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: Genetic research addresses fatalities due to sepsis

Related Stories

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.

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 ...

Recommended for you

New technique improves blood flow to damaged tissues

January 24, 2017

A gene essential for making blood vessels in embryos can transform amniotic cells into therapeutic blood vessel cells, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. The findings, published Jan. 16 in ...

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

January 23, 2017

Scientists face a conundrum in their quest to understand how microRNAs regulate genes and therefore how they influence human disease at the molecular level: How do these tiny RNA molecules find their partners, called messenger ...

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.