- Failure of interferon gamma to induce the anti-inflammatory interleukin 18 binding protein in familial hemophagocytosis (2010)
- Background: Familial hemophagocytosis (FHL) is a rare disease associated with defects in proteins involved in CD8+ T-cell cytotoxicity. Hyperactivation of immune cells results in a perilous, Th1-driven cytokine storm. We set out to explore the regulation of cytokines in an FHL patient who was clinically stable on low-dose immunosuppressive therapy after bone marrow transplantation over a six-month period. During this period, chimerism analyses showed that the fraction of host cells was between 1 and 10%. Both parents of the patient as well as healthy volunteers were studied for comparison. Methods/Principal Findings: Using ELISA, quantitative real-time PCR, and clinical laboratory methods, we investigated constitutive and inducible cytokines, polymorphisms, and clinical parameters in whole blood and whole blood cultures. Although routine laboratory tests were within the normal range, the chemokines IP-10 and IL-8 as well as the cytokine IL-27p28 were increased up to 10-fold under constitutive and stimulated conditions compared to healthy controls. Moreover, high levels of IFNgamma and TNFalpha were produced upon stimulation. Unexpectedly, IFNgamma induction of IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) was markedly reduced (1.6-fold vs 5-fold in controls). The patient's mother featured intermediately increased cytokine levels, whereas levels in the father were similar to those in the controls. Conclusions/Significance: Since IL-18 plays a major role in perpetuating hemophagocytosis, the failure of IFNgamma to induce IL-18BP may constitute a fundamental pathogenetic mechanism. Furthermore, increased production of IL-8 and IL-27 appears to be associated with this disease. Such dysregulation of cytokines was also found in the heterozygous parents, providing a novel insight into genotype-phenotype correlation of FHL which may encourage future research of this rare disease.
- Expression and release of chemokines associated with apoptotic cell death in human promonocytic U-937 cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (2002)
- Removal of apoptotic cells by macrophages or resident semi-professional phagocytes is a prominent principle with important implications for the pathophysiology of chronic inflammatory diseases, viral infections, or cancer. To characterize mechanisms which may determine the fate of apoptotic cells, I investigated chemokine expression in apoptotic promonocytic U-937 cells or PBMC. Exposure of U-937 cells to the anti-cancer drug etoposide (VP-16), an inducer of apoptosis in these cells, was associated with increased expression of the chemokines IL-8 and macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha (MIP-1alpha). Upregulation of IL-8 mRNA expression by VP-16 was observed as early as 4 h after onset of treatment and was still detectable after 19h of exposure. A serine protease inhibitor prevented both VP-16-induced apoptosis and release of IL-8, whereas inhibition of p38 MAP-kinases reduced IL-8 secretion only. Moreover, I observed that incubation with 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (CdA) upregulated release of IL-8 from adherent PBMC in parallel to induction of apoptosis. In these cells a modest but significant induction of TNF-alpha release by CdA was also detected. In addition, CdA augmented release of IL-8 from whole blood cultures. By facilitating adequate recruitment of phagocytes to sites of cell death, stress-induced upregulation of chemokines associated with apoptosis may contribute to mechanisms aiming at efficient removal of apoptotic cells.
- Protein C preserves microcirculation in a model of neonatal septic shock (2005)
- Objectives: Sepsis remains a disease with a high mortality in neonates. Microcirculatory impairment plays a pivotal role in the development of multiorgan failure in septic newborns. The hemodynamic effects of recombinant activated protein C (rhAPC) were tested in an animal model of neonatal septic shock focusing on intestinal microcirculation. Materials and methods: Endotoxic shock was triggered by intravenous application of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccarides in newborn piglets. Thereafter, five animals received a continuous infusion of 24 µg/kg/h rhAPC, and five received vehicle for control. Over the course of three hours, intestinal microcirculation was assessed by intravital microscopy every 30 min. Macrocirculation and blood counts were monitored simultaneously. Results: After a short hypotensive period in all animals, the arterial blood pressure returned to baseline in the rhAPC-treated piglets, whereas the hypotension became increasingly severe in the controls. By 90 min, mean blood pressure in the controls was significantly lower than in the treatment group. Similar observations were made regaring microcirculation. After an early impairment in all study animals, functional capillary density and intestinal microcirculatory red blood cell velocity and red blood cell flow recovered in the rhAPC group, but deteriorated further in the control piglets. Conclusion: Recombinant activated protein C protects macro- and microcirculation from endotoxic shock.