Fh15 Blocks the Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Cytokine Storm While Modulating Peritoneal Macrophage Migration and CD38 Expression within Spleen Macrophages in a Mouse Model of Septic Shock

mSphere. 2018 Dec 19;3(6):e00548-18. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00548-18.


Sepsis caused by Gram-negative bacteria is the consequence of an unrestrained infection that continuously releases lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the bloodstream, which triggers an uncontrolled systemic inflammatory response leading to multiorgan failure and death. After scrutinizing the immune modulation exerted by a recombinant Fasciola hepatica fatty acid binding protein termed Fh15, our group demonstrated that addition of Fh15 to murine macrophages 1 h prior to LPS stimulation significantly suppresses the expression of proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL1-β). The present study aimed to demonstrate that Fh15 could exert a similar anti-inflammatory effect in vivo using a mouse model of septic shock. Among the novel findings reported in this article, (i) Fh15 suppressed numerous serum proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines when injected intraperitoneally 1 h after exposure of animals to lethal doses of LPS, (ii) concurrently, Fh15 increased the population of large peritoneal macrophages (LPMs) in the peritoneal cavity (PerC) of LPS-injected animals, and (iii) Fh15 downregulated the expression on spleen macrophages of CD38, a cell surface ectoenzyme with a critical role during inflammation. These findings present the first evidence that the recombinant parasitic antigen Fh15 is an excellent modulator of the PerC cell content and in vivo macrophage activation, endorsing Fh15's potential as a drug candidate against sepsis-related inflammatory response.IMPORTANCE Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis is mostly the consequence of systemic bacterial infections leading to exacerbated activation of immune cells by bacterial products, resulting in enhanced release of inflammatory mediators. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, is a critical factor in the pathogenesis of sepsis, which is sensed by Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). The scientific community highly pursues the development of antagonists capable of blocking the cytokine storm by blocking TLR4. We report here that a recombinant molecule of 14.5 kDa belonging to the Fasciola hepatica fatty acid binding protein (Fh15) is capable of significantly suppressing the LPS-induced cytokine storm in a mouse model of septic shock when administered by the intraperitoneal route 1 h after a lethal LPS injection. These results suggest that Fh15 is an excellent candidate for drug development against endotoxemia.

Keywords: CD38; Fasciola hepatica; cytokines; fatty acid binding protein; macrophages; septic shock.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1 / analysis
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Cytosol / chemistry
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Helminth Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / drug effects*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / physiology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Mice
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Shock, Septic / pathology*
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Fh15 protein, Fasciola hepatica
  • Cd38 protein, mouse
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1