The significance of developing host-modulating personalized therapies to counteract the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance is well-recognized because such resistance cannot be overcome using microbe-centered strategies alone. Immune host defenses must be finely controlled during infection to balance pathogen clearance with unwanted inflammation-induced tissue damage. Thus, an ideal antimicrobial treatment would enhance bactericidal activity while preventing neutrophilic inflammation, which can induce tissue damage. We report that disrupting the inositol hexakisphosphate kinase 1 (Ip6k1) gene or pharmacologically inhibiting IP6K1 activity using the specific inhibitor TNP [N2-(m-(trifluoromethyl)benzyl) N6-(p-nitrobenzyl)purine] efficiently and effectively enhanced host bacterial killing but reduced pulmonary neutrophil accumulation, minimizing the lung damage caused by both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pneumonia. IP6K1-mediated inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) production by platelets was essential for infection-induced neutrophil-platelet aggregate (NPA) formation and facilitated neutrophil accumulation in alveolar spaces during bacterial pneumonia. IP6K1 inhibition reduced serum polyP levels, which regulated NPAs by triggering the bradykinin pathway and bradykinin-mediated neutrophil activation. Thus, we identified a mechanism that enhances host defenses while simultaneously suppressing neutrophil-mediated pulmonary damage in bacterial pneumonia. IP6K1 is, therefore, a legitimate therapeutic target for such disease.
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