In vivo single-cell high-dimensional mass cytometry analysis to track the interactions between Klebsiella pneumoniae and myeloid cells

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In vivo single-cell approaches have transformed our understanding of the immune populations in tissues. Mass cytometry (CyTOF), that combines the resolution of mass spectrometry with the ability to conduct multiplexed measurements of cell molecules at the single cell resolution, has enabled to resolve the diversity of immune cell subsets, and their heterogeneous functionality. Here we assess the feasibility of taking CyTOF one step further to immuno profile cells while tracking their interactions with bacteria, a method we term Bac-CyTOF. We focus on the pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae interrogating the pneumonia mouse model. Using Bac-CyTOF, we unveil the atlas of immune cells of mice infected with a K. pneumoniae hypervirulent strain. The atlas is characterized by a decrease in the populations of alveolar and monocyte-derived macrophages. Conversely, neutrophils, and inflammatory monocytes are characterized by an increase in the subpopulations expressing markers of less active cells such as the immune checkpoint PD-L1. These are the cells infected. We show that the type VI secretion system (T6SS) contributes to shape the lung immune landscape. The T6SS governs the interaction with monocytes/macrophages by shifting Klebsiella from alveolar macrophages to interstitial macrophages and limiting the infection of inflammatory monocytes. The lack of T6SS results in an increase of cells expressing markers of active cells, and a decrease in the subpopulations expressing PD-L1. By probing Klebsiella, and Acinetobacter baumannii strains with limited ability to survive in vivo, we uncover that a heightened recruitment of neutrophils, and relative high levels of alveolar macrophages and eosinophils and the recruitment of a characteristic subpopulation of neutrophils are features of mice clearing infections. We leverage Bac-CyTOF-generated knowledge platform to investigate the role of the DNA sensor STING in Klebsiella infections. sting-/- infected mice present features consistent with clearing the infection including the reduced levels of PD-L1. STING absence facilitates Klebsiella clearance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1011900
Number of pages30
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 05 Apr 2024


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