Die Koinfektion von Influenza A Virus/Staphylococcus aureus und deren Einfluss auf Surfactant Protein A im humanen Alveolus-on-a-Chip Modell

Pneumonia is the leading cause of hospitalization worldwide. Besides viruses, bacterial co-infections dramatically exacerbate infection. In general, surfactant protein-A (SP-A) represents a first line of immune defense. In this study, we analyzed whether influenza A virus (IAV) and/or Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections affect SP-A expression. To closely reflect the situation in the lung, we used a human alveolus-on-a-chip model and a murine pneumonia model. Our results show that S. aureus can reduce extracellular levels of SP-A, most likely attributed to bacterial proteases. Mono-epithelial cell culture experiments reveal that the expression of SP-A is not directly affected by IAV or S. aureus. Yet, the mRNA expression of SP-A is strongly down-regulated by TNF-α, which is highly produced by professional phagocytes in response to bacterial infection. By using the human alveolus-on-a-chip model, we show that the down-regulation of SP-A is strongly dependent on macrophages. In a murine model of pneumonia, we can confirm that S. aureus decreases SP-A levels in vivo. These findings indicate that (I) complex interactions of epithelial and immune cells induce down-regulation of SP-A expression and (II) bacterial mono- and super-infections reduce SP-A expression in the lung, which might contribute to a severe outcome of bacterial pneumonia.


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