Hypoxia-inducible Factor and Target Gene Expression Are Decreased in Patients with Sepsis

University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Anesthesiology (Impact Factor: 5.88). 02/2013; 118(6). DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31828baa67
Source: PubMed


Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a molecular key player in response to hypoxemic/inflammatory conditions prevailing in sepsis. In a prospective observational study, we tested the hypotheses that sepsis affects HIF-1α messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression (primary hypothesis) and also (secondary hypotheses) the expression of the HIF-1α target genes adrenomedullin and β2-integrins. Furthermore, we tested that lipopolysaccharide administration increases HIF-1α mRNA and protein in naive and endotoxin-tolerant monocytes.

In 99 patients with sepsis and 48 healthy volunteers, leukocyte HIF-1α mRNA expression (real-time polymerase chain reaction), cytokine concentrations (enzymelinked immunosorbent assay), and intracellular distribution of HIF-1α protein (immunofluorescence staining) were assessed. In vitro, HIF-1α mRNA expression and protein were measured in naive or endotoxin-tolerant (48 h; 0.05 ng/ml lipopolysaccharide) monocytes, with/without additional lipopolysaccharide (6h; 1 μg/ml).

In comparison to healthy volunteers, HIF-1α mRNA expression (-67%; P = 0.0001) and HIF-1α protein positive cells (-66.7%; P = 0.01) were decreased in sepsis. mRNA expression of adrenomedullin (-75%), CD11a (-85%), and CD11b (-86%; all P = 0.0001) was also decreased. In contrast, interleukin 6 (P = 0.0001), interleukin 10 (P = 0.0001), and tumor necrosis factor-α (P = 0.0002) concentrations were increased. Of note, HIF-1α mRNA expression was inversely associated with illness severity (Simplified Acute Physiology Score II; r = -0.29; P = 0.0001). In vitro, acute lipopolysaccharide administration of naive monocytic cells increased HIF-1α mRNA expression, whereas HIF-1α mRNA and protein (-60%; P = 0.001) were decreased in endotoxin-tolerant cells, which still up regulated cytokines.

In sepsis, HIF-1α mRNA expression was suppressed and inversely associated with illness severity. While acute lipopolysaccharide administration increased HIF-1α mRNA expression, prolonged stimulation suppressed HIF-1α expression. The clinical implications of decreased HIF-1α may include maladaption to tissue hypoxia or depressed immune function.

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    • "A post-hoc two-tailed Student's t-test for independent samples was performed applying a Bonferroni correction for multiple tests. Analyses were performed using the Graphpad Prism 5 software (San Diego, CA) [12], [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the present era of ever-increasing antibiotic resistance and increasingly complex and immunosuppressed patient populations, physicians and scientists are seeking novel approaches to battle difficult infectious disease conditions. Development of a serious infection implies a failure of innate immune capabilities in the patient, and one may consider whether pharmacological strategies exist to correct and enhance innate immune cell function. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), the central regulator of the cellular response to hypoxic stress, has recently been recognized to control the activation state and key microbicidal functions of immune cells. HIF-1 boosting drugs are in clinical development for anemia and other indications, and could be repositioned as infectious disease therapeutics. With equal attention to opportunities and complexities, we review our current understanding of HIF-1 regulation of microbial host–pathogen interactions with an eye toward future drug development. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40121-014-0030-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    06/2014; 3(2). DOI:10.1007/s40121-014-0030-1
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