Jan 2009 PloS one

New microbicidal functions of tracheal glands: defective anti-infectious response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis.


Bastonero S, Le Priol Y, Armand M, Reynaud-Gaubert M, Olive D, Parzy D, de Bentzmann S, Capo C, Mege JL


Tracheal glands (TG) may play a specific role in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease due to mutations in the cftr gene and characterized by airway inflammation and Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. We compared the gene expression of wild-type TG cells and TG cells with the cftr DeltaF508 mutation (CF-TG cells) using microarrays covering the whole human genome. In the absence of infection, CF-TG cells constitutively exhibited an inflammatory signature, including genes that encode molecules such as IL-1alpha, IL-beta, IL-32, TNFSF14, LIF, CXCL1 and PLAU. In response to P. aeruginosa, genes associated with IFN-gamma response to infection (CXCL10, IL-24, IFNgammaR2) and other mediators of anti-infectious responses (CSF2, MMP1, MMP3, TLR2, S100 calcium-binding proteins A) were markedly up-regulated in wild-type TG cells. This microbicidal signature was silent in CF-TG cells. The deficiency of genes associated with IFN-gamma response was accompanied by the defective membrane expression of IFNgammaR2 and altered response of CF-TG cells to exogenous IFN-gamma. In addition, CF-TG cells were unable to secrete CXCL10, IL-24 and S100A8/S100A9 in response to P. aeruginosa. The differences between wild-type TG and CF-TG cells were due to the cftr mutation since gene expression was similar in wild-type TG cells and CF-TG cells transfected with a plasmid containing a functional cftr gene. Finally, we reported an altered sphingolipid metabolism in CF-TG cells, which may account for their inflammatory signature. This first comprehensive analysis of gene expression in TG cells proposes a protective role of wild-type TG against airborne pathogens and reveals an original program in which anti-infectious response was deficient in TG cells with a cftr mutation. This defective response may explain why host response does not contribute to protection against P. aeruginosa in CF.

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