Repetitive Aerosol Exposure Promotes Cavitary Tuberculosis and Enables Screening for Targeted Inhibitors of Extensive Lung Destruction

Michael E. Urbanowski, Elizabeth A. Ihms, Kristina Bigelow, André Kübler, Paul T. Elkington, William R. Bishai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Cavitation is a serious consequence of tuberculosis. We tested the hypothesis that repetitive exposure to the same total bacterial burden of Mycobacterium tuberculosis drives greater lung destruction than a single exposure. We also tested whether inhibition of endogenous matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) may inhibit cavitation during tuberculosis. Methods Over a 3-week interval, we infected rabbits with either 5 aerosols of 500 colony-forming units (CFU) of M. tuberculosis or a single aerosol of 2500 CFU plus 4 sham aerosols. We administered the MMP-1 inhibitor cipemastat (100 mg/kg daily) during weeks 5-10 to a subset of the animals. Results Repetitive aerosol infection produced greater lung inflammation and more cavities than a single aerosol infection of the same bacterial burden (75% of animals vs 25%). Necropsies confirmed greater lung pathology in repetitively exposed animals. For cipemastat-treated animals, there was no significant difference in cavity counts, cavity volume, or disease severity compared to controls. Conclusions Our data show that repetitive aerosol exposure with M. tuberculosis drives greater lung damage and cavitation than a single exposure. This suggests that human lung destruction due to tuberculosis may be exacerbated in settings where individuals are repeatedly exposed. MMP-1 inhibition with cipemastat did not prevent the development of cavitation in our model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume218
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 5 2018

Keywords

  • cavity
  • cipemastat
  • matrix metalloproteinase
  • rabbit
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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