Transcriptome kinetics of circulating neutrophils during human experimental endotoxemia.

Polymorphonuclear cells (neutrophils) play an important role in the systemic inflammatory response syndrome and the development of sepsis. These cells are essential for the defense against microorganisms, but may also cause tissue damage. Therefore, neutrophil numbers and activity are considered to be tightly regulated. Previous studies have investigated gene transcription during experimental endotoxemia in whole blood and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. However, the gene transcription response of the circulating pool of neutrophils to systemic inflammatory stimulation in vivo is currently unclear. We examined neutrophil gene transcription kinetics in healthy human subjects (n = 4) administered a single dose of endotoxin (LPS, 2 ng/kg iv). In addition, freshly isolated neutrophils were stimulated ex vivo with LPS, TNFα, G-CSF and GM-CSF to identify stimulus-specific gene transcription responses. Whole transcriptome microarray analysis of circulating neutrophils at 2, 4 and 6 hours after LPS infusion revealed activation of inflammatory networks which are involved in signaling of TNFα and IL-1α and IL-1β. The transcriptome profile of inflammatory activated neutrophils in vivo reflects extended survival and regulation of inflammatory responses. These changes in neutrophil transcriptome suggest a combination of early activation of circulating neutrophils by TNFα and G-CSF and a mobilization of young neutrophils from the bone marrow.

2012 PLoS One
de Kleijn S, Kox M, Sama IE, Pillay J, van Diepen A, Huijnen MA, van der Hoeven JG, Ferwerda G, Hermans PW, Pickkers P.