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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Immediate and delayed leukocyte apoptosis in two models of peritonitis.

Leukocyte apoptosis is an energy-dependent process that facilitates resolution of the cellular inflammatory response. Levels of apoptosis can be accelerated or inhibited after exposure to various stimuli. To compare apoptosis in transmigrated leukocytes, two models of peritonitis in mice were used that both cause leukocyte influx into the peritoneal cavity: (1) intraperitoneal thioglycollate administration producing a sterile peritonitis and (2) cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) producing a polymicrobial bacterial peritonitis. Samples of blood and peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) were collected at multiple time points after induction of peritonitis. Leukocytes were either fixed immediately to determine an immediate apoptosis level or cultured for 24 h to determine a delayed apoptosis level. Apoptosis was assessed using terminal uridine-triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, flow cytometry, and confocal microscopy. Leukocyte influx into the peritoneal cavity was confirmed in both models. At all time points, and in both models, there was increased immediate apoptosis in PEC compared with unmanipulated controls and this increase was maximal in CLP after 18 h, although it appeared to remain at a stable level in the sterile peritonitis model by 3 h. There was also an increase in PEC delayed apoptosis at early time points in both models, again maximal at 18 h for CLP, with the levels being significantly higher than the thioglycollate model at 6 h and 18 h. The mice had a relative peripheral neutropenia at 6 h after CLP, but not post thioglycollate injection, and this persisted until 42 h. Lung and liver MPO levels were elevated in CLP but did not increase after thioglycollate. There was no increase in immediate peripheral leukocyte apoptosis in either model, but an increase in delayed peripheral leukocyte apoptosis was observed by 18 h in both models. Peripheral leukocyte CD1lb expression, which is a marker of activation, was also persistently elevated in the CLP model, but not in sterile peritonitis. In conclusion, CLP is a more potent stimulus for apoptosis of leukocytes than their migration to the site of inflammation alone, as occurs in the thioglycollate model. Blood leukocyte apoptosis also appears not to be dependent on CD11b expression, and therefore activation status.[1]


  1. Immediate and delayed leukocyte apoptosis in two models of peritonitis. Kuhn, J.F., Godshall, C.J., Scott, M.J., Franklin, G.A., Rowe, S.A., Peyton, J.C., Cheadle, W.G. Inflammation (2001) [Pubmed]
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