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Papers of the Week

2022 Jan 06


Vitamin D and carbamazepine protect against infection in mice by restoring macrophage lysosome acidification.


Chan H, Li Q, Wang X, Liu W Y, Hu W, Zeng J, Xie C, Kwong T N Y, Ho I H, Liu X, Chen H, Yu J, Ko H, Chan R C Y, Ip M, Gin T, Cheng A S L, Zhang L, Chan M T V, Wong S H, et al.
Autophagy. 2022 Jan 06:1-18.
PMID: 34989311.


infection (CDI) is a common cause of nosocomial diarrhea. TcdB is a major exotoxin that activates macrophages to promote inflammation and epithelial damage. Lysosome impairment is a known trigger for inflammation. Herein, we hypothesize that TcdB could impair macrophage lysosomal function to mediate inflammation during CDI. Effects of TcdB on lysosomal function and the downstream pro-inflammatory SQSTM1/p62-NFKB (nuclear factor kappa B) signaling were assessed in cultured macrophages and in a murine CDI model. Protective effects of two lysosome activators (i.e., vitamin D and carbamazepine) were assessed. Results showed that TcdB inhibited CTNNB1/β-catenin activity to downregulate MITF (melanocyte inducing transcription factor) and its direct target genes encoding components of lysosomal membrane vacuolar-type ATPase, thereby suppressing lysosome acidification in macrophages. The resulting lysosomal dysfunction then impaired autophagic flux and activated SQSTM1-NFKB signaling to drive the expression of IL1B/IL-1β (interleukin 1 beta), IL8 and CXCL2 (chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 2). Restoring MITF function by enforced MITF expression or restoring lysosome acidification with 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D or carbamazepine suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokine expression . In mice, gavage with TcdB-hyperproducing or injection of TcdB into ligated colon segments caused prominent MITF downregulation in macrophages. Vitamin D and carbamazepine lessened TcdB-induced lysosomal dysfunction, inflammation and histological damage. In conclusion, TcdB inhibits the CTNNB1-MITF axis to suppress lysosome acidification and activates the downstream SQSTM1-NFKB signaling in macrophages during CDI. Vitamin D and carbamazepine protect against CDI by restoring MITF expression and lysosomal function in mice.