosome, showing that these markers are poor indicators of phagosomal functionality. Furthermore, we discovered that infection of macrophages with Mtb at a higher MOI led to replication of the bacilli accompanied by host cell death within a few days. We characterized this cell death, and concluded that when replication of Mtb inside macrophages reaches a certain threshold and the bacteria secrete a protein termed ESAT-6, necrotic cell death of the host cell occurs. However, although the bacilli activated inflammasome complexes in the host cell and IL-1β was secreted during infection of macrophages, Mtb infection did not induce either of the recently characterized inflammasome-related cell death types pyroptosis or pyronecrosis. Thus, we have elucidated some of the strategies that Mtb uses to be able to survive and replicate inside the macrophage and spread to new cells, as well as studied the conditions under which the host cell is able to control infection. This knowledge could be used in the future for developing drugs that boost the innate immune system or targets bacterial virulence factors in the macrophage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 84 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1223
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65452 (URN)978-91-7393-251-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-03-04, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-02-22 Created: 2011-02-08 Last updated: 2011-02-22Bibliographically approved
2. Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the human macrophage: shifting the balance through inflammasome activation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the human macrophage: shifting the balance through inflammasome activation
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a very successful pathogen and tuberculosis constitutes a major threat to global health worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that almost nine million new cases and 1.5 million deaths occur annually and the situation is worsened by increased antibiotic resistance and an extreme synergism with the HIV pandemic. M. tuberculosis primarily affects the lungs where the infection can lead to either eradication of the bacteria or the initiation of an immune response that culminates in the formation of a large cluster of immune cells termed granulomas. In these granulomas, the bacteria can either replicate and cause disease with the ultimate goal of spreading to new hosts or cause latent tuberculosis, which can persist for decades. The tools available to manage the disease are currently suboptimal and include lengthy antibiotic treatments and an inefficient vaccine resulting in poor protection. On a cellular level, M. tuberculosis primarily infects the cell designed to recognize, ingest and eradicate bacteria, namely the human macrophage. Following recognition, the macrophage phagocytoses the bacterium and tries to kill it using an array of different effector mechanisms including acidification of the bacterium-containing vacuole, different degradative enzymes and the generation of radicals. However, the bacterium is able to circumvent many of these harmful effects, leading to a tug-of-war between the bacterium  and host macrophage. This thesis aims at studying the interaction between the human macrophage and M. tuberculosis to identify host factors critical for controlling growth of the bacteria. More specifically, it focuses on the role of an intracellular receptor protein called NLRP3 and its downstream effects. NLRP3 is activated in human macrophages infected by M. tuberculosis and upon activation it forms a multi-protein complex known as the inflammasome. This protein complex is known to induce the production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β and specialized forms of macrophage cell death. We hypothesized that stimulating this pathway would have a beneficial effect for the host macrophage during infection with M. tuberculosis.

To allow us to follow interaction between M. tuberculosis and the human macrophage, we first developed a luminometry-based method of measuring bacterial numbers and following bacterial growth over several days in infected cells. With this new assay we showed that low numbers of bacteria induced very low levels of IL-1β and failed to induce any type of cell death in the macrophage. However, when a critical number of bacteria were reached, the infected macrophages underwent necrosis, which was accompanied by high levels of IL-1β. We were also able to show that addition of vitamin D, which has been implicated as an important factor for increased killing capacity of infected macrophages, increased the production of IL-1β, which coincided with increased killing of M. tuberculosis. This effect was seen specifically in cells from patients with active tuberculosis, suggesting that these cells are primed to respond to vitamin D and increased levels of IL-1β. Furthermore, we also showed that increasing production of IL-1β by stimulating infected macrophages with apoptotic neutrophils in turn drives the production of other proinflammatory cytokines. Lastly, we showed that gain-of-function polymorphisms in inflammasome components linked to increased inflammasome activation and IL-1β production promotes bacterial killing in human macrophages. In conclusion, the work presented in this thesis shows  that by enhancing the functions of the inflammasome, it is possible to tip the balance between the human macrophage and M. tuberculosis in favor of the host cell.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 97 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1372
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100890 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-100890 (DOI)978-91-7519-558-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-11, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-11-14 Created: 2013-11-14 Last updated: 2013-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Eklund, DanielWelin, AmandaStendahl, OlleLerm, Maria

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