Purpose: To explore the consequences of innate interference on intraocular inflammatory responses during Bacillus endophthalmitis.
Methods: Bacillus endophthalmitis was induced in mice. Innate immune pathway activation was interfered by injecting S layer protein-deficient (∆slpA) B. thuringiensis or by treating wild-type (WT)-infected mice with a TLR2/4 inhibitor (WT+OxPAPC). At 10 hours postinfection, eyes were harvested and RNA was purified. A NanoString murine inflammation panel was used to compare gene expression in WT-infected, WT+OxPAPC, ∆slpA-infected, and uninfected eyes.
Results: In WT-infected eyes, 56% of genes were significantly upregulated compared to uninfected controls. Compared to WT-infected eyes, the expression of 27% and 50% of genes were significantly reduced in WT+OxPAPC and ∆slpA-infected eyes, respectively. Expression of 61 genes that were upregulated in WT-infected eyes was decreased in WT+OxPAPC and ∆slpA-infected eyes. Innate interference resulted in blunted expression of complement factors (C3, Cfb, and C6) and several innate pathway genes (TLRs 2, 4, 6, and 8, MyD88, Nod2, Nlrp3, NF-κB, STAT3, RelA, RelB, and Ptgs2). Innate interference also reduced the expression of several inflammatory cytokines (CSF2, CSF3, IL-6, IL-1β, IL-1α, TNFα, IL-23α, TGFβ1, and IL-12β) and chemokines (CCL2, CCL3, and CXCLs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, and 10). All of the aforementioned genes were significantly upregulated in WT-infected eyes.
Conclusions: These results suggest that interfering with innate activation significantly reduced the intraocular inflammatory response in Bacillus endophthalmitis. This positive clinical outcome could be a strategy for anti-inflammatory therapy of an infection typically refractory to corticosteroid treatment.