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Blood vessel strengthening shows promise for sepsis

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A targeted therapy for mitigating sepsis by strengthening as well as protecting blood vessels offers “hope for a reliable treatment”, according to a South Korean study.

Sepsis is caused by the immune system severely over-reacting to an infection and attacking itself.

“In the past, treating sepsis meant fighting off the underlying infection”

Seung Lee

The first thing that occurs is the weakening of blood vessels that makes them porous and causes vascular leakage potentially leading to severe inflammation, organ damage, pulmonary oedema and ultimately death.

Currently clinicians are only able to fight the underlying infection and hope that the body is strong enough to combat the sepsis on its own, noted he authors of the new study in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The researchers from the Institute for Basic Science are trying a new method for alleviating sepsis progression, focusing on activating a receptor in the lining of blood vessels called endothelial cells.

They induced a protein growth factor called Tie2, which stimulates blood vessel growth by using an anti-angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) antibody, called ABTAA (Ang2-binding and Tie2-activating antibody).

ABTAA works by simultaneously causing Ang2 inhibition and Tie2 activation. Under normal conditions, Ang2 is barely detectable in the body but during times of high stress it circulates through the bloodstream causing vascular cell death and making the blood vessels porous.

ABTAA prevents this by causing Ang2 to clump together rendering it inert and unable to cause damage and also stimulating Tie2 which strengthens blood vessels.

Researcher Seung Jun Lee suggested the technique could “strengthen the blood vessels so the body has a stable environment to fight the infection which also prevents further damage”.

He said: “In the past, treating sepsis meant fighting off the underlying infection but the immune system still attacked itself and people still died.”

He noted that ABTAA was a separate, independent treatment, which eliminated the root cause of sepsis.

Institute for Basic Science

Blood vessel strengthening shows promise for sepsis

Source: Institute for Basic Science

Vascular inflammation induced by Sepsis

 

Institute for Basic Science

Blood vessel strengthening shows promise for sepsis

Source: Institute for Basic Science

TIE2 activation by ABTAA

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