IIT Roorkee researchers identify role of white blood cell markers in sepsis-related complications – Times of India

Roorkee: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, led by Professor Pranita P. Sarangi, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Roorkee, have shown the role of specific immune cell markers in the outcome of serious infections and sepsis. Funded by the Biocare Women Scientist grant and the Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award grant from the Department of Biotechnology, GoI, the study provided important insights into the role of immune cell markers in sepsis-related complications.

Neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages are white blood cells that act as scavengers of foreign bodies, such as dead cells and bacteria and other pathogens. They move from the blood to the site of infection to remove the pathogenic foreign substance. However, in uncontrolled and severe infections, commonly referred to as ‘sepsis’, there is abnormal activation and localization of these immune cells. As a result, these cells accumulate, move around the body, and accumulate in vital organs, such as the lungs, kidneys, and liver, which can lead to multi-organ failure or even death.



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Commenting on her research, Pranita P. Sarangi, Professor, Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering, IIT Roorkee, said: Stages of inflammation and sepsis. ”


When these immune cells travel from the blood vessels to the infected / swollen area through the tissue space, they bind to proteins such as collagen or fibronectin. This binding occurs through a receptor molecule called integrin present on the surface of the cell. Integrin receptors enable communication between immune cells and the surrounding matrix, which aids in cell migration and modulation of other functions. However, their excessive activity (called hyper-activation) can be problematic.

In this study, Professor Sarangi’s group showed the role of integrin in sepsis using two mouse models of sepsis. When an infection occurs, the monocytes move from the bloodstream and the bone marrow to the infected / swollen tissue. Once inside the tissues, these monocytes mature into macrophages and, perceiving signals from the septic environment, these cells gradually change their functionality from inflammatory to immunosuppressive subtype that corresponds to their integrin expression profile.

“These results will help in identifying the stages of sepsis and in the appropriate treatment,” said lead researcher Mr Shiva Prasad Das, who is currently studying his PhD under the guidance of Professor Sarangi.


Speaking on the research, Professor Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, said, “The work improves the current understanding of sepsis biology and may be helpful in developing therapeutics against this life-threatening condition.”

The results of this research have been published in The Journal of Immunology, the official journal of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI), and presented at an international conference hosted by the Indian Immunology Society (Immunocon-2019).

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