Clostridium difficile, an etiologic agent for pseudomembranous colitis, accounts for a quarter cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. With the recent emergence of hypervirulent strains, the incidence of C. difficile infection (CDI) has increased significantly in both North America and Europe, causing lengthy hospitalization, substantial morbidity and mortality. CDI is thought to be mainly mediated by exotoxins TcdA and TcdB, which glucosylate low molecular mass GTPase of the Rho family, leading to massive fluid secretion, acute inflammation, and necrosis of the colonic mucosa. Our long-term goal is to understand the mechanisms mediating intestinal inflammation in C. difficile infection and to utilize this knowledge for the design of better immune interventions in order to reduce the incidence of CDI and severity of the disease. The interaction of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) with intestinal antigen presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, in the gut orchestrates mucosal immune homeostasis and inflammatory response. Our objective is to elucidate the immune response of IECs and intestinal DCs after their exposure to C. difficile toxins and to determine the nature of their interaction on initiating intestinal inflammation and tissue destruction. To achieve this objective, we will test several working hypotheses: 1) C. difficile toxin-intoxicated IECs are capable of mobilizing and activating DCs;2) In severe cases of CDI, C. difficile toxins can cross a severely damaged intestinal barrier and further activate DCs and macrophages;and 3) proinflammatory cytokine TNF-a synergizes with the toxins to induce apoptosis of IECs, thus exacerbating tissue destruction and enterocolitis. By testing these hypotheses, we expect to gain a better understanding of not only the underlying mechanisms by which C. difficile toxins induce severe enterocolitis, but also the role of IEC-DC interaction in the onset and development of intestinal inflammatory diseases in general. We believe that such an understanding will help us to design better immune interventions against CDI and other intestinal inflammatory diseases.

Public Health Relevance

Clostridium difficile is the most common cause of hospital-acquired antibiotic-associated diarrhea and the etiologic agent of pseudomembranous colitis, the most severe intestinal inflammation. The diseases are in mainly caused by toxins secreted by the bacteria. The goal of this project is to elucidate the immune response of the intestinal epithelial cells (the first line of cells encountering the toxins) and intestinal dendritic cells (the immune cells regulating intestinal inflammatory response) after their exposure to C. difficile toxins and to determine the nature of their interaction on initiating intestinal inflammation and tissue destruction. We believe the study will help us to design better immune interventions against C. difficile infection and other intestinal inflammatory diseases.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DK084509-05
Application #
8461668
Study Section
Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology Study Section (GMPB)
Program Officer
Grey, Michael J
Project Start
2010-05-01
Project End
2015-04-30
Budget Start
2013-05-01
Budget End
2014-04-30
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$304,291
Indirect Cost
$106,056
Name
University of Maryland Baltimore
Department
Microbiology/Immun/Virology
Type
Schools of Dentistry
DUNS #
188435911
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
21201
Yang, Zhiyong; Schmidt, Diane; Liu, Weilong et al. (2014) A novel multivalent, single-domain antibody targeting TcdA and TcdB prevents fulminant Clostridium difficile infection in mice. J Infect Dis 210:964-72
Huang, Tuxiong; Li, Shan; Li, Guangchao et al. (2014) Utility of Clostridium difficile toxin B for inducing anti-tumor immunity. PLoS One 9:e110826
Perez-Cordon, Gregorio; Yang, Guilin; Zhou, Boping et al. (2013) Interaction of Cryptosporidium parvum with mouse dendritic cells leads to their activation and parasite transportation to mesenteric lymph nodes. Pathog Dis :
Zhang, Yongrong; Shi, Lianfa; Li, Shan et al. (2013) A segment of 97 amino acids within the translocation domain of Clostridium difficile toxin B is essential for toxicity. PLoS One 8:e58634
Li, Shan; Shi, Lianfa; Yang, Zhiyong et al. (2013) Cytotoxicity of Clostridium difficile toxin B does not require cysteine protease-mediated autocleavage and release of the glucosyltransferase domain into the host cell cytosol. Pathog Dis 67:11-8
Steele, Jennifer; Chen, Kevin; Sun, Xingmin et al. (2012) Systemic dissemination of Clostridium difficile toxins A and B is associated with severe, fatal disease in animal models. J Infect Dis 205:384-91
Oezguen, Numan; Power, Trevor D; Urvil, Petri et al. (2012) Clostridial toxins: sensing a target in a hostile gut environment. Gut Microbes 3:35-41
Savidge, Tor C; Urvil, Petri; Oezguen, Numan et al. (2011) Host S-nitrosylation inhibits clostridial small molecule-activated glucosylating toxins. Nat Med 17:1136-41
Sun, Xingmin; Wang, Haiying; Zhang, Yongrong et al. (2011) Mouse relapse model of Clostridium difficile infection. Infect Immun 79:2856-64