Molecular Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 1–2, pp 126–133 | Cite as

Milk Fat Globule-EGF Factor VIII in Sepsis and Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

  • Akihisa Matsuda
  • Asha Jacob
  • Rongqian Wu
  • Mian Zhou
  • Jeffrey M. Nicastro
  • Gene F. Coppa
  • Ping Wang
Review Article


Sepsis and ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury are among the leading causes of death in critically ill patients at the surgical intensive care unit setting. Both conditions are marked by the excessive inflammatory response which leads to a lethal disease complex such as acute lung injury, systemic inflammatory response syndrome and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Despite the advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of those conditions, very little progress has been made toward therapeutic interventions. One of the key aspects of these conditions is the accumulation of apoptotic cells that have the potential to release toxic and proinflammatory contents due to secondary necrosis without appropriate clearance by phagocytes. Along with the prevention of apoptosis, that is reported to be beneficial in sepsis and I/R injury, thwarting the development of secondary necrosis through the active removal of apoptotic cells via phagocytosis may offer a novel therapy. Milk fat globule-EGF factor VIII (MFG-E8), which is mainly produced by macrophages and dendritic cells, is an opsonin for apoptotic cells and acts as a bridging protein between apoptotic cells and phagocytes. Recently, we have shown that MFG-E8 expression is decreased in experimental sepsis and I/R injury models. Exogenous administration of MFG-E8 attenuated the inflammatory response as well as tissue injury and mortality through the promotion of phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. In this review, we describe novel information available about the involvement of MFG-E8 in the pathophysiology of sepsis and I/R injury, and the therapeutic potential of exogenous MFG-E8 treatment for those conditions.



This work is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, R01 GM057468 and R01 GM053008 (PW).


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Copyright information

© The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akihisa Matsuda
    • 1
    • 2
  • Asha Jacob
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rongqian Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mian Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jeffrey M. Nicastro
    • 2
  • Gene F. Coppa
    • 2
  • Ping Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Surgical ResearchThe Feinstein Institute for Medical ResearchManhassetUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryNorth Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical CenterManhassetUSA

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