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

Department of Surgery, Washington University in St. Louis, San Luis, Missouri, United States
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.

10 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gut epithelial apoptosis is increased in human studies and animal models of noninfectious inflammation and sepsis. Elevated intestinal cell death appears to be physiologically significant in sepsis. Previous studies demonstrate that overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 in the gut epithelium of transgenic mice is associated with improved survival from Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia and cecal ligation and puncture. The functional significance of elevated gut apoptosis in noninfectious inflammation has not been examined. We hypothesized that intestinal apoptosis would be detrimental to survival in noninfectious critical illness. To address this issue, acute lung injury (ALI) was induced with intratracheal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 800 microg) in wild-type (WT) FVB/N mice and transgenic mice that overexpress Bcl-2 in their intestinal epithelium. Guts were harvested at 12, 24, 48, and 72 h and assessed for apoptosis by both hematoxylin and eosin and active caspase-3 staining in 100 contiguous crypts. ALI increased gut epithelial apoptosis 12 h after LPS instillation compared with shams (P < 0.01), whereas overexpression of Bcl-2 decreased intestinal apoptosis compared with WT animals with ALI when assayed by active caspase-3 (P < 0.05). Plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-10 were similar between WT and transgenic animals with ALI, both of which had elevated IL-10 levels at 12 h and elevated IL-6 levels at 24 h compared with sham animals. In a separate experiment, transgenic and WT animals with ALI were followed for mortality to determine whether gut overexpression of Bcl-2 conferred a survival advantage. Survival at 10 days was 73% in WT animals (n = 33) and 65% in Bcl-2 animals (n = 23, P = ns). These results indicate that while gut epithelial apoptosis is elevated in multiple models of critical illness, prevention of intestinal cell death by overexpression of Bcl-2 is associated with a disparate survival effect between sepsis and noninfectious inflammation.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2003 · Shock
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Experimental and clinical studies in sepsis indicate that antibiotic therapy may induce the release of endotoxin (LPS) from the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria and therefore may affect the physiologic response and survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate if antibiotics commonly used to treat secondary peritonitis are capable of changing survival rates, proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine concentrations, and the release of endotoxin in a murine model of sepsis. Sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in Swiss mice using an 18-gauge needle. The animals received injections of saline solution or imipenem or a combination of ciprofloxacin plus clindamycin every 8 h for 3 days. Antibiotic treatment induced an increase in survival rate and decreased plasma and peritoneal fluid levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 at 6 and 24 h after CLP as compared with saline-treated animals. Antibiotic-treated animals also showed an early (6 h) decrease and a late (24 h) increase in IL-10 concentration in the peritoneal fluid. LPS concentrations were elevated in all groups, but imipenem-treated animals showed higher levels (2.2 EU/mL) than ciprofloxacin plus clindamycin (1.3 EU/mL) and saline-treated (1.5 EU/mL) groups. We conclude that antibiotic-induced endotoxin release is not a major determinant in the inflammatory response and prognosis in murine models of sepsis.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2004 · Shock
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genetically identical mice have a heterogeneous response to antibiotic therapy in sepsis, with only a subset deriving therapeutic benefit. We sought to determine whether the severity of a septic insult correlates with the survival benefit conferred by antibiotics. We also sought to determine whether antibiotics given 12 h after injury alter survival in animals predicted to die based upon high interleukin (IL)-6 levels drawn 6 h earlier. Adult male ND4 mice (n = 363) were subjected to double-puncture cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) with a 19-, 21-, or 23-gauge needle. Animals were randomized to receive imipenem or 0.9% NaCl every 12 h after CLP for 5 days. Ten-day survival was 16%, 26%, and 52%, respectively, for untreated animals. Antibiotics decreased the absolute risk of death 17% to 23% regardless of injury severity. In a separate cohort, mice (n = 37) were subjected to single or double-puncture CLP with a 21-gauge needle. IL-6 levels were assayed 6 h postoperatively and mice were followed for survival. Levels greater than 14,000 pg/mL were identified as predicting a 100% mortality (7/7 animals dead). A third set of mice (n = 94) then underwent double-puncture CLP with either 21-, 23-, or 25-gauge needle and had IL-6 levels measured in a similar fashion. Animals were randomized to receive imipenem or 0.9% NaCl beginning 12 h postoperatively (6 h after IL-6 levels were drawn) and continued for 5 days or until death. Although antibiotics decreased mortality overall, all animals with IL-6 levels greater than 14,000 pg/mL (n = 13) died, regardless of whether they received antibiotics or the gauge of needle used. These results indicate that antibiotics improve outcome in murine sepsis, regardless of injury severity. Furthermore, there is a threshold IL-6 level that can be identified 6 h after sepsis above which animals are destined to die, and antibiotic treatment does not alter their outcome.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2004 · Shock
Show more