Jansen PM, Eisele B, de Jong IW, Chang A, Delvos U, Taylor FB Jr, Hack CE
We evaluated the effect of C1 inhibitor (C1-inh), an inhibitor of the classical pathway of complement and the contact system, on the physiologic and inflammatory response in baboons suffering from lethal Escherichia coli sepsis. Five animals pretreated with 500 U/kg C1-inh (treatment group; n = 5), followed by a 9-h continuous infusion of 200 U/kg C1-inh subsequent to bacterial challenge, were compared with five controls receiving E. coli alone. Of the treatment group, one animal survived and another lived beyond 48 h, whereas all control animals died within 27 h. In four of five treated animals, less severe pathology was observed in various target organs. C1-inh administration did not prevent the hemodynamic or hematologic changes observed upon E. coli infusion. The activation of fibrinolysis and the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation were essentially unaffected by C1-inh. However, C1-inh supplementation significantly reduced decreases in plasma levels of factor XII and prekallikrein and abrogated the systemic appearance of C4b/c, indicating substantial inhibition of activation of the contact system and the classical complement pathway, respectively. Furthermore, treated animals displayed a reduced elaboration of various cytokines including TNF, IL-10, IL-6, and IL-8. Thus, the administration of C1-inh may have a beneficial but modest effect on the clinical course and outcome of severe sepsis in nonhuman primates. We suggest that activated complement and/or contact system proteases may, at least in part, contribute to the attendant manifestations of septic shock through an augmentation of the cytokine response.
Central Laboratory of the Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Services and Laboratory for Experimental and Clinical Immunology, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.