BMC infectious diseases

Overexpression of activated protein C hampers bacterial dissemination during pneumococcal pneumonia.

PMID 25366058


During pneumonia, inflammation and coagulation are activated as part of anti-bacterial host defense. Activated protein C (APC) has anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties and until recently was a registered drug for the treatment of severe sepsis. Streptococcus (S.) pneumoniae is the most common causative pathogen in community-acquired pneumonia. We aimed to investigate the effect of high APC levels during experimental pneumococcal pneumonia. Wild type (WT) and APC overexpressing (APC(high))-mice were intranasally infected with S. pneumoniae and sacrificed after 6, 24 or 48 hours, or followed in a survival study. In comparison to WT mice, APC(high)-mice showed decreased bacterial dissemination to liver and spleen, while no differences in bacterial loads were detected at the primary site of infection. Although no differences in the extent of lung histopathology were seen, APC(high)-mice showed a significantly decreased recruitment of neutrophils into lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Activation of coagulation was not altered in APC(high)-mice. No differences in survival were observed between WT and APC(high)-mice (P =0.06). APC overexpression improves host defense during experimental pneumococcal pneumonia. This knowledge may add to a better understanding of the regulation of the inflammatory and procoagulant responses during severe Gram-positive pneumonia.