BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a disease associated with a high mortality rate. The initial phase is characterized by induction of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and influx of circulating inflammatory cells, including macrophages which play a pivotal role in the innate and adaptive immune responses to injury. Growing evidence points to phenotypic heterogeneity and plasticity between various macrophage activation states. METHODS: In this study, gene expression in alveolar macrophages and circulating leukocytes from healthy control subjects and patients with ARDS was assessed by mRNA microarray analysis. RESULTS: Both alveolar macrophages and circulating leukocytes demonstrated up-regulation of genes encoding chemotactic factors, antimicrobial peptides, chemokine receptors, and matrix metalloproteinases. Two genes, the pro-inflammatory S100A12 and the anti-inflammatory IL-1 decoy receptor IL-1R2 were significantly induced in both cell populations in ARDS patients, which was confirmed by protein quantification. Although S100A12 levels did not correlate with disease severity, there was a significant association between early plasma levels of IL-1R2 and APACHE III scores at presentation. Moreover, higher levels of IL-1R2 in plasma were observed in non-survivors as compared to survivors at later stages of ARDS. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest a hybrid state of alveolar macrophage activation in ARDS, with features of both alternative activation and immune tolerance/deactivation.. Furthermore, we have identified a novel plasma biomarker candidate in ARDS that correlates with the severity of systemic illness and mortality.
Kovach, M. A., Stringer, K. A., Bunting, R., Wu, X., San Mateo, L., Newstead, M. W., … Standiford, T. J. (2015). Microarray analysis identifies IL-1 receptor type 2 as a novel candidate biomarker in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Respiratory Research, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12931-015-0190-x