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Inflammation. 2013 Aug;36(4):781-92. doi: 10.1007/s10753-013-9604-4.

The effect of synthetic C-reactive protein on the in vitro immune response of human PBMCs stimulated with bacterial reagents.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and microbiology, National Defense Medical College, Namiki 3-2, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-8513, Japan.


Synthetic C-reactive protein (CRP) rescues mice from lethal endotoxin shock or bacterial infection by suppressing tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), but in turn, enhances Kupffer cell phagocytic activity. We herein assessed the influence of CRP in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). When human PBMCs were stimulated in vitro with penicillin-treated Streptococcus pyogenes, bacterial DNA motifs and lipopolysaccharide with or without synthetic CRP, CRP suppressed the production of TNF-α and IL-12, but not that of IFN-γ. This was also the case for the in vitro Shwartzman reaction induced in PBMCs. CRP also decreased high-mobility group box 1 production from macrophages, which is crucial in the later phase of endotoxin/septic shock. However, CRP upregulated the perforin expression by CD56(+) NK cells and increased their antitumor cytotoxicity. CRP may thus be a potent immunomodulatory factor in the human immune system, suggesting its therapeutic potential for use against human septic shock.

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