Survey of the transcription factor responses of mouse lung alveolar macrophages to pneumocystis murina

Theodore J. Kottom, Kyle Schaefbauer, Eva M. Carmona, Andrew H. Limper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pneumocystis jirovecii is a fungal pathogen that can cause life-threatening infections in individuals who are immunocompromised. Acquired via inhalation, upon entering the respiratory tract, the fungi first encounter innate immune cells such as alveolar macrophages (AMs). Relatively little is known about the AM cellular responses to the organism, and particularly transcription factor (TF) profiles leading to early host responses during infection. Utilizing the Mouse Transcription Factors RT2 Profiler™ PCR Array, we report an initial TF survey of these macrophage and Pneumocystis interactions. Expression levels of a panel of mouse TFs were compared between un-stimulated and Pneumocystis murina-stimulated AMs. Interestingly, a number of TFs previously implicated in pathogen–host cell interactions were highly up-or downregulated, including hif1a and Pparg. qPCR experiments were further conducted to verify the results of these surveyed transcripts. Furthermore, with immunoblotting, we show that HIF-1A and PPAR-γ are indeed significantly upregulated and downregulated, respectively. Lastly, and importantly, we report that in the mouse model of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), which mimics human Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP), qPCR analysis of Pneumocystis murina lungs also mimic the initial TF profile analysis, suggest-ing an importance for these TFs in immunocompromised hosts with Pneumocystis pneumonia. These data demonstrate the use of TF profiling in host AMs and Pneumocystis organism interactions that may lead to a better understanding of the specific inflammatory responses of the host to Pneumocystis pneumonia and may inform novel strategies for potential therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number569
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • HIF-1A
  • PPAR-γ
  • Pneumocystis
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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