Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells (TREM)-2 Impairs Host Defense in Experimental Melioidosis

Tassili A.F. Weehuizen, Tijmen J. Hommes, Jacqueline M. Lankelma, Hanna K. de Jong, Joris J.T.H. Roelofs, Alex F. de Vos, Marco Colonna, Tom van der Poll, W. Joost Wiersinga

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17 Scopus citations


Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM) -1 and TREM-2 are key regulators of the inflammatory response that are involved in the clearance of invading pathogens. Melioidosis, caused by the "Tier 1" biothreat agent Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a common form of community-acquired sepsis in Southeast-Asia. TREM-1 has been suggested as a biomarker for sepsis and melioidosis. We aimed to characterize the expression and function of TREM-1 and TREM-2 in melioidosis. Methodology/Principal Findings: Wild-type, TREM-1/3 (Trem-1/3-/-) and TREM-2 (Trem-2-/-) deficient mice were intranasally infected with live B. pseudomallei and killed after 24, and/or 72 h for the harvesting of lungs, liver, spleen, and blood. Additionally, survival studies were performed. Cellular functions were further analyzed by stimulation and/or infection of isolated cells. TREM-1 and TREM-2 expression was increased both in the lung and liver of B. pseudomallei-infected mice. Strikingly, Trem-2-/-, but not Trem-1/3-/-, mice displayed a markedly improved host defense as reflected by a strong survival advantage together with decreased bacterial loads, less inflammation and reduced organ injury. Cellular responsiveness of TREM-2, but not TREM-1, deficient blood and bone-marrow derived macrophages (BMDM) was diminished upon exposure to B. pseudomallei. Phagocytosis and intracellular killing of B. pseudomallei by BMDM and alveolar macrophages were TREM-1 and TREM-2-independent. Conclusions/Significance: We found that TREM-2, and to a lesser extent TREM-1, plays a remarkable detrimental role in the host defense against a clinically relevant Gram-negative pathogen in mice: TREM-2 deficiency restricts the inflammatory response, thereby decreasing organ damage and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0004747
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2016


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