Introduction: Immune paralysis with massive T-cell apoptosis is a central pathogenic event during sepsis and correlates with septic patient mortality. Previous observations implied a crucial role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) during T-cell apoptosis.\ud Methods: To elucidate mechanisms of PPARγ-induced T-cell depletion, we used an endotoxin model as well as the caecal ligation and puncture sepsis model to imitate septic conditions in wild-type versus conditional PPARγ knockout (KO) mice.\ud Results: PPARγ KO mice showed a marked survival advantage compared with control mice. Their T cells were substantially protected against sepsis-induced death and showed a significantly higher expression of the pro-survival factor IL-2. Since PPARγ is described to repress nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transactivation and concomitant IL-2 expression, we propose inhibition of NFAT as the underlying mechanism allowing T-cell apoptosis. Corroborating our hypothesis, we observed up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic protein BIM and downregulation of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in control mice, which are downstream effector proteins of IL-2 receptor signaling. Application of a neutralizing anti-IL-2 antibody reversed the pro-survival effect of PPARγ-deficient T cells and confirmed IL-2-dependent apoptosis during sepsis.\ud Conclusion: Apparently antagonizing PPARγ in T cells might improve their survival during sepsis, which concomitantly enhances defence mechanisms and possibly provokes an increased survival of septic patients
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.