Association of Myeloid Liver Kinase B1 Depletion with a Reduction in Alveolar Macrophage Numbers and an Impaired Host Defense during Gram-Negative Pneumonia

Natasja A. Otto, Alex F. de Vos, Jeroen W. J. van Heijst, Joris J. T. H. Roelofs, Tom van der Poll

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Background: Liver kinase B1 (LKB1) has been studied extensively as a tumor suppressor gene (Stk11) in the context of cancer. We hypothesized that myeloid LKB1 plays a role in innate immunity during pneumonia. Methods: Mice deficient for LKB1 in myeloid cells (LysM-cre × Stk11fl/fl) or neutrophils (Mrp8-cre × Stk11fl/fl) were infected with Klebsiella pneumoniae via the airways. LysM-cre × Stk11fl/fl mice were also intranasally challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Results: Mice with myeloid LKB1 deficiency, but not those with neutrophil LKB1 deficiency, had increased bacterial loads in lungs 6-40 hours after infection, compared with control mice, pointing to a role for LKB1 in macrophages. Myeloid LKB1 deficiency was associated with reduced cytokine release into the airways on local LPS instillation. The number of classic (SiglecFhighCD11bneg) alveolar macrophages (AMs) was reduced by approximately 50% in the lungs of myeloid LKB1-deficient mice, which was not caused by increased cell death or reduced proliferation. Instead, these mice had AMs with a "nonclassic"(SiglecFlowCD11bpos) phenotype. AMs did not up-regulate glycolysis in response to LPS, irrespective of LKB1 presence. Conclusion: Myeloid LKB1 is important for local host defense during Klebsiella pneumonia by maintaining adequate AM numbers in the lung.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1284-1295
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of infectious diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Alveolar macrophage
  • Klebsiella pneumonia
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Liver kinase b1
  • Pneumonia

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