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PLoS Pathog. 2012;8(10):e1002987. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002987. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Myeloid-related protein-14 contributes to protective immunity in gram-negative pneumonia derived sepsis.

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Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Klebsiella (K.) pneumoniae is a common cause of pneumonia-derived sepsis. Myeloid related protein 8 (MRP8, S100A8) and MRP14 (S100A9) are the most abundant cytoplasmic proteins in neutrophils. They can form MRP8/14 heterodimers that are released upon cell stress stimuli. MRP8/14 reportedly exerts antimicrobial activity, but in acute fulminant sepsis models MRP8/14 has been found to contribute to organ damage and death. We here determined the role of MRP8/14 in K. pneumoniae sepsis originating from the lungs, using an established model characterized by gradual growth of bacteria with subsequent dissemination. Infection resulted in gradually increasing MRP8/14 levels in lungs and plasma. Mrp14 deficient (mrp14(-/-)) mice, unable to form MRP8/14 heterodimers, showed enhanced bacterial dissemination accompanied by increased organ damage and a reduced survival. Mrp14(-/-) macrophages were reduced in their capacity to phagocytose Klebsiella. In addition, recombinant MRP8/14 heterodimers, but not MRP8 or MRP14 alone, prevented growth of Klebsiella in vitro through chelation of divalent cations. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) prepared from wildtype but not from mrp14(-/-) neutrophils inhibited Klebsiella growth; in accordance, the capacity of human NETs to kill Klebsiella was strongly impaired by an anti-MRP14 antibody or the addition of zinc. These results identify MRP8/14 as key player in protective innate immunity during Klebsiella pneumonia.

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