IP-10 contributes to the inhibition of mycobacterial growth in an ex vivo whole blood assay

International Journal of Medical Microbiology. 2019.
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Palucci I, Battah B, Salustri A, De Maio F, Petrone L, Ciccosanti F, Sali M, Bondet V, Duffy D, Fimia GM, Goletti D and Delogu G

Int J Med Microbiol. 2019 May 22. pii: S1438-4221(19)30097-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2019.05.005.

Abstract

Interferon-γ inducible protein 10 (IP-10), is a potent chemoattractant that promotes migration of monocytes and activated T-cells to inflammation foci. IP-10 is elevated in serum of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) and tuberculosis (TB) infections, although it remains to be determined the contribution of IP-10 in restricting Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) replication. Here, we investigated the impact of IP-10 on mycobacteria replication using the ex vivo model of human whole-blood (WB) assay. In particular, we compared the levels of IP-10 upon infection with different Mtb clinical strains and species of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and evaluated how IP-10 may contain bacterial replication. Interestingly, we observed that the inhibition of the host enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV), which inactivates IP-10 through cleavage of two amino acids at the chemokine N-terminus, restricted mycobacterial persistence in WB, supporting the critical role of full length IP-10 in mediating an anti-Mtb response. Addition of recombinant IP-10 expressed in eukaryotic cells enhanced the anti-mycobacterial activity in WB, although no differences were observed when IP-10 containing different proportions of cleaved and non-cleaved forms of the chemokine were added. Moreover, recombinant IP-10 did not exert a direct anti-mycobacterial effect. Our results underscore the clinical relevance of IP-10 in mycobacteria pathogenesis and support the potential outcomes that may derive by targeting the IP-10/CXCR3 pathway as host directed therapies for the treatment of Mtb or NTM infections.