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Crit Care Med. 2007 Mar;35(3):849-55.

Plasma gelsolin is a marker and therapeutic agent in animal sepsis.

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Pulmonary and Critical Care Division Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.



Plasma gelsolin is a circulating actin-binding protein that serves a protective role against tissue injuries. Depletion of plasma gelsolin in systemic inflammation may contribute to adverse outcomes. We examined the role of plasma gelsolin in animal models of sepsis.


Animal and laboratory experiments.


Academic research laboratory.


Adult male mice.


Mice subjected to endotoxin or cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) were treated with exogenous plasma gelsolin or placebo.


We document the depletion of plasma gelsolin (25-50% of normal) in murine models of sepsis associated with the presence of circulating actin within 6 hrs of septic challenge. Repletion of plasma gelsolin leads to solubilization of circulating actin aggregates and significantly reduces mortality in endotoxemic mice (survival rates were 88% in the gelsolin group vs. 0% in the saline group, p < .001) and in CLP-challenged mice (survival rates were 30% in the gelsolin group vs. 0% in the saline group, p = .001). Plasma gelsolin repletion also shifted the cytokine profile of endotoxemic mice toward anti-inflammatory (plasma interleukin-10 levels were 205 +/- 108 pg/mL in the gelsolin group vs. 39 +/- 29 pg/mL in the saline group, p = .02).


We propose that circulation of particulate actin is a marker for sepsis-induced cell injury, that plasma gelsolin has a crucial protective role in sepsis, and that gelsolin replacement represents a potential therapy for this common lethal condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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