C1 inhibitor-mediated protection from sepsis

Dongxu Liu*, Fengxin Lu, Gangjian Qin, Stacey M. Fernandes, Jinan Li, Alvin E. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


C1 inhibitor (C1INH) protects mice from lethal Gram-negative bacterial LPS-induced endotoxin shock and blocks the binding of LPS to the murine macrophage cell line, RAW 264.7, via an interaction with lipid A. Using the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model for sepsis in mice, treatment with C1INH improved survival in comparison with untreated controls. The effect was not solely the result of inhibition of complement and contact system activation because reactive center-cleaved, inactive C1INH (iC1INH) also was effective. In vivo, C1INH and iC1INH both reduced the number of viable bacteria in the blood and peritoneal fluid and accelerated killing of bacteria by blood neutrophils and peritoneal macrophages. In vitro, C1INH bound to bacteria cultured from blood or peritoneal fluid of mice with CLP-induced sepsis, but had no direct effect on bacterial growth. However, both C1INH and iC1INH enhanced the bactericidal activity of blood neutrophils and peritoneal exudate leukocytes. C1INH-deficient mice (C1INH-/- mice) subjected to CLP had a higher mortality than did wild-type littermate mice. Survival of C1INH-/- mice was significantly increased with two doses of C1INH, one given immediately following CLP, and the second at 6 h post-CLP. C1INH may be important in protection from sepsis through enhancement of bacterial uptake by, and/or bactericidal capacity of, phagocytes. Treatment with C1INH may provide a useful additional therapeutic approach in some patients with peritonitis and/or sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3966-3972
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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