Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc. Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1a is a transcription factor that regulates metabolic and immune response genes in the setting of low oxygen tension and inflammation. We investigated the function of HIF-1a in the host response to Histoplasma capsulatum because granulomas induced by this pathogenic fungus develop hypoxic microenvironments during the early adaptive immune response. In this study, we demonstrated that myeloid HIF-1a-deficient mice exhibited elevated fungal burden during the innate immune response (prior to 7 d postinfection) as well as decreased survival in response to a sublethal inoculum of H. capsulatum. The absence of myeloid HIF-1a did not alter immune cell recruitment to the lungs of infected animals but was associated with an elevation of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Treatment with mAb to IL-10 restored protective immunity to the mutant mice. Macrophages (Mfs) constituted most IL-10-producing cells. Deletion of HIF-1a in neutrophils or dendritic cells did not alter fungal burden, thus implicating Mfs as the pivotal cell in host resistance. HIF-1a was stabilized in Mfs following infection. Increased activity of the transcription factor CREB in HIF-1a-deficient Mfs drove IL-10 production in response to H. capsulatum. IL-10 inhibited Mf control of fungal growth in response to the activating cytokine IFN-γ. Thus, we identified a critical function for Mf HIF-1a in tempering IL-10 production following infection. We established that transcriptional regulation of IL-10 by HIF-1a and CREB is critical for activation of Mfs by IFN-γ and effective handling of H. capsulatum.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)