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Translational evidence for two distinct patterns of neuroaxonal injury in sepsis: a longitudinal, prospective translational study

Ehler, J; Barrett, LK; Taylor, V; Groves, M; Scaravilli, F; Wittstock, M; Kolbaske, S; ... Petzold, A; + view all (2017) Translational evidence for two distinct patterns of neuroaxonal injury in sepsis: a longitudinal, prospective translational study. Critical Care , 21 , Article 262. 10.1186/s13054-017-1850-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Brain homeostasis deteriorates in sepsis, giving rise to a mostly reversible sepsis-associated encephalopathy (SAE). Some survivors experience chronic cognitive dysfunction thought to be caused by permanent brain injury. In this study, we investigated neuroaxonal pathology in sepsis. Methods We conducted a longitudinal, prospective translational study involving (1) experimental sepsis in an animal model; (2) postmortem studies of brain from patients with sepsis; and (3) a prospective, longitudinal human sepsis cohort study at university laboratory and intensive care units (ICUs). Thirteen ICU patients with septic shock, five ICU patients who died as a result of sepsis, fourteen fluid-resuscitated Wistar rats with fecal peritonitis, eleven sham-operated rats, and three human and four rat control subjects were included. Immunohistologic and protein biomarker analysis were performed on rat brain tissue at baseline and 24, 48, and 72 h after sepsis induction and in sham-treated rats. Immunohistochemistry was performed on human brain tissue from sepsis nonsurvivors and in control patients without sepsis. The clinical diagnostics of SAE comprised longitudinal clinical data collection and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalographic assessments. Statistical analyses were performed using SAS software (version 9.4; SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC, USA). Because of non-Gaussian distribution, the nonparametric Wilcoxon test general linear models and the Spearman correlation coefficient were used. Results In postmortem rat and human brain samples, neurofilament phosphoform, β-amyloid precursor protein, β-tubulin, and H&E stains distinguished scattered ischemic lesions from diffuse neuroaxonal injury in septic animals, which were absent in controls. These two patterns of neuroaxonal damage were consistently found in septic but not control human postmortem brains. In experimental sepsis, the time from sepsis onset correlated with tissue neurofilament levels (R = 0.53, p = 0.045) but not glial fibrillary acidic protein. Of 13 patients with sepsis who had clinical features of SAE, MRI detected diffuse axonal injury in 9 and ischemia in 3 patients. Conclusions Ischemic and diffuse neuroaxonal injury to the brain in experimental sepsis, human postmortem brains, and in vivo MRI suggest these two distinct lesion types to be relevant. Future studies should be focused on body fluid biomarkers to detect and monitor brain injury in sepsis. The relationship of neurofilament levels with time from sepsis onset may be of prognostic value.

Type: Article
Title: Translational evidence for two distinct patterns of neuroaxonal injury in sepsis: a longitudinal, prospective translational study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13054-017-1850-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-017-1850-7
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Critical Care Medicine, General & Internal Medicine, Intermediate filaments, Biomarkers, Animal models, Rats, Sepsis, Encephalopathy, Sepsis-associated encephalopathy, SAE, INTENSIVE-CARE-UNIT, FIBRILLARY ACIDIC PROTEIN, TERM COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT, SEPTIC SHOCK, AXONAL INJURY, WHITE-MATTER, BRAIN-INJURY, DELIRIUM DURATION, SURVIVOR RATS, RODENT MODEL
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10037615
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