Surviving sepsis with LECT2

December 17, 2012

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 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.

Explore further: A boost in microRNA may protect against sepsis and other inflammatory diseases

More information: Lu, X.-J., et al. 2013. J. Exp. Med. doi: 10.1084/jem.20121466

Related Stories

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 ...

Are we closer to understanding the cause of deadly sepsis?

November 16, 2012

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 ...

Recommended for you

An accessible approach to making a mini-brain

October 1, 2015

If you need a working miniature brain—say for drug testing, to test neural tissue transplants, or to experiment with how stem cells work—a new paper describes how to build one with what the Brown University authors say ...

Tension helps heart cells develop normally in the lab

October 1, 2015

The heart is never quite at rest, and it turns out that even in a lab heart cells need a little of that tension. Without something to pull against, heart cells grown from stem cells in a lab dish fail to develop normally.

Dormant viral genes may awaken to cause ALS

September 30, 2015

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health discovered that reactivation of ancient viral genes embedded in the human genome may cause the destruction of neurons in some forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The ...


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.