Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 2;110(1):306-11. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1210200110. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Endothelial glucocorticoid receptor is required for protection against sepsis.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics,Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is ubiquitously expressed on nearly all cell types, but tissue-specific deletion of this receptor can produce dramatic whole organism phenotypes. In this study we investigated the role of the endothelial GR in sepsis in vivo and in vitro. Mice with an endothelial-specific GR deletion and controls were treated with 12.5 mg/kg LPS and phenotyped. Mice lacking GR showed significantly increased mortality, more hemodynamic instability, higher nitric oxide levels, and higher levels of the inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) compared with controls. There were no differences in rates of apoptosis or macrophage recruitment between the two groups. Both endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression were increased after LPS challenge in mice with endothelial GR deficiency, and aminoguanidine, a specific iNOS inhibitor in mice was able to rescue hemodynamic collapse in these animals. In vitro, human umbilical vein cells (HUVECs) subjected to GR knockdown by siRNA showed increased expression of eNOS at baseline that persisted after treatment with LPS. Both eNOS and iNOS mRNA was increased by qPCR. In HUVECs lacking GR, NF-κB levels and NF-κB-dependent genes tissue factor and IL-6 were increased compared with controls. Thus, endothelial GR is a critical regulator of NF-κB activation and nitric oxide synthesis in sepsis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center