Super-Low Dose Lipopolysaccharide Dysregulates Neutrophil Migratory Decision-Making
Neutrophils are the first responders to infection and play a pivotal role in many inflammatory diseases, including sepsis. Recent studies have shown that lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a classical pattern recognition molecule, dynamically programs innate immune responses. In this study, we show that pre-treatment with super-low levels of LPS [1 ng/mL] significantly dysregulate neutrophil migratory phenotypes, including spontaneous migration and altering neutrophil decision-making. To quantify neutrophil migratory decision-making with single-cell resolution, we developed a novel microfluidic competitive chemotaxis-chip (μC³) that exposes cells in a central channel to competing chemoattractant gradients. In this reductionist approach, we use two chemoattractants: a pro-resolution (N-Formyl-Met-Leu-Phe, fMLP) and pro-inflammatory (Leukotriene B₄, LTB₄) chemoattractant to model how a neutrophil makes a decision to move toward an end target chemoattractant (e.g., bacterial infection) vs. an intermediary chemoattractant (e.g., inflammatory signal). We demonstrate that naïve neutrophils migrate toward the primary end target signal in higher percentages than toward the secondary intermediary signal. As expected, we found that training with high dose LPS [100 ng/mL] influences a higher percentage of neutrophils to migrate toward the end target signal, while reducing the percentage of neutrophils that migrate toward the intermediary signal. Surprisingly, super-low dose LPS [1 ng/mL] significantly changes the ratios of migrating cells and an increased percentage of cells migrate toward the intermediary signal. Significantly, there was also an increase in the numbers of spontaneously migrating neutrophils after treatment with super-low dose LPS. These results shed light onto the directional migratory decision-making of neutrophils exposed to inflammatory training signals. Understanding these mechanisms may lead to the development of pro-resolution therapies that correct the neutrophil compass and reduce off-target organ damage.