Effect of Flagellin Pre-Exposure on the Inflammatory and Antifungal Response of Bronchial Epithelial Cells to Fungal Pathogens (Équipe Corvol)

30 - Novembre - 2022

Jeanne Bigot, Manon Ruffin, Juliette Guitard, Sandra Vellaissamy, Sophie Thorez, Harriet Corvol, Loïc Guillot, Viviane Balloy, Christophe Hennequin

J Fungi (Basel). 2022 Nov 30;8(12):1268

Bronchial epithelial cells (BEC) play a crucial role in innate immunity against inhaled fungi. Indeed, in response to microorganisms, BEC synthesize proinflammatory cytokines involved in the recruitment of neutrophils. We have recently shown that BEC exert antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus by inhibiting filament growth. In the present study, we first analyzed the inflammatory and antifungal responses of BEC infected by several fungal species such as Aspergillus spp., Scedosporium apiospermum and Candida albicans, which are frequently isolated from the sputum of people with chronic pulmonary diseases. The airways of these patients, such as people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF), are mainly colonized by P. aeruginosa and secondary by fungal pathogens. We have previously demonstrated that BEC are capable of innate immune memory, allowing them to increase their inflammatory response against A. fumigatus following a previous contact with Pseudomonas aeruginosa flagellin. To identify the impact of bacteria exposure on BEC responses to other fungal infections, we extended the analysis of BEC innate immune memory to Aspergillus spp., Scedosporium apiospermum and Candida albicans infection. Our results show that BEC are able to recognize and respond to Aspergillus spp., S. apiospermum and C. albicans infection and that the modulation of BEC responses by pre-exposure to flagellin varies according to the fungal species encountered. Deepening our knowledge of the innate immune memory of BEC should open new therapeutic avenues to modulate the inflammatory response against polymicrobial infections observed in chronic pulmonary diseases such as CF.

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