Are we closer to understanding the cause of deadly sepsis?

November 16, 2012
Credit: © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Following an infection, dysregulation of the immune system can result in a systemic inflammatory response and an often fatal condition called severe sepsis or septic shock. Sepsis is not uncommon, yet its cause and underlying immune dysfunction remain poorly understood. Regulatory T cells (Tregs), a component of the immune system, now appear to have an important role in suppressing the immune response in advance of sepsis, and understanding this role may lead to new therapeutic strategies for improving patient outcomes, as described in a review article in Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research.

Li-Na Jiang, Yong-Ming Yao, and Zhi-Yong Sheng, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, and Hebei North University, Zhyangjiakou, China, review the growing body of literature supporting a link between alterations in Treg function and the development of sepsis, based on animal studies and preliminary human studies. In the article "The Role of in the Pathogenesis of Sepsis and Its Clinical Implications (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/jir.2011.0080)," the authors suggest that accumulating experimental and clinical evidence indicates that manipulating Tregs may offer a promising strategy for treating patients with .

"Regulatory T cells are receiving much attention as important determinants of both beneficial and detrimental immune responses," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Thomas A. Hamilton, PhD, Chairman, Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation. "This review brings focus to the function of this important cell population in the context of sepsis, a condition more frequently associated with innate immunity."

Explore further: Doctors to treat septic patients with hypothermia

Related Stories

Doctors to treat septic patients with hypothermia

June 30, 2010

Inducing mild hypothermia is easy to implement in clinical practice and may be a valuable tool in the treatment of human sepsis patients, say researchers at the University of Brest, France.

Preventing the immune system from going haywire during sepsis

June 29, 2012

Septic shock is the most severe outcome associated with pathogen infection in the bloodstream. It is a life-threatening condition invariably leading to multiple organ dysfunctions. Currently, septic shock is one of the most ...

Genetic research addresses fatalities due to sepsis

September 17, 2012

The genetics of a patient affects the extent of septic shock development and response to therapy. European researchers have identified genes related to sepsis in a study group of more than 2,500 patients in Europe.

Recommended for you

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

August 26, 2016

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says ...

New method creates endless supply of kidney precursor cells

August 25, 2016

Salk Institute scientists have discovered the holy grail of endless youthfulness—at least when it comes to one type of human kidney precursor cell. Previous attempts to maintain cultures of the so-called nephron progenitor ...

New avenue for understanding cause of common diseases

August 25, 2016

A ground-breaking Auckland study could lead to discoveries about many common diseases such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. The new finding could also illuminate the broader role of the enigmatic mitochondria in human development.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.