That granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and its receptor modulate the suppression of apoptosis (Ao) of normal neutrophils incubated in the plasma of patients with postraumatic acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Experimental study using cultured human neutrophils.
University hospital, level I trauma center.
Plasma was obtained from 14 patients with early, fulminant posttraumatic ARDS (mean Injury Severity Score, 22). All samples were drawn within 24 hours after injury. Plasma was also taken from up to 21 healthy control subjects. These volunteers were also used as sources of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs).
Main Outcome Measures
(1) Effect of early, fulminant ARDS and normal plasma on spontaneous Ao and GM-CSF receptor expression in PMNs in vitro. (2) Effect of ligation of either GM-CSF or its receptor with a neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) on PMN Ao in ARDS and normal plasma. (3) Correlation of extracellular GM-CSF concentration with rate of PMN Ao. (4) Levels of GM-CSF in ARDS and normal plasma and in culture supernatant of normal PMNs incubated in early, fulminant ARDS and normal plasma.
Plasma from patients with ARDS enhanced PMN viability at 24 hours (data are given as mean±SEM) 52%±3% control vs 60%±3% ARDS, P<.05). Binding of the GM-CSF receptor with a neutralizing mAb significantly reduced PMN viability in ARDS plasma, but not in normal plasma (60%±3% ARDS vs 53%±3% ARDS + mAb, P<.05). Ligation of GM-CSF with mAb had no significant effect on PMN viability in either plasma. Only 1% of PMNs expressed detectable levels of the GM-CSF receptor when incubated for 24 hours in either ARDS or normal plasma. The GM-CSF levels were undetectable (>7 pg/mL) in both ARDS and normal plasma and in culture supernatants taken after 24 hours of incubation in both plasma types. Levels of GM-CSF ranging from 0 to 50,000 pg/mL had no effect on PMN Ao in plasma-free medium.
The antiapoptotic effect of ARDS plasma appears to be mediated by the GM-CSF receptor. This effect occurs at both low levels of plasma GM-CSF and surface expression of its PMN receptor. Ligation of GM-CSF had no effect of PMN Ao, suggesting that Ao is triggered by Fc portion-mediated receptor cross-linking. These results provide the theoretical basis for αGM-CSF receptor mAb therapy as a novel modality of treatment for ARDS.