Surviving sepsis with LECT2

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.

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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Organ transplant rejection may not be permanent

date 13 hours ago

Rejection of transplanted organs in hosts that were previously tolerant may not be permanent, report scientists from the University of Chicago. Using a mouse model of cardiac transplantation, they found that immune tolerance ...

Researchers find key mechanism that causes neuropathic pain

date 15 hours ago

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have identified a key mechanism in neuropathic pain. The discovery could eventually benefit millions of patients with chronic pain from trauma, diabetes, shingles, multiple ...

Deep sea light shines on drug delivery potential

date 16 hours ago

A naturally occurring bioluminescent protein found in deep sea shrimp—which helps the crustacean spit a glowing cloud at predators—has been touted as a game-changer in terms of monitoring the way drugs ...

User 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.