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PD-1 expression by macrophages plays a pathologic role in altering microbial clearance and the innate inflammatory response to sepsis

By Xin Huang, Fabienne Venet, Yvonne L. Wang, Alain Lepape, Zhenglong Yuan, Yaping Chen, Ryan Swan, Hakim Kherouf, Guillaume Monneret, Chun-Shiang Chung and Alfred Ayala


Sepsis, a leading cause of death worldwide, involves concomitant expression of an overzealous inflammatory response and inefficient bacterial clearance. Macrophage function is pivotal to the development of these two aspects during sepsis; however, the mechanisms underlying these changes remain unclear. Here we report that the PD-1:PD-L pathway appears to be a determining factor of the outcome of sepsis, regulating the delicate balance between effectiveness and damage by the antimicrobial immune response. To this end we observed that PD-1−/− mice were markedly protected from the lethality of sepsis, accompanied by a decreased bacterial burden and suppressed inflammatory cytokine response. To the extent that this is a macrophage-specific aspect of the effects of PD-1, we found the following: first, peritoneal macrophages expressed significantly higher levels of PD-1 during sepsis, which was associated with their development of cellular dysfunction; second, when peritoneal macrophages were depleted (using clodronate liposomes) from PD-1−/− mice, the animals' bactericidal capacity was lowered, their inflammatory cytokine levels were elevated, and protection from septic lethality was diminished; and third, blood monocytes from both septic mice and patients with septic shock shared markedly increased PD-1 levels. Together, these data suggest that PD-1 may not only be a dysfunctional marker/effector of macrophages/monocytes, but may also be a potential therapeutic target for designing measures to modulate the innate immune response, thereby preventing the detrimental effects of sepsis

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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