Sepsis remains a significant clinical conundrum, and recent clinical trials with anticytokine therapies have produced disappointing results. Animal studies have suggested that increased lymphocyte apoptosis may contribute to sepsis-induced mortality. We report here that inhibition of thymocyte apoptosis by targeted adenovirus-induced thymic expression of human IL-10 reduced blood bacteremia and prevented mortality in sepsis. In contrast, systemic administration of an adenovirus expressing IL-10 was without any protective effect. Improvements in survival were associated with increases in Bcl-2 expression and reductions in caspase-3 activity and thymocyte apoptosis. These studies demonstrate that thymic apoptosis plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of sepsis and identifies a gene therapy approach for its therapeutic intervention.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 25 2001|
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