Neutrophil and Macrophage NADPH Oxidase 2 Differentially Control Responses to Inflammation and to Aspergillus fumigatus in Mice

Rachel A. Idol, Sourav Bhattacharya, Guangming Huang, Zhimin Song, Anna Huttenlocher, Nancy P. Keller, Mary C. Dinauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Aspergillus fumigatus is an important opportunistic fungal pathogen and causes invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in conditions with compromised innate antifungal immunity, including chronic granulomatous disease, which results from inherited deficiency of the superoxide-generating leukocyte NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). Derivative oxidants have both antimicrobial and immunoregulatory activity and, in the context of A. fumigatus, contribute to both fungal killing and dampening inflammation induced by fungal cell walls. As the relative roles of macrophage versus neutrophil NOX2 in the host response to A. fumigatus are incompletely understood, we studied mice with conditional deletion of NOX2. When NOX2 was absent in alveolar macrophages as a result of LysM-Cre-mediated deletion, germination of inhaled A. fumigatus conidia was increased. Reducing NOX2 activity specifically in neutrophils via S100a8 (MRP8)-Cre also increased fungal burden, which was inversely proportional to the level of neutrophil NOX2 activity. Moreover, diminished NOX2 in neutrophils synergized with corticosteroid immunosuppression to impair lung clearance of A. fumigatus. Neutrophil-specific reduction in NOX2 activity also enhanced acute inflammation induced by inhaled sterile fungal cell walls. These results advance understanding into cell-specific roles of NOX2 in the host response to A. fumigatus. We show that alveolar macrophage NOX2 is a nonredundant effector that limits germination of inhaled A. fumigatus conidia. In contrast, reducing NOX2 activity only in neutrophils is sufficient to enhance inflammation to fungal cell walls as well as to promote invasive A. fumigatus. This may be relevant in clinical settings with acquired defects in NOX2 activity due to underlying conditions, which overlap risk factors for invasive aspergillosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1960-1972
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022


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