Neutrophil-intrinsic TNF receptor signaling orchestrates host defense against Staphylococcus aureus

Christine Youn, Cristina Pontaza, Yu Wang, Dustin A. Dikeman, Daniel P. Joyce, Martin P. Alphonse, Meng Jen Wu, Sabrina J. Nolan, Mohamed A. Anany, Michael Ahmadi, Jeremy Young, Aron Tocaj, Luis A. Garza, Harald Wajant, Lloyd S Miller, Nathan K. Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Staphylococcus aureus is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections and is a major health burden due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. To address the unmet need of alternative treatments to antibiotics, a better understanding of the protective immune mechanisms against S. aureus skin infection is warranted. Here, we report that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) promoted protection against S. aureus in the skin, which was mediated by bone marrow–derived immune cells. Furthermore, neutrophil-intrinsic TNF receptor (TNFR) signaling directed immunity against S. aureus skin infections. Mechanistically, TNFR1 promoted neutrophil recruitment to the skin, whereas TNFR2 prevented systemic bacterial dissemination and directed neutrophil antimicrobial functions. Treatment with a TNFR2 agonist showed therapeutic efficacy against S. aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa skin infections, which involved increased neutrophil extracellular trap formation. Our findings revealed nonredundant roles for TNFR1 and TNFR2 in neutrophils for immunity against S. aureus and can be therapeutically targeted for protection against bacterial skin infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadf8748
JournalScience Advances
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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