An altered immune response, but not individual cationic antimicrobial peptides, is associated with the oral attenuation of Ara4N-deficient Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in mice.PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e49588.Plos
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) uses two-component regulatory systems (TCRS) to respond to stimuli in the local microenvironment. Upon infection, the Salmonella TCRSs PhoP-PhoQ (PhoPQ) and PmrA-PmrB (PmrAB) are activated by environmental signals in the intestinal lumen and within host cells. TCRS-mediated gene expression results in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) modification and cationic antimicrobial peptide resistance. The PmrA-regulated pmrHFIJKLM operon mediates 4-amino-4-deoxy-L-arabinose (Ara4N) production and attachment to the lipid A of LPS. A ΔpmrF S. Typhimurium strain cannot produce Ara4N, exhibits increased sensitivity to cationic antimicrobial peptide (CAMP)-mediated killing, and attenuated virulence in mice upon oral infection. CAMPs are predicted to play a role in elimination of Salmonella, and may activate PhoPQ and PmrAB in vivo, which could increase bacterial resistance to host defenses. Competition experiments between wild type (WT) and ΔpmrF mutant strains of S. Typhimurium indicated that selection against this mutant first occurs within the intestinal lumen early during infection. However, CRAMP and active cryptdins alone are not responsible for elimination of Ara4N-deficient bacteria in vivo. Investigation into the early immune response to ΔpmrF showed that it differed slightly from the early immune response to WT S. Typhimurium. Further investigation into the early immune response to infection of Peyer's patches suggests a role for IL-13 in the attenution of the ΔpmrF mutant strain. Thus, prominent CAMPs present in the mouse intestine are not responsible for the selection against the ΔpmrF strain in this location, but limited alterations in innate immune induction were observed that affect bacterial survival and virulence.