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Journal Article

Treatment of experimental sepsis-induced immunoparalysis with TNF


Freudenberg,  Marina A.
Department of Developmental Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Echtenacher, B., Urbaschek, R., Weigl, K., Freudenberg, M. A., & Männel, D. N. (2003). Treatment of experimental sepsis-induced immunoparalysis with TNF. Immunobiology, 208(4), 381-389.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-9595-D
Following a severe septic abdominal infection induced by sublethal cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in mice, a phase of depressed immune reactivity occurred two days after CLP characterized by a reduced capacity to produce TNF. To determine whether this reduced TNF production causes immunoparalysis as determined by increased susceptibility to bacterial infection and whether therapeutic TNF substitution can be beneficial during this phase, a super-infection with Salmonella enterica Serovar typhimurium or Listeria monocytogenes was induced two days after sublethal CLP. After CLP a state of true immunoparalysis developed during which Salmonella or Listeria super-infection led to increased lethality paralleled by increased bacterial numbers in spleens and livers. Injection of recombinant human TNF before or at the time of super-infection conferred protection to Salmonella but not to Listeria. In the latter case, the infection mortality was even enhanced. Thus, super-infection during the state of sepsis-induced immunoparalysis leads to increased lethality. TNF substitution during this state of immunoparalysis can be beneficial or deleterious, depending on the location of TNF activity in the animal, timing of TNF administration, or the type of super-infection. These results demonstrate that impaired TNF production capacity can account for some aspects of immunoparalysis, however, diagnostic parameters are required for a safe TNF substitution therapy.