Trauma combined with hemorrhagic shock (HS/T) leads to systemic inflammation, which results in organ injury. Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4)-signaling activation contributes to the initiation of inflammatory pathways following HS/T but its cell-specific roles in this setting are not known. We assessed the importance of TLR4 on leukocytes of myeloid lineage and dendritic cells (DCs) to the early systemic inflammatory response following HS/T. Mice were subjected to HS/T and 20 inflammatory mediators were measured in plasma followed by Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) Analysis. Organ damage was assessed by histology and plasma ALT levels. The role of TLR4 was determined using TLR4-/-, MyD88-/-, and Trif-/- C57BL/6 (B6) mice, and by in vivo administration of a TLR4-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb). The contribution of TLR4 expressed by myeloid leukocytes and DC was determined by generating cell-specific TLR4-/- B6 mice, including Lyz-Cre × TLR4loxP/loxP, and CD11c-Cre × TLR4loxP/loxP B6 mice. Adoptive transfer of bone marrow-derived TLR4+/+ or TLR4-/- DC into TLR4-/- mice confirmed the contribution of TLR4 on DC to the systemic inflammatory response after HS/T. Using both global knockout mice and the TLR4-blocking mAb 1A6 we established a central role for TLR4 in driving systemic inflammation. Using cell-selective TLR4-/- B6 mice, we found that TLR4 expression on both myeloid cells and CD11chigh DC is required for increases in systemic cytokine levels and organ damage after HS/T. We confirmed the capacity of TLR4 on CD11chigh DC to promote inflammation and liver damage using adoptive transfer of TLR4+/+ conventional (CD11chigh) DC into TLR4-/- mice. DBN inference identified CXC chemokines as proximal drivers of dynamic changes in the circulating levels of cytokines/chemokines after HS/T. TLR4 on DC was found to contribute selectively to the elevations in these proximal drivers. TLR4 on both myeloid cells and conventional DC is required for the initial systemic inflammation and organ damage in a mouse model of HS/T. This includes a role for TLR4 on DC in promoting increases in the early inflammatory networks identified in HS/T. These data establish DC along with macrophages as essential to the recognition of tissue damage and stress following tissue trauma with HS.
Keywords: dendritic cells; hemorrhagic shock; myeloid cells; toll-like receptor 4; trauma.