- The role of toll-like receptors in the adrenal gland (2009)
- Sepsis is caused by infection and often followed by an overwhelming inflammatory response. This can lead to shock, organ failure and even death. Each year approximately 60,000 people die in Germany due to sepsis. There is good evidence that sepsis is associated with failure of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis. In patients with sepsis, glucocorticoids (e.g. corticosterone, cortisol) released from adrenal glands play an essential role in preventing an excessive pro-inflammatory response. Adrenal insufficiency occurs in a large number of patients with septic shock and is associated with an increased mortality. In the innate immune system, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in its onset by recognizing pathogenassociated molecules. It is well known that there are interactions between the immune and endocrine stress systems; glucocorticoids and TLRs regulate each other in a bi-directional way. Therefore, a coordinated response of the adrenal and immune system is of vital importance for survival during severe inflammation. This experimental study focuses on the role of TLR-2, TLR-4 and TLR-9 during adrenal stress. The results show that in mice, the absence of TLR-2 and TLR-4, but not TLR-9 leads to altered adrenal morphology, relating to size and cellular structure. However, this alteration does not appear to compromise the phenotype of TLR knock-out mice. Mice deficient of TLR-2, 4 and 9 are not able to respond adequately to inflammatory stress induced by their potential ligands lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipoteichoic acid (LTA) or cytidine phosphate guanosine-oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN). This impaired adrenal stress response appears to be associated with a decrease in systemic and intra-adrenal cytokine expressions. Taken together, these results suggest that TLR-2, 4 and 9 are key players in the immuno-endocrine response during inflammation and SIRS. In conclusion, TLRs play a crucial role in the immune-adrenal crosstalk. This close functional relationship needs to be considered in the treatment of inflammatory diseases where an intact adrenal stress response is required. Furthermore, TLR polymorphisms could contribute to the underlying mechanisms of impaired adrenal stress response in patients with bacterial sepsis
- Hypothermia and postconditioning after cardiopulmonary resuscitation reduce cardiac dysfunction by modulating inflammation, apoptosis and remodeling (2009)
- Background: Mild therapeutic hypothermia following cardiac arrest is neuroprotective, but its effect on myocardial dysfunction that is a critical issue following resuscitation is not clear. This study sought to examine whether hypothermia and the combination of hypothermia and pharmacological postconditioning are cardioprotective in a model of cardiopulmonary resuscitation following acute myocardial ischemia. Methodology/Principal Findings: Thirty pigs (28–34 kg) were subjected to cardiac arrest following left anterior descending coronary artery ischemia. After 7 minutes of ventricular fibrillation and 2 minutes of basic life support, advanced cardiac life support was started according to the current AHA guidelines. After successful return of spontaneous circulation (n = 21), coronary perfusion was reestablished after 60 minutes of occlusion, and animals were randomized to either normothermia at 38°C, hypothermia at 33°C or hypothermia at 33°C combined with sevoflurane (each group n = 7) for 24 hours. The effects on cardiac damage especially on inflammation, apoptosis, and remodeling were studied using cellular and molecular approaches. Five animals were sham operated. Animals treated with hypothermia had lower troponin T levels (p<0.01), reduced infarct size (34±7 versus 57±12%; p<0.05) and improved left ventricular function compared to normothermia (p<0.05). Hypothermia was associated with a reduction in: (i) immune cell infiltration, (ii) apoptosis, (iii) IL-1beta and IL-6 mRNA up-regulation, and (iv) IL-1beta protein expression (p<0.05). Moreover, decreased matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity was detected in the ischemic myocardium after treatment with mild hypothermia. Sevoflurane conferred additional protective effects although statistic significance was not reached. Conclusions/Significance: Hypothermia reduced myocardial damage and dysfunction after cardiopulmonary resuscitation possible via a reduced rate of apoptosis and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression.
- The uncoordinated-5 homolog B receptor affects hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury (2012)
- Recent evidence has demonstrated additional roles for the neuronal guidance protein receptor UNC5B outside the nervous system. Given the fact that ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) of the liver is a common source of liver dysfunction and the role of UNC5B during an acute inflammatory response we investigated the role of UNC5B on acute hepatic IRI. We report here that UNC5B+/− mice display reduced hepatic IRI and neutrophil (PMN) infiltration compared to WT controls. This correlated with serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate- (AST) and alanine- (ALT) aminotransferase, the presence of PMN within ischemic hepatic tissue, and serum levels of inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, injection of an anti-UNC5B antibody resulted in a significant reduction of hepatic IR injury. This was associated with reduced parameters of liver injury (LDH, ALT, AST) and accumulation of PMN within the injured hepatic tissue. In conclusion our studies demonstrate a significant role for UNC5B in the development of hepatic IRI and identified UNC5B as a potential drug target to prevent liver dysfunction in the future.
- Pattern recognition receptors as key players in adrenal gland dysfunction during sepsis (2012)
- Background: Undergoing systemic inflammation, the innate immune system releases excessive proinflammatory mediators, which finally can lead to organ failure. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and NOD-like receptors (NLRs), form the interface between bacterial and viral toxins and innate immunity. During sepsis, patients with diagnosed adrenal gland insufficiency are at high risk of developing a multiorgan dysfunction syndrome, which dramatically increases the risk of mortality. To date, little is known about the mechanisms leading to adrenal dysfunction under septic conditions. Here, we investigated the sepsis-related activation of the PRRs, cell inflammation, and apoptosis within adrenal glands. Methods: Two sepsis models were performed: the polymicrobial sepsis model (caecal ligation and puncture (CLP)) and the LTA-induced intoxication model. All experiments received institutional approval by the Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt. CLP was performed as previously described , wherein one-third of the caecum was ligated and punctured with a 20-gauge needle. For LTA-induced systemic inflammation, TLR2 knockout (TLR2-/-) and WT mice were injected intraperitoneally with pure LTA (pLTA; 1 mg/kg) or PBS for 2 hours. To detect potential direct adrenal dysfunction, mice were additionally injected with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; 100 μg/kg) 1 hour after pLTA or PBS. Adrenals and plasma samples were taken. Gene expressions in the adrenals (rt-PCR), cytokine release (multiplex assay), and the apoptosis rate (TUNEL assay) within the adrenals were determined. Results: In both models, adrenals showed increased mRNA expression of TLR2 and TLR4, various NLRs, cytokines as well as inflammasome components, NADPH oxidase subunits, and nitric oxide synthases (data not shown). In WT mice, ACTH alone had no effect on inflammation, while pLTA or pLTA/ACTH administration showed increased levels of the cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα. TLR2-/- mice indicated no response as expected (Figure 1, left). Interestingly, surviving CLP mice showed no inflammatory adrenal response, whereas nonsurvivors had elevated cytokine levels (Figure 1, right). Additionally, we identified a marked increase in apoptosis of both chromaffin and steroid-producing cells in adrenal glands obtained from mice with sepsis as compared with their controls (Figure 2). ... Conclusion: Taken together, sepsis-induced activation of the PRRs may contribute to adrenal impairment by enhancing tissue inflammation, oxidative stress and culminate in cellular apoptosis, while mortality seems to be associated with adrenal inflammation.