Necroptosis is a highly pro-inflammatory mode of cell death regulated by RIP (or RIPK)1 and RIP3 kinases and mediated by the effector MLKL. We report that diverse bacterial pathogens that produce a pore-forming toxin (PFT) induce necroptosis of macrophages and this can be blocked for protection against Serratia marcescens hemorrhagic pneumonia. Following challenge with S. marcescens, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Listeria monocytogenes, uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), and purified recombinant pneumolysin, macrophages pretreated with inhibitors of RIP1, RIP3, and MLKL were protected against death. Alveolar macrophages in MLKL KO mice were also protected during S. marcescens pneumonia. Inhibition of caspases had no impact on macrophage death and caspase-1 and -3/7 were determined to be inactive following challenge despite the detection of IL-1β in supernatants. Bone marrow-derived macrophages from RIP3 KO, but not caspase-1/11 KO or caspase-3 KO mice, were resistant to PFT-induced death. We explored the mechanisms for PFT-induced necroptosis and determined that loss of ion homeostasis at the plasma membrane, mitochondrial damage, ATP depletion, and the generation of reactive oxygen species were together responsible. Treatment of mice with necrostatin-5, an inhibitor of RIP1; GW806742X, an inhibitor of MLKL; and necrostatin-5 along with co-enzyme Q10 (N5/C10), which enhances ATP production; reduced the severity of S. marcescens pneumonia in a mouse intratracheal challenge model. N5/C10 protected alveolar macrophages, reduced bacterial burden, and lessened hemorrhage in the lungs. We conclude that necroptosis is the major cell death pathway evoked by PFTs in macrophages and the necroptosis pathway can be targeted for disease intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology