Compromised metabolic function and dysregulated induction of type 1 interferon promote susceptibility in a model for tuberculosis infection
Brownhill, Eric James
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Tuberculosis (TB) is a critical infectious disease world-wide, and the increasing development of antibiotic resistance drives the search for effective host-directed therapies. One molecular target of potential host-directed therapy is Type 1 Interferon, (IFN-I or IFNβ), an excess of which correlates with TB progression. The mechanisms underlying IFNβ overproduction are still unclear. In this dissertation we review cellular mechanisms, including mitochondrial function and metabolism, oxidative stress, and the Integrated Stress Response, which are involved in IFNβ production and macrophage function. We also describe an experimental model of human-like TB, the B6J.C3-Sst1C3HeB/Fej Krmn (B6.Sst1S) mouse, which provides a unique and convenient system for studying mechanisms of necrosis in TB granulomas. We use primary macrophages from the B6.Sst1S mouse to establish a mechanism that links the B6.Sst1S genotype to a cascade of dysregulation that drives IFNβ superinduction and susceptibility to TB infection. TNF is necessary for granuloma formation in vivo, but in the context of transcriptional dysregulation and excess free iron, it drives oxidative stress, which amplifies IFNβ induction to pathologic levels. This induction is maintained by positive feedback through the double stranded RNA-dependent Protein Kinase (PKR). We demonstrate that interruption of this cascade by iron chelation or inhibition of lipid peroxidation attenuates IFNβ induction and improves subsequent infection outcomes. We conclude by comparing the in vitro model system to an in vivo necrotic TB granuloma, describing similarities between our system and human TB, and discussing the connections between IFN-I and autoimmune and degenerative disease and the broader application of the B6.Sst1S model system to studies of human immunity.
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