Rationale: Myeloid-related protein-8 (MRP8) and MRP14 can form heterodimers that elicit a variety of inflammatory responses. We showed that MRP8/14 is a ligand for Toll-like receptor-4, and that mice deficient in MRP8/14 are protected against endotoxic shock-induced lethality.
Objectives: To determine (1) the extent of MRP8/14 release in patients with sepsis and/or peritonitis and in healthy humans exposed to LPS and (2) the contribution of MRP8/14 to the host response in murine abdominal sepsis.
Methods: MRP8/14 was measured in 51 patients with severe sepsis, 8 subjects after intravenous injection of LPS, and 17 patients with peritonitis. Host responses to sepsis were compared in mrp14 gene-deficient (and thereby MRP8/14-deficient) and wild-type mice intraperitoneally injected with Escherichia coli.
Measurements and main results: Patients with sepsis displayed elevated circulating MRP8/14 concentrations on both Days 0 and 3, and LPS injection resulted in systemic MRP8/14 release in healthy humans. In patients with peritonitis, MRP8/14 levels in abdominal fluid were more than 15-fold higher than in plasma. MRP14-deficient mice displayed improved defense against E. coli abdominal sepsis in an early phase, as indicated by diminished dissemination of the bacteria at 6 hours. In addition, MRP14-deficient mice demonstrated decreased systemic inflammation, as reflected by lower cytokine plasma concentrations, and less severe liver damage.
Conclusions: Human sepsis and endotoxemia are associated with enhanced release of MRP8/14. In abdominal sepsis, MRP8/14 likely occurs primarily at the site of the infection, facilitating bacterial dissemination at an early phase and liver injury.