Failure to launch an adequate immune response may be at the root of septic shock, according to a study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine on December 17th.
Bacterial sepsis is a potentially deadly blood infection that results in massive immune activation and inflammation. Sepsis therapies have traditionally focused on quelling this exaggerated inflammatory response. But a recent study challenged this approach by showing that patients with sepsis had abnormally low levels of an inflammatory protein called LECT2.
The new study by Jiong Chen and colleagues at Ningbo University in China shows that low LECT2 levels are indeed detrimental. Injecting LECT2 into septic mice promoted bacterial clearance by immune cells called macrophages and increased their production of survival-promoting factors. If these findings hold true in humans, boosting immunity with LECT2 may be protective by helping clear the infection.
About The Journal of Experimental Medicine
The Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM) is published by The Rockefeller University Press. All editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted are made by active scientists in conjunction with our in-house scientific editors. JEM content is posted to PubMed Central, where it is available to the public for free six months after publication. Authors retain copyright of their published works and third parties may reuse the content for non-commercial purposes under a creative commons license. For more information, please visit www.jem.org.
Lu, X.-J., et al. 2013. J. Exp. Med. doi: 10.1084/jem.20121466
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