Antibiotics Improve Survival and Alter the Inflammatory Profile in a Murine Model of Sepsis From Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pneumonia

Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
Shock (Impact Factor: 3.05). 05/2003; 19(5):408-14. DOI: 10.1097/
Source: PubMed


Differing antibiotic regimens can influence both survival and the inflammatory state in sepsis. We investigated whether the addition and/or type of antimicrobial agent could effect mortality in a murine model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia-induced sepsis and if antibiotics altered systemic levels of cytokines. FVB/N mice were subjected to intratracheal injection of pathogenic bacteria and were given gentamicin, imipenem, or 0.9% NaCl 2 h after surgery, which continued every 12 h for a total of six doses. Survival at 7 days (n = 24 in each group) was 100% for mice given gentamicin, 88% for mice given imipenem, and 8% for sham mice treated with 0.9% NaCl (P < 0.0001). Systemic interleukin (IL) 6 levels were assayed 6 h postoperatively on all mice to see if they were predictive of outcome. Plasma IL-6 levels above 3,600 pg/mL were associated with a 100% mortality, levels under 1,200 pg/mL were associated with a 100% survival, and levels between 1,200 and 3,600 pg/mL had no utility in predicting mortality. In a separate experiment, mice were sacrificed at 3, 6, 12 or 24 h after instillation of P. aeruginosa and were assayed for levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-12. Significant alterations in the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-6 were present at all time points except 3 h between mice treated with antibiotics and sham controls. In contrast, statistically significant differences in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 were present between the groups only at 6 h, and levels of IL-12 were similar at all time points. These results indicate that both gentamicin and imipenem increase survival at least 10-fold in a model of pneumonia-induced monomicrobial sepsis, and this is predominantly associated with a down-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines.

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