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Sepsis is a critical challenge for the older adults as the immune function is less responsive by aging. Although cell numbers seem preserved in the older adults, macrophages present age-related function decline, which including reduced chemokines, phagocytosis, and autophagy. ABT-263, an inhibitor of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, is reported had a senolytic effect which can selectively clear the senescent cells in vivo and rejuvenate the aged tissues. We treated the aged (12-16 months) and young (4-6 months) C57BL/6 mouse with ABT-263, then gave the animals cecal slurry injection to induce sepsis to observe the effect of senolytic compound ABT-263 on the survival rate of sepsis. Additionally, we isolated peritoneal macrophages from the aged mouse to investigate the cell function and molecular mechanism. 3-methyladenine (3-MA), a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) inhibitor, and rapamycin, an autophagy-enhancer, were used to block or mimic the autophagy, respectively. RT-PCR and Western Blot were used to detect autophagy related gene and protein changes in sepsis. EGFP-expressing E. coli was used as a marker to evaluate the phagocytic ability of macrophages. The results showed ABT-263 treatment improved the survival rate of sepsis in the aged mouse which related to autophagy, while blocking the autophagy can eliminate this effect. It is revealed that ABT-263 enhanced the phagocytic ability of the peritoneal macrophages by increasing the Trem-2 receptor. Additionally, ABT-263 blocked the binding of Bcl-2 to Beclin-1, thus induced Beclin-1-dependent autophagy. ABT-263 enhanced the macrophage function in aged mouse by increasing the Trem-2 receptors and inducing a beclin-1-dependent autophagy, consequently, protected the aged mouse from sepsis.


Yu Zhang, Li-Hua Tang, Jia Lu, Li-Ming Xu, Bao-Li Cheng, Jun-Yu Xiong. ABT-263 enhanced bacterial phagocytosis of macrophages in aged mouse through Beclin-1-dependent autophagy. BMC geriatrics. 2021 Apr 01;21(1):225

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PMID: 33794800

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