NLRP6 modulates neutrophil homeostasis in bacterial pneumonia-derived sepsis

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Bacterial pneumonia is a significant cause of morbidity, mortality, and health care expenditures. Optimum neutrophil recruitment and their function are critical defense mechanisms against respiratory pathogens. The nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor (NLRP) 6 controls gut microbiota and immune response to systemic and enteric infections. However, the importance of NLRP6 in neutrophil homeostasis following lung infection remains elusive. To investigate the role of NLRs in neutrophil homeostasis, we used Nlrp6 gene-deficient (Nlrp6) mice in a model of Klebsiella pneumoniae-induced pneumonia-derived sepsis. We demonstrated that NLRP6 is critical for host survival, bacterial clearance, neutrophil influx, and CXC-chemokine production. Kp-infected Nlrp6 mice have reduced numbers of hematopoietic stem cells and granulocyte-monocyte progenitors but increased retention of matured neutrophils in bone marrow. Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and NET-mediated bacterial killing were also impaired in Nlrp6 neutrophils in vitro. Furthermore, recombinant CXCL1 rescued the impaired host defense, granulopoietic response, and NETosis in Kp-infected Nlrp6 mice. Using A/J background mice and co-housing experiments, our findings revealed that the susceptible phenotype of Nlrp6 mice is not strain-specific and gut microbiota-dependent. Taken together, these data unveil NLRP6 as a central regulator of neutrophil recruitment, generation, and function during bacterial pneumonia followed by sepsis.

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Mucosal immunology

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