Histones-mediated lymphocyte apoptosis during sepsis is dependent on p38 phosphorylation and mitochondrial permeability transition.

TitleHistones-mediated lymphocyte apoptosis during sepsis is dependent on p38 phosphorylation and mitochondrial permeability transition.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLiu Z-G, Ni S-Y, Chen G-M, Cai J, Guo Z-H, Chang P, Li Y-S
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue10
Paginatione77131
Date Published2013
Abstract

Lymphocyte apoptosis is one reason for immunoparalysis seen in sepsis, although the triggers are unknown. We hypothesized that molecules in plasma, which are up-regulated during sepsis, may be responsible for this. In this study, peripheral lymphocyte apoptosis caused by extracellular histones was confirmed both in mouse and human primary lymphocytes, in which histones induced lymphocyte apoptosis dose-dependently and time-dependently. To identify which intracellular signal pathways were activated, phosphorylation of various mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) were evaluated during this process, and p38 inhibitor (SB203580) was used to confirm the role of p38 in lymphocyte apoptosis induced by histones. To investigate the mitochondrial injury during these processes, we analyzed Bcl2 degradation and Rhodamine 123 to assess mitochondrial-membrane stability, via cyclosporin A as an inhibitor for mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT). Then, caspase 3 activation was also checked by western-blotting. We found that p38 phosphorylation, mitochondrial injury and caspase 3 activation occurred dose-dependently in histones-mediated lymphocyte apoptosis. We also observed that p38 inhibitor SB203580 decreased lymphocyte apoptotic ratio by 49% (P<0.05), and inhibition of MPT protected lymphocytes from apoptosis. Furthermore, to investigate whether histones are responsible for lymphocyte apoptosis, various concentrations of histone H4 neutralization antibodies were co-cultured with human primary lymphocytes and plasma from cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) mice or sham mice. The results showed that H4 neutralization antibody dose-dependently blocked lymphocyte apoptosis caused by septic plasma in vitro. These data demonstrate for the first time that extracellular histones, especially H4, play a vital role in lymphocyte apoptosis during sepsis which is dependent on p38 phosphorylation and mitochondrial permeability transition. Neutralizing H4 can inhibit lymphocyte apoptosis, indicating that it could be a potential target in clinical interventions for sepsis associated immunoparalysis.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0078451
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE