Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Restoring appropriate movement to immune cells may save seriously burned patients

Date:
June 19, 2013
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Patients who survive the immediate aftermath of major burns are at greatest risk from infections -- particularly the overwhelming, life-threatening immune reaction known as sepsis. A new device measures the movement of key immune cells and may help determine which patients are at greatest risk for infections, and a novel treatment that directly addresses the cause of those complications could prevent many associated deaths.

Advances in emergency medicine and trauma surgery have had a significant impact on survival of patients in the days immediately after major injuries, including burns. Patients who survive the immediate aftermath of their injuries now are at greatest risk from infections -- particularly the overwhelming, life-threatening immune reaction known as sepsis -- or from inflammation-induced multiorgan failure. Now, a device developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators that measures the movement of key immune cells may help determine which patients are at greatest risk for complications, and a novel treatment that directly addresses the cause of such complications could prevent many associated deaths.

Related Articles


"One in every three patients with burn injuries that dies in an intensive care unit does so because of septic complications," says Daniel Irimia, MD, PhD, of the MGH Department of Surgery, corresponding author of a report in the June FASEB Journal. "In the days immediately after injury, white blood cells called neutrophils can lose their ability to move to the site of an injury. In an animal model of burn injury, we found that death due to septic complications can be prevented by a treatment that restores the proper movement of neutrophils."

The most abundant type of white blood cell, neutrophils are part of the innate immune system and the body's first line of defense against infections. Normally, neutrophils are drawn towards the site of a infection by chemical signals from bacteria or injured cells. However, it has recently been discovered that -- in patients with serious burn injuries -- neutrophils' ability to follow these signals becomes impaired soon after the injury. Not only does that impairment reduce the availability of the cells to fight infection at the site of injury, but misguided neutrophils also can attack healthy tissue, contributing to organ failure. The current study was designed to analyze changes in the speed and direction of neutrophil movement after burn injury and to investigate whether recently identified molecules called resolvins, which normally act to terminate the inflammatory process after an infection has cleared, could also restore normal neutrophil motion after burns.

Using a microfluidic device that measures neutrophil movement developed at the MGH BioMEMS Resource Center, the investigators first confirmed that the ability of neutrophils from burn-injured rats to move towards a chemical signal of injury progressively deteriorates -- in both speed and accuracy -- as time passes. While cells from uninjured animals moved quickly and directly through a series of microchannels towards the injury signal, cells from blood samples taken 9 days after the injury became trapped in the device or reversed direction. The researchers then showed that application of resolvin D2 significantly improved the in vitro migratory ability of neutrophils from burned animals.

Experiments in living rats revealed that treatment with resolvin D2 restored appropriate neutrophil motion, an effect that lasted at least two days after treatment ended. In addition, when burn-injured animals were subjected to a second sepsis-inducing injury, treatment with resolvin D2 significantly increased survival. For example, in a group of rats injected with a bacterial toxin nine days after a burn injury, all of those pre-treated with resolvin survived, while all untreated animals died.

"Our ability to measure neutrophil movement in great detail gave us the information we needed to develop the optimal dosage and duration of resolvin treatment for the burned rats. Our results also indicate that neutrophil motility could be a useful biomarker for the actual risk of septic complications in patients," says Irimia, an assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School who is also affiliated with Shriner's Hospital for Children. "Our experiments in the animal model suggest that a resolvin-based treatment could prevent those complications by restoring the body's own resources, allowing it to respond to secondary infections, which could save hundreds of patients with burns every year. "


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Kurihara, C. N. Jones, Y.-M. Yu, A. J. Fischman, S. Watada, R. G. Tompkins, S. P. Fagan, D. Irimia. Resolvin D2 restores neutrophil directionality and improves survival after burns. The FASEB Journal, 2013; 27 (6): 2270 DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-219519

Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Restoring appropriate movement to immune cells may save seriously burned patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619164710.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2013, June 19). Restoring appropriate movement to immune cells may save seriously burned patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619164710.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Restoring appropriate movement to immune cells may save seriously burned patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619164710.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins