Objective: In sepsis, quiescent blood vessels become leaky and inflamed by mechanisms that are incompletely understood. We hypothesized that angiopoietin-2, a partial antagonist of the endothelium-stabilizing receptor Tie-2 secreted by endothelium, contributes to adverse outcomes in this disease. Design: Laboratory and animal research. Settings: Research laboratories and Emergency Department of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA. Subjects: Angiopoietin-2 heterozygous mice, emergency department patients. Measurements and Main Results: Mice with one functional angiopoietin-2 allele developed milder kidney and lung injury, less tissue inflammation, and less vascular leakage compared to wild-type counterparts. Heterozygotes experienced >40% absolute survival advantage following two different models of sepsis (p = .004 and .018). In human subjects presenting to our emergency department with suspected infection (n = 270 combined), circulating angiopoietin-2 was markedly elevated within the first hour of clinical care. First-hour angiopoietin-2 concentrations were proportional to current disease severity (p < .0001), rose further over time in eventual nonsurvivors (p < .0001), and predicted the future occurrence of shock (p < .0001) or death (p < .0001) in the original cohort and an independent validation group. Finally, septic human serum disrupted the barrier function of microvascular endothelial cells, an effect fully neutralized by an angiopoietin-2 monoclonal antibody. Conclusions: We conclude that angiopoietin-2 induction precedes and contributes to the adverse outcomes in sepsis, opening a new avenue for therapeutic investigation.
- multiple organ dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine