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J Immunol. 2012 Mar 15;188(6):2749-58. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003445. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Class B scavenger receptor types I and II and CD36 targeting improves sepsis survival and acute outcomes in mice.

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  • 1Renal Diagnostics and Therapeutics Unit, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Class B scavenger receptors (SR-Bs), such as SR-BI/II or CD36, bind lipoproteins but also mediate bacterial recognition and phagocytosis. In evaluating whether blocking receptors can prevent intracellular bacterial proliferation, phagocyte cytotoxicity, and proinflammatory signaling in bacterial infection/sepsis, we found that SR-BI/II- or CD36-deficient phagocytes are characterized by a reduced intracellular bacterial survival and a lower cytokine response and were protected from bacterial cytotoxicity in the presence of antibiotics. Mice deficient in either SR-BI/II or CD36 are protected from antibiotic-treated cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis, with greatly increased peritoneal granulocytic phagocyte survival (8-fold), a drastic diminution in peritoneal bacteria counts, and a 50-70% reduction in systemic inflammation (serum levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-10) and organ damage relative to CLP in wild-type mice. The survival rate of CD36-deficient mice after CLP was 58% compared with 17% in control mice. When compensated for mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid deficiency, SR-BI/II-deficient mice had nearly a 50% survival rate versus 5% in mineralo-/glucocorticoid-treated controls. Targeting SR-B receptors with L-37pA, a peptide that functions as an antagonist of SR-BI/II and CD36 receptors, also increased peritoneal granulocyte counts, as well as reduced peritoneal bacteria and bacterium-induced cytokine secretion. In the CLP mouse sepsis model, L-37pA improved survival from 6 to 27%, reduced multiple organ damage, and improved kidney function. These results demonstrate that the reduction of both SR-BI/II- and CD36-dependent bacterial invasion and inflammatory response in the presence of antibiotic treatment results in granulocyte survival and local bacterial containment, as well as reduces systemic inflammation and organ damage and improves animal survival during severe infections.

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