Molecular Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 5–6, pp 247–256 | Cite as

Diversity of Interferon γ and Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor in Restoring Immune Dysfunction of Dendritic Cells and Macrophages During Polymicrobial Sepsis

  • Stefanie B. Flohé
  • Hemant Agrawal
  • Sascha Flohé
  • Meenakshi Rani
  • Jörg M. Bangen
  • F. Ulrich Schade
Research Article


The development of immunosuppression during polymicrobial sepsis is associated with the failure of dendritic cells (DC) to promote the polarization of T helper (Th) cells toward a protective Th1 type. The aim of the study was to test potential immunomodulatory approaches to restore the capacity of splenic DC to secrete interleukin (IL) 12 that represents the key cytokine in Th1 cell polarization. Murine polymicrobial sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Splenic DC were isolated at different time points after CLP or sham operation, and stimulated with bacterial components in the presence or absence of neutralizing anti-IL-10 antibodies, murine interferon (IFN) γ, and/or granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). DC from septic mice showed an impaired capacity to release the pro-inflammatory and Th1-promoting cytokines tumor necrosis factor α, IFN-γ, and IL-12 in response to bacterial stimuli, but secreted IL-10. Endogenous IL-10 was not responsible for the impaired IL-12 secretion. Up to 6 h after CLP, the combined treatment of DC from septic mice with IFN-γ and GM-CSF increased the secretion of IL-12. Later, DC from septic mice responded to IFN-γ and GM-CSF with increased expression of the co-stimulatory molecule CD86, while IL-12 secretion was no more enhanced. In contrast, splenic macrophages from septic mice during late sepsis responded to GM-CSF with increased cytokine release. Thus, therapy of sepsis with IFN-γ/GM-CSF might be sufficient to restore the activity of macrophages, but fails to restore DC function adequate for the development of a protective Th1-like immune response.



This work is supported by DFG grant FL-353/2-1 (to Stefanie B Flohé). We are grateful to Michaela Bak for excellent technical assistance and to Ernst Kreuzfelder and to Bärbel Nyadu for support in flow cytometry.


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Copyright information

© Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie B. Flohé
    • 1
  • Hemant Agrawal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sascha Flohé
    • 1
  • Meenakshi Rani
    • 1
  • Jörg M. Bangen
    • 1
  • F. Ulrich Schade
    • 1
  1. 1.Surgical Research, Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital EssenUniversity Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Arthritis and Immunology ProgramOklahoma Medical Research FoundationOklahoma CityUSA

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