- Influence of genetic variations in TLR4 and TIRAP/Mal on the course of sepsis and pneumonia and cytokine release: an observational study in three cohorts (2010)
- Introduction: It has been proposed that individual genetic variation contributes to the course of severe infections and sepsis. Recent studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the endotoxin receptor and its signaling system showed an association with the risk of disease development. This study aims to examine the response associated with genetic variations of TLR4, the receptor for bacterial LPS, and a central intracellular signal transducer (TIRAP/Mal) on cytokine release and for susceptibility and course of severe hospital acquired infections in distinct patient populations. Methods: Three intensive care units in tertiary care university hospitals in Greece and Germany participated. 375 and 415 postoperative patients and 159 patients with ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) were included. TLR4 and TIRAP/Mal polymorphisms in 375 general surgical patients were associated with risk of infection, clinical course and outcome. In two prospective studies, 415 patients following cardiac surgery and 159 patients with newly diagnosed VAP predominantly caused by Gram-negative bacteria were studied for cytokine levels in-vivo and after ex-vivo monocyte stimulation and clinical course. Results: Patients simultaneously carrying polymorphisms in TIRAP/Mal and TLR4 and patients homozygous for the TIRAP/Mal SNP had a significantly higher risk of severe infections after surgery (odds ratio (OR) 5.5; confidence interval (CI): 1.34 - 22.64; P = 0.02 and OR: 7.3; CI: 1.89 - 28.50; P < 0.01 respectively). Additionally we found significantly lower circulating cytokine levels in double-mutant individuals with ventilator associated pneumonia and reduced cytokine production in an ex-vivo monocyte stimulation assay, but this difference was not apparent in TIRAP/Mal-homozygous patients. In cardiac surgery patients without infection, the cytokine release profiles were not changed when comparing different genotypes. Conclusions: Carriers of mutations in sequential components of the TLR signaling system may have an increased risk for severe infections. Patients with this genotype showed a decrease in cytokine release when infected which was not apparent in patients with sterile inflammation following cardiac surgery.
- Association of a common TLR-6 polymorphism with coronary artery disease – implications for healthy ageing? (2013)
- Background: The pro-inflammatory status of the elderly triggers most of the age-related diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, the leading cause world wide of morbidity and death, is an inflammatory disease influenced by life-style and genetic host factors. Stimuli such as oxLDL or microbial ligands have been proposed to trigger inflammation leading to atherosclerosis. It has recently been shown that oxLDL activates immune cells via the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4/6 complex. Several common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TLR system have been associated with atherosclerosis. To investigate the role of TLR-6 we analyzed the association of the TLR-6 SNP Pro249Ser with atherogenesis. Results: Genotyping of two independent groups with CAD, as well as of healthy controls revealed a significant association of the homozygous genotype with a reduced risk for atherosclerosis (odds ratio: 0.69, 95% CI 0.51-0.95, P = 0.02). In addition, we found a trend towards an association with the risk of restenosis after transluminal coronary angioplasty (odds ratio: 0.53, 95% CI 0.24-1.16, P = 0.12). In addition, first evidence is presented that the frequency of this protective genotype increases in a healthy population with age. Taken together, our results define a role for TLR-6 and its genetic variations in modulating the inflammatory response leading to atherosclerosis. Conclusions: These results may lead to a better risk stratification, and potentially to an improved prophylactic treatment of high-risk populations. Furthermore, the protective effect of this polymorphism may lead to an increase of this genotype in the healthy elderly and may therefore be a novel genetic marker for the well-being during aging.
- Genetic variation of TLR4 influences immunoendocrine stress response: an observational study in cardiac surgical patients (2011)
- Introduction: Systemic inflammation (e.g. following surgery) involves Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling and leads to an endocrine stress response. This study aims to investigate a possible influence of TLR2 and TLR4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on perioperative adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol regulation in serum of cardiac surgical patients. To investigate the link to systemic inflammation in this context, we additionally measured 10 different cytokines in the serum. Methods: 338 patients admitted for elective cardiac surgery were included in this prospective observational clinical cohort study. Genomic DNA of patients was screened for TLR2 and TLR4 SNPs. Serum concentrations of ACTH, cortisol, interferon (IFN)-, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- and granulocyte macro-phage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were determined before surgery, immediately post surgery and on the first postoperative day. Results: 13 patients were identified as TLR2 SNP carrier, 51 as TLR4 SNP carrier and 274 pa-tients as non-carrier. Basal levels of ACTH, cortisol and cytokines did not differ between groups. In all three groups a significant, transient perioperative rise of cortisol could be ob-served. However, only in the non-carrier group this was accompanied by a significant ACTH rise, TLR4 SNP carriers had significant lower ACTH levels compared to non-carriers ((mean[95% confidence intervals]) non-carriers: 201.9[187.7 to 216.1]pg/ml; TLR4 SNP car-riers: 149.9[118.4 to 181.5]pg/ml; TLR2 SNP carriers: 176.4[110.5 to 242.3]pg/ml). Compared to non-carriers, TLR4 SNP carriers showed significant lower serum IL-8, IL-10 and GM-CSF peaks ((mean[95% confidence intervals]): IL-8: non-carriers: 42.6[36.7 to 48.5]pg/ml, TLR4 SNP carriers: 23.7[10.7 to 36.8]pg/ml; IL-10: non-carriers: 83.8[70.3 to 97.4]pg/ml, TLR4 SNP carriers: 54.2[24.1 to 84.2]pg/ml; GM-CSF: non-carriers: 33.0[27.8 to 38.3]pg/ml, TLR4 SNP carriers: 20.2[8.6 to 31.8]pg/ml). No significant changes over time or between the groups were found for the other cytokines. Conclusions: Regulation of the immunoendocrine stress response during systemic inflamma-tion is influenced by the presence of a TLR4 SNP. Cardiac surgical patients carrying this ge-notype showed decreased serum concentrations of ACTH, IL-8, IL-10 and GM-CSF. This finding might have impact on interpreting previous and designing future trials on diagnosing and modulating immunoendocrine dysregulation (e.g. adrenal insufficiency) during systemic inflammation and sepsis.