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    Infection is a common and often deadly complication after burn injury. A major underlying factor is burn-induced immune dysfunction, particularly with respect to neutrophils as the primary responders to infection. Temporally after murine scald injury, we demonstrate impaired bone marrow neutrophil chemotaxis towards CXCL1 ex vivo. Additionally, we observed a reduced recruitment of neutrophils to the peritoneal after elicitation seven days after injury. We demonstrate that neutrophil ceramide levels increase after burn injury, and this is associated with decreased expression of CXCR2 and blunted chemotaxis. A major signaling event upon CXCR2 activation is Akt phosphorylation and this was reduced when ceramide was elevated. In contrast, PTEN levels were elevated and PTEN-inhibition elevated phospho-Akt levels and mitigated the burn-induced neutrophil chemotaxis defect. Altogether, this study identifies a newly described pathway of ceramide-mediated suppression of neutrophil chemotaxis after burn injury and introduces potential targets to mitigate this defect and reduce infection-related morbidity and mortality after burn.


    Nadine Beckmann, Fabian Schumacher, Burkhard Kleuser, Erich Gulbins, Vanessa Nomellini, Charles C Caldwell. Burn Injury Impairs Neutrophil Chemotaxis through Increased Ceramide. Shock (Augusta, Ga.). 2020 Dec 01

    PMID: 33273368

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