ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-140629-7
Macrophage-pathogen interactions in infectious diseases: new therapeutic insights from the zebrafish host model
Torraca, V., Masud, S., Spaink, H.P., Meijer, A.H.
Date: 2014
Source: Disease models & mechanisms   7: 785-797 (Review)
Registered Authors: Meijer, Annemarie H., Spaink, Herman P., Torraca, Vincenzo
Keywords: Burkholderia, Candida, Host-directed therapy, Infectious disease, Innate immunity, Leukocyte biology, Mycobacterium, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Communicable Diseases/immunology*
  • Communicable Diseases/microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases/pathology
  • Communicable Diseases/therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Macrophages/pathology*
  • Zebrafish/immunology*
PubMed: 24973749 Full text @ Dis. Model. Mech.
Studying macrophage biology in the context of a whole living organism provides unique possibilities to understand the contribution of this extremely dynamic cell subset in the reaction to infections, and has revealed the relevance of cellular and molecular processes that are fundamental to the cell-mediated innate immune response. In particular, various recently established zebrafish infectious disease models are contributing substantially to our understanding of the mechanisms by which different pathogens interact with macrophages and evade host innate immunity. Transgenic zebrafish lines with fluorescently labeled macrophages and other leukocyte populations enable non-invasive imaging at the optically transparent early life stages. Furthermore, there is a continuously expanding availability of vital reporters for subcellular compartments and for probing activation of immune defense mechanisms. These are powerful tools to visualize the activity of phagocytic cells in real time and shed light on the intriguing paradoxical roles of these cells in both limiting infection and supporting the dissemination of intracellular pathogens. This Review will discuss how several bacterial and fungal infection models in zebrafish embryos have led to new insights into the dynamic molecular and cellular mechanisms at play when pathogens encounter host macrophages. We also describe how these insights are inspiring novel therapeutic strategies for infectious disease treatment.