Inflammasome signaling in human placental trophoblasts regulates immune defense against Listeria monocytogenes infection.

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2021-01

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Abstract

The human placenta is a dynamic organ that modulates physiological adaptations to pregnancy. To define the immunological signature of the human placenta, we performed unbiased profiling of secreted immune factors from human chorionic villi isolated from placentas at mid and late stages of pregnancy. We show that placental trophoblasts constitutively secrete the inflammasome-associated cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which is blocked by NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors and occurs without detectable gasdermin D cleavage. We further show that placenta-derived IL-1β primes monocytes for inflammasome induction to protect against Listeria monocytogenes infection. Last, we show that the human placenta responds to L. monocytogenes infection through additional inflammasome activation and that inhibition of this pathway sensitizes villi to infection. Our results thus identify the inflammasome as an important mechanism by which the human placenta regulates systemic and local immunity during pregnancy to defend against L. monocytogenes infection.

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10.1084/jem.20200649

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Megli, Christina, Stefanie Morosky, Dhivyaa Rajasundaram and Carolyn B Coyne (2021). Inflammasome signaling in human placental trophoblasts regulates immune defense against Listeria monocytogenes infection. The Journal of experimental medicine, 218(1). 10.1084/jem.20200649 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22570.

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Coyne

Carolyn Coyne

George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Immunology

We study the pathways by which microorganisms cross cellular barriers and the mechanisms by which these barriers restrict microbial infections. Our studies primarily focus on the epithelium that lines the gastrointestinal tract and on placental trophoblasts, the cells that comprise a key cellular barrier of the human placenta. Our work is highly multidisciplinary and encompasses aspects of cell biology, immunology, and microbiology. Our long-term goals are to identify pathogen- and host-specific therapeutic targets to prevent or treat microbial infections and ultimately to alleviate the morbidity and mortality caused by these infections.


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