Norepinephrine Dysregulates the Immune Response and Compromises Host Defense during Sepsis
SourceAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 202, 6, (2020), pp. 830-842
Article / Letter to editor
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American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
SubjectRadboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Rationale: Sepsis is characterized by a dysregulated immune response to infection. Norepinephrine, the cornerstone vasopressor used in septic shock, may contribute to immune dysregulation and impact host defense.Objectives: To investigate effects of norepinephrine and the alternative vasopressor vasopressin on the immune response and host defense.Methods: Leukocytes from six to nine donors were stimulated in the presence or absence of norepinephrine and vasopressin. A total of 190 C57BL/6J mice received a continuous infusion of norepinephrine or vasopressin via microosmotic pumps and were challenged with LPS or underwent cecal ligation and puncture. Thirty healthy volunteers were randomized to a 5-hour infusion of norepinephrine, vasopressin, or saline and intravenously challenged with LPS. The relationship between the norepinephrine infusion rate and the use of β-blockers and plasma cytokines was assessed in 195 patients with septic shock.Measurements and Main Results: Norepinephrine attenuated the production of proinflammatory mediators and reactive oxygen species and augmented antiinflammatory IL-10 production both in vitro and in LPS-challenged mice. Norepinephrine infusion during cecal ligation and puncture resulted in increased bacterial dissemination to the spleen, liver, and blood. In LPS-challenged volunteers, norepinephrine enhanced plasma IL-10 concentrations and attenuated the release of the proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ-induced protein 10. Vasopressin exerted no immunomodulatory effects across these experimental setups. In patients, higher norepinephrine infusion rates were correlated with a more antiinflammatory cytokine balance, whereas β-blocker use was associated with a more proinflammatory cytokine balance.Conclusions: Norepinephrine dysregulates the immune response in mice and humans and compromises host defense. Therefore, it may significantly contribute to sepsis-induced immunoparalysis, whereas vasopressin does not have untoward immunologic effects.
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