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Iron Regulation in Elderly Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) Chronically Infected With Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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dc.contributor.author Ruetten, M.
dc.contributor.author Steinmetz, H.W.
dc.contributor.author Thiersch, M.
dc.contributor.author Kik, M.
dc.contributor.author Vaughan, L.
dc.contributor.author Altamura, S.
dc.contributor.author Muckenthaler, M.U.
dc.contributor.author Gassmann, M.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-12-14T16:10:08Z
dc.date.available 2020-12-14T16:10:08Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12866/8789
dc.description.abstract Restriction of nutrients to pathogens (nutritional immunity) is a critical innate immune response mechanism that operates when pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis have the potential to evade humoral immunity. Tuberculosis is of growing concern for zoological collections worldwide and is well-illustrated by infections of Asian and African elephants, where tuberculosis is difficult to diagnose. Here, we investigated hematological parameters and iron deposition in liver, lung, and spleen of three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. For reference purposes, we analyzed tissue samples from control M. tuberculosis-negative elephants with and without evidence of inflammation and/or chronic disease. Molecular analyses of bacterial lesions of post mortally collected tissues confirmed M. tuberculosis infection in three elephants. DNA sequencing of the bacterial cultures demonstrated a single source of infection, most likely of human origin. In these elephants, we observed moderate microcytic anemia as well as liver (mild), lung (moderate) and spleen (severe) iron accumulation, the latter mainly occurring in macrophages. Macrophage iron sequestration in response to infection and inflammation is caused by inhibition of iron export via hepcidin-dependent and independent mechanisms. The hepatic mRNA levels of the iron-regulating hormone hepcidin were increased in only one control elephant suffering from chronic inflammation without mycobacterial infection. By contrast, all three tuberculosis-infected elephants showed low hepcidin mRNA levels in the liver and low serum hepcidin concentrations. In addition, hepatic ferroportin mRNA expression was high. This suggests that the hepcidin/ferroportin regulatory system aims to counteract iron restriction in splenic macrophages in M. tuberculosis infected elephants to provide iron for erythropoiesis and to limit iron availability for a pathogen that predominantly proliferates in macrophages. Tuberculosis infections appear to have lingered for more than 30 years in the three infected elephants, and decreased iron availability for mycobacterial proliferation may have forced the bacteria into a persistent, non-proliferative state. As a result, therapeutic iron substitution may not have been beneficial in these elephants, as this therapy may have enhanced progression of the infection. © Copyright © 2020 Ruetten, Steinmetz, Thiersch, Kik, Vaughan, Altamura, Muckenthaler and Gassmann. en_US
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Frontiers Media
dc.relation.ispartof urn:issn:2297-1769
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/restrictedAccess
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.es
dc.subject UNAVAILABLE en_US
dc.title Iron Regulation in Elderly Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) Chronically Infected With Mycobacterium tuberculosis en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.596379
dc.subject.ocde https://purl.org/pe-repo/ocde/ford#3.02.00 es_PE

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