Extracellular superoxide dismutase enhances recruitment of immature neutrophils to the liver

Timothy J. Break, Alexandra R. Witter, Mohanalaxmi Indramohan, Mark E. Mummert, Ladislav Dory, Rance E. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive intracellular pathogen that causes spontaneous abortion in pregnant women, as well as septicemia, meningitis, and gastroenteritis, primarily in immunocompromised individuals. Although L. monocytogenes can usually be effectively treated with antibiotics, there is still around a 25% mortality rate with individuals who develop clinical listeriosis. Neutrophils are innate immune cells required for the clearance of pathogenic organisms, including L. monocytogenes. The diverse roles of neutrophils during both infectious and noninfectious inflammation have recently gained much attention. However, the impact of reactive oxygen species, and the enzymes that control their production, on neutrophil recruitment and function is not well understood. Using congenic mice with varying levels of extracellular superoxide dismutase (ecSOD) activity, we have recently shown that the presence of ecSOD decreases clearance of L. monocytogenes while increasing the recruitment of neutrophils that are not protective in the liver. The data presented here show that ecSOD activity does not lead to a cell-intrinsic increase in neutrophil-homing potential or a decrease in protection against L. monocytogenes. Instead, ecSOD activity enhances the production of neutrophil-attracting factors and protects hyaluronic acid (HA) from damage. Furthermore, neutrophils from the livers of ecSOD-expressing mice have decreased intracellular and surface-bound myeloperoxidase, are less capable of killing phagocytosed L. monocytogenes, and have decreased oxidative burst. Collectively, our data reveal that ecSOD activity modulates neutrophil recruitment and function in a cell-extrinsic fashion, highlighting the importance of the enzyme in protecting tissues from oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3302-3312
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2016


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