Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2013 Apr 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Deng, M; Scott, MJ; Loughran, P; Gibson, G; Sodhi, C; Watkins, S; Hackam, D; Billiar, TR
Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
The morbidity associated with bacterial sepsis is the result of host immune responses to pathogens, which are dependent on pathogen recognition by pattern recognition receptors, such as TLR4. TLR4 is expressed on a range of cell types, yet the mechanisms by which cell-specific functions of TLR4 lead to an integrated sepsis response are poorly understood. To address this, we generated mice in which TLR4 was specifically deleted from myeloid cells (LysMTLR4KO) or hepatocytes (HCTLR4KO) and then determined survival, bacterial counts, host inflammatory responses, and organ injury in a model of cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), with or without antibiotics. LysM-TLR4 was required for phagocytosis and efficient bacterial clearance in the absence of antibiotics. Survival, the magnitude of the systemic and local inflammatory responses, and liver damage were associated with bacterial levels. HCTLR4 was required for efficient LPS clearance from the circulation, and deletion of HCTLR4 was associated with enhanced macrophage phagocytosis, lower bacterial levels, and improved survival in CLP without antibiotics. Antibiotic administration during CLP revealed an important role for hepatocyte LPS clearance in limiting sepsis-induced inflammation and organ injury. Our work defines cell type-selective roles for TLR4 in coordinating complex immune responses to bacterial sepsis and suggests that future strategies for modulating microbial molecule recognition should account for varying roles of pattern recognition receptors in multiple cell populations.