The pentraxin superfamily is a group of evolutionarily conserved proteins that play important roles in the immune system. The long pentraxin PTX3 protein was originally described as able to be induced by pro-inflammatory stimuli in a variety of cell types. In this study, we evaluated the phenotype of Ptx3−/− mice subjected to ischemia followed by reperfusion of the superior mesenteric artery. In reperfused wild-type mice, there was significant local and remote injury as demonstrated by increases in vascular permeability, neutrophil influx, nuclear factor-κB activation, and production of CXCL1 and tumor necrosis factor-α. PTX3 levels were elevated in both serum and intestine after reperfusion. In Ptx3−/− mice, local and remote tissue injury was inhibited, and there were decreased nuclear factor-κB translocation and cytokine production. Intestinal architecture was preserved, and there were decreased neutrophil influx and significant prevention of lethality in Ptx3−/− mice as well. PTX3 given intravenously before reperfusion reversed the protection observed in Ptx3−/− mice in a dose-dependent manner, and PTX3 administration significantly worsened tissue injury and lethality in wild-type mice. In conclusion, our studies demonstrate a major role for PTX3 in determining acute reperfusion-associated inflammation, tissue injury, and lethality and suggest the soluble form of this molecule is active in this system. Therapeutic blockade of PTX3 action may be useful in the control of the injuries associated with severe ischemia and reperfusion syndromes
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