Adjunctive Integrated Stress Response Inhibition Accelerates Tuberculosis Clearance in Mice

Stefanie Krug, Pankaj Prasad, Shiqi Xiao, Shichun Lun, Camilo A. Ruiz-Bedoya, Mariah Klunk, Alvaro A. Ordonez, Sanjay K. Jain, Geetha Srikrishna, Igor Kramnik, William R. Bishai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite numerous advances in tuberculosis (TB) drug development, long treatment durations have led to the emergence of multidrug resistance, which poses a major hurdle to global TB control. Shortening treatment time therefore remains a top priority. Host-directed therapies that promote bacterial clearance and/or lung health may improve the efficacy and treatment duration of tuberculosis antibiotics. We recently discovered that inhibition of the integrated stress response, which is abnormally activated in tuberculosis and associated with necrotic granuloma formation, reduced bacterial numbers and lung inflammation in mice. Here, we evaluated the impact of the integrated stress response (ISR) inhibitor ISRIB, administered as an adjunct to standard tuberculosis antibiotics, on bacterial clearance, relapse, and lung pathology in a mouse model of tuberculosis. Throughout the course of treatment, ISRIB robustly lowered bacterial burdens compared to the burdens with standard TB therapy alone and accelerated the time to sterility in mice, as demonstrated by significantly reduced relapse rates after 4 months of treatment. In addition, mice receiving adjunctive ISRIB tended to have reduced lung necrosis and inflammation. Together, our findings identify the ISR pathway as a promising therapeutic target with the potential to shorten TB treatment durations and improve lung health. IMPORTANCE Necrosis of lung lesions is a hallmark of tuberculosis (TB) that promotes bacterial growth, dissemination, and transmission. This process is driven by the persistent hyperactivation of the integrated stress response (ISR) pathway. Here, we show that adjunctive ISR inhibition during standard antibiotic therapy accelerates bacterial clearance and reduces immunopathology in a clinically relevant mouse model of TB, suggesting that host-directed therapies that de-escalate these pathological stress responses may shorten TB treatment durations. Our findings present an important conceptual advance toward overcoming the challenge of improving TB therapy and lowering the global burden of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • host-directed therapy
  • inflammation
  • integrated stress response
  • tuberculosis drug
  • tuberculosis drug therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Microbiology


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