BMC Immunol. 2016 Jan 5;17(1):1. doi: 10.1186/s12865-015-0139-3.

Dectin-2-dependent host defense in mice infected with serotype 3 Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Akahori Y1,2, Miyasaka T3,4, Toyama M5,6, Matsumoto I7, Miyahara A8, Zong T9, Ishii K10, Kinjo Y11, Miyazaki Y12, Saijo S13, Iwakura Y14, Kawakami K15.

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Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major causative bacterial pathogen of community-acquired pneumonia, possesses a thick polysaccharide capsule. Host defense against this bacterium is mediated by activation of innate immune cells that sense bacterial components. Recently, C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) have garnered much attention in elucidating the recognition mechanism of pathogen-derived polysaccharides.


In the present study, we first compared the clinical course and neutrophil accumulation in the lungs of Dectin-2 knock-out (KO) and wild type (WT) mice. Mice were infected intratracheally with a serotype 3 strain of S. pneumoniae, and S. pneumoniae bacterial engulfment by neutrophils and inflammatory cytokine and anti-pneumococcal polysaccharide-specific IgG levels were evaluated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). We also examined the effect of Dectin-2 deficiency on interleukin (IL)-12 production by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BM-DCs) stimulated with the bacterial components.


S. pneumonia-infected Dectin-2KO mice had a shorter survival time, larger bacterial burden and lower interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production in the lungs than WT mice. Although neutrophilic infiltration in the lungs was equivalent between Dectin-2KO mice and WT mice, S. pneumonia engulfment by neutrophils was attenuated in Dectin-2KO mice compared to WT mice. The anti-pneumococcal polysaccharide-specific IgG and IgG3 levels in BALF were lower in Dectin-2KO mice than in WT mice. When BM-DCs were stimulated with S. pneumoniae culture supernatant or its Concanavalin A (ConA)-bound fraction, IL-12 production was abrogated in Dectin-2KO mice compared to WT mice.


We demonstrated that Dectin-2 is intimately involved in the host defense against infection with a serotype 3 strain of S. pneumoniae. Dectin-2-dependent IL-12 production may contribute to IFN-γ synthesis and subsequent production of serotype-specific anti-capsular polysaccharide IgG after S. pneumoniae infection, which may promote S. pneumoniae bacterial opsonization for engulfment.

PMID: 26727976 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC4700738