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Human monocytes undergo functional re-programming during sepsis mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1α


Abstract

Sepsis is characterized by a dysregulated inflammatory response to infection. Despite studies in mice, the cellular and molecular basis of human sepsis remains unclear and effective therapies are lacking. Blood monocytes serve as the first line of host defense and are equipped to recognize and respond to infection by triggering an immune-inflammatory response. However, the response of these cells in human sepsis and their contribution to sepsis pathogenesis is poorly understood. To investigate this, we performed a transcriptomic, functional, and mechanistic analysis of blood monocytes from patients during sepsis and after recovery. Our results revealed the functional plasticity of monocytes during human sepsis, wherein they transited from a pro-inflammatory to an immunosuppressive phenotype, while enhancing protective functions like phagocytosis, anti-microbial activity, and tissue remodeling. Mechanistically, hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) mediated this functional re-programming of monocytes, revealing a potential mechanism for their therapeutic targeting to regulate human sepsis.

Abstract

Sepsis is characterized by a dysregulated inflammatory response to infection. Despite studies in mice, the cellular and molecular basis of human sepsis remains unclear and effective therapies are lacking. Blood monocytes serve as the first line of host defense and are equipped to recognize and respond to infection by triggering an immune-inflammatory response. However, the response of these cells in human sepsis and their contribution to sepsis pathogenesis is poorly understood. To investigate this, we performed a transcriptomic, functional, and mechanistic analysis of blood monocytes from patients during sepsis and after recovery. Our results revealed the functional plasticity of monocytes during human sepsis, wherein they transited from a pro-inflammatory to an immunosuppressive phenotype, while enhancing protective functions like phagocytosis, anti-microbial activity, and tissue remodeling. Mechanistically, hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) mediated this functional re-programming of monocytes, revealing a potential mechanism for their therapeutic targeting to regulate human sepsis.

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51 citations in Web of Science®
51 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:17 March 2015
Deposited On:09 Dec 2015 13:27
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 14:53
Publisher:Cell Press (Elsevier)
ISSN:1074-7613
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2015.02.001
PubMed ID:25746953

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