PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Histone deacetylase inhibitors impair innate immune responses
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Faculté de biologie et de médecine Université de Lausanne UNIL - Bugnon Rue du Bugnon 21 - bureau 4111 CH-1015 Lausanne SUISSE
Number of pages
SUMMARYThe innate immune system plays a central role in host defenses against invading pathogens. Innate immune cells sense the presence of pathogens through pattern recognition receptors that trigger intracellular signaling, leading to the production of pro-inflammatory mediators like cytokines, which shape innate and adaptive immune responses. Both by excess and by default inflammation may be detrimental to the host. Indeed, severe sepsis and septic shock are lethal complications of infections characterized by a dysregulated inflammatory response.In recent years, members of the superfamily of histone deacetylases have been the focus of great interest. In mammals, histone deacetylases are broadly classified into two main subfamilies comprising histone deacetylases 1-11 (HDAC1-11) and sirtuins 1-7 (SIRT1-7). These enzymes influence gene expression by deacetylating histones and numerous non-histone proteins. Histone deacetylases have been involved in the development of oncologic, metabolic, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. Pharmacological modulators of histone deacetylase activity, principally inhibitors, have been developed for the treatment of cancer and metabolic diseases. When we initiated this project, several studies suggested that inhibitors of HDAC 1-11 have anti-inflammatory activity. Yet, their influence on innate immune responses was largely uncharacterized. The present study was initiated to fill in this gap.In the first part of this work, we report the first comprehensive study of the effects of HDAC 1- 11 inhibitors on innate immune responses in vitro and in vivo. Strikingly, expression studies revealed that HDAC1-11 inhibitors act essentially as negative regulators of basal and microbial product- induced expression of critical immune receptors and antimicrobial products by mouse and human innate immune cells like macrophages and dendritic cells. Furthermore, we describe a new molecular mechanism whereby HDAC1-11 inhibitors repress pro-inflammatory cytokine expression through the induction of the expression and the activity of the transcriptional repressor Μί-2β. HDAC1-11 inhibitors also impair the potential of macrophages to engulf and kill bacteria. Finally, mice treated with an HDAC inhibitor are more susceptible to non-severe bacterial and fungal infection, but are protected against toxic and septic shock. Altogether these data support the concept that HDAC 1-11 inhibitors have potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities in vitro and in vivo.Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in innate immune responses, cell proliferation and oncogenesis. In the second part of this manuscript, we demonstrate that HDAC1-11 inhibitors inhibit MIF expression in vitro and in vivo and describe a novel molecular mechanism accounting for these effects. We propose that inhibition of MIF expression by HDAC 1-11 inhibitors may contribute to the antitumorigenic and anti-inflammatory effects of these drugs.NAD+ is an essential cofactor of sirtuins activity and one of the major sources of energy within the cells. Therefore, sirtuins link deacetylation to NAD+ metabolism and energy status. In the last part of this thesis, we report preliminary results indicating that a pharmacological inhibitor of SIRT1-2 drastically decreases pro-inflammatory cytokine production (RNA and protein) and interferes with MAP kinase intracellular signal transduction pathway in macrophages. Moreover, administration of the SIRT1-2 inhibitor protects mice from lethal endotoxic shock and septic shock.Overall, our studies demonstrate that inhibitors of HDAC1-11 and sirtuins are powerful anti-inflammatory molecules. Given their profound negative impact on the host antimicrobial defence response, these inhibitors might increase the susceptibility to opportunistic infections, especially in immunocompromised cancer patients. Yet, these inhibitors might be useful to control the inflammatory response in severely ill septic patients or in patients suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases.
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