Publication Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0276010
Abstract: Salmonella is an intracellular pathogen causing significant morbidity and mortality. Its ability to grow inside macrophages is important to virulence, and is dependent on the activation state of the macrophages. Classically activated M1 macrophages are non-permissive for Salmonellagrowth, while alternatively activated M2 macrophages are permissive for Salmonella growth. Here we showed that endotoxin-primed macrophages (MEP), such as those associated with sepsis, showed similar levels of Salmonella resistance to M1 macrophages after 2 hr of intracellular infection, but at the 4 hr and 24 hr time points were susceptible like M2 macrophages. To understand this mechanistically, transcriptomic sequencing, RNA-Seq, was performed. This showed that M1 and MEP macrophages that had not been exposed to Salmonella, demonstrated a process termed here as primed activation, in expressing relatively higher levels of particular anti-infective genes and pathways, including the JAK-STAT (Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription) pathway. In contrast, in M2 macrophages these genes and pathways were largely expressed only in response to infection. Conversely, in response to infection, M1 macrophages, but not MEP macrophages, modulated additional genes known to be associated with susceptibility to Salmonella infection, possibly contributing to the differences in resistance at later time points. Application of the JAK inhibitor Ruxolitinib before infection reduced resistance in M1 macrophages, supporting the importance of early JAK-STAT signalling in M1 resistance to Salmonella.