Role of IFN-γ in bacterial containment in a model of intra-abdominal sepsis

Gang Qiu, Congli Wang, Rodman Smith, Kathryn Harrison, Kingsley Yin

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17 Scopus citations


Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is a specific activator of macrophage function and plays a critical role in the host immune defense to bacterial infection. In this study we examined the role of IFN-γ in the regulation of bacterial load in the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of intra-abdominal sepsis in the rat. In initial studies, levels of IL-12, MCP-1, and IFN-γ were measured in the peritoneal lavage fluid 24 and 48 h after CLP. IL-12 and MCP-1 levels were both significantly increased at 24 h after CLP compared to sham controls and this difference was maintained at 48 h after CLP. Interestingly, IFN-γ levels were not significantly increased 24 h after CLP, but were increased at 48 h after CLP. These results clearly suggest that although an inflammatory response had occurred 24 h post-surgery, with increases in the proinflammatory cytokine IL-12 and the potent chemotactic agent MCP-1, levels of IFN-γ in CLP rats were similar to sham controls. To further investigate the role of IFN-γ on the development of sepsis we examined the effect(s) of administering anti-IFN-γ antibody on bacterial load after CLP. We show that use of anti-IFN-γ antibody can significantly decrease bacterial load in the peritoneum. The mechanism of the effect(s) of anti-IFN-γ is probably by increasing intestinal adhesions to seal the cecum and reduce bacterial movement into the peritoneum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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