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Airway acidification impaired host defense against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection by promoting type 1 interferon β response
Airway microenvironment played an important role in the progression of chronic respiratory disease. Here we showed that standardized pondus hydrogenii (pH) of exhaled breath condensate (EBC) of bronchiectasis patients was significantly lower than that of controls and was significantly correlated with bronchiectasis severity index (BSI) scores and disease prognosis. EBC pH was lower in severe patients than that in mild and moderate patients. Besides, acidic microenvironment deteriorated Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) pulmonary infection in mice models. Mechanistically, acidic microenvironment increased P. aeruginosa outer membrane vesicles (PA_OMVs) release and boosted it induced the activation of interferon regulatory factor3 (IRF3)-interferonβ (IFN-β) signaling pathway, ultimately compromised the anti-bacteria immunity. Targeted knockout of IRF3 or type 1 interferon receptor (IFNAR1) alleviated lung damage and lethality of mice after P. aeruginosa infection that aggravated by acidic microenvironment. Together, these findings identified airway acidification impaired host resistance to P. aeruginosa infection by enhancing its induced the activation of IRF3-IFN-β signaling pathway. Standardized EBC pH may be a useful biomarker of disease severity and a potential therapeutic target for the refractory P. aeruginosa infection. The study also provided one more reference parameter for drug selection and new drug discovery for bronchiectasis.