ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-100826-18
Specific Resistance to Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection in Zebrafish is Mediated by the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
Phennicie, R.T., Sullivan, M.J., Singer, J.T., Yoder, J.A., and Kim, C.H.
Date: 2010
Source: Infection and Immunity   78(11): 4542-4550 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Kim, Carol H., Yoder, Jeffrey A.
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins/genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins/metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator/genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator/metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Neutrophils/immunology
  • Pseudomonas Infections/immunology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections/microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa/genetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa/metabolism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa/pathogenicity*
  • Quorum Sensing
  • Trans-Activators/genetics
  • Trans-Activators/metabolism
  • Virulence
  • Zebrafish/immunology*
  • Zebrafish/microbiology
PubMed: 20732993 Full text @ Infect. Immun.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease caused by recessive mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene and is associated with prevalent and chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections. Despite numerous studies that have sought to elucidate the role of CFTR in the innate immune response, the links between CFTR, innate immunity, and P. aeruginosa infection remain unclear. The present work highlights the zebrafish as a powerful model organism for human infectious disease, particularly infection by P. aeruginosa. Zebrafish embryos with reduced expression of the cftr gene (Cftr morphants) exhibited reduced respiratory burst response and directed neutrophil migration, supporting a connection between cftr and the innate immune response. Cftr morphants were infected with P. aeruginosa or other bacterial species that are commonly associated with infections in CF patients, including Burkholderia cenocepacia, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus aureus. Intriguingly, the bacterial burden of P. aeruginosa was found to be significantly higher in zebrafish Cftr morphants than in controls, but this phenomenon was not observed with the other bacterial species. Bacterial burden in Cftr morphants infected with a P. aeruginosa DeltaLasR mutant, a quorum sensing-deficient strain, was comparable to that in control fish indicating that the regulation of virulence factors through LasR is required for enhancement of infection in the absence of Cftr. The zebrafish system provides a multitude of advantages for studying the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa and for understanding the role that innate immune cells such as neutrophils play in the host response to acute bacterial infections commonly associated with cystic fibrosis.