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Monocytes regulate the mechanism of T-cell death by inducing Fas-mediated apoptosis during bacterial infection

Abstract

Monocytes and T-cells are critical to the host response to acute bacterial infection but monocytes are primarily viewed as amplifying the inflammatory signal. The mechanisms of cell death regulating T-cell numbers at sites of infection are incompletely characterized. T-cell death in cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) showed 'classic' features of apoptosis following exposure to pneumococci. Conversely, purified CD3(+) T-cells cultured with pneumococci demonstrated necrosis with membrane permeabilization. The death of purified CD3(+) T-cells was not inhibited by necrostatin, but required the bacterial toxin pneumolysin. Apoptosis of CD3(+) T-cells in PBMC cultures required 'classical' CD14(+) monocytes, which enhanced T-cell activation. CD3(+) T-cell death was enhanced in HIV-seropositive individuals. Monocyte-mediated CD3(+) T-cell apoptotic death was Fas-dependent both in vitro and in vivo. In the early stages of the T-cell dependent host response to pneumococci reduced Fas ligand mediated T-cell apoptosis was associated with decreased bacterial clearance in the lung and increased bacteremia. In summary monocytes converted pathogen-associated necrosis into Fas-dependent apoptosis and regulated levels of activated T-cells at sites of acute bacterial infection. These changes were associated with enhanced bacterial clearance in the lung and reduced levels of invasive pneumococcal disease.

Authors: Daigneault M, De Silva TI, Bewley MA, Preston JA, Marriott HM, Mitchell AM, Mitchell TJ, Read RC, Whyte MK, Dockrell DH
Journal: PLoS Pathog.; 8(7):e1002814
Year: 2012
PubMed: Find in PubMed