Essential role of gamma interferon in survival of colon ascendens stent peritonitis, a novel murine model of abdominal sepsis

Niko Zantl, Annette Uebe, Brigitte Neumann, Hermann Wagner, Jörg Rüdiger Siewert, Bernhard Holzmann, Claus Dieter Heidecke, Klaus Pfeffer

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182 Scopus citations


Despite considerable progress, peritonitis and sepsis remain life- threatening conditions. To improve the understanding of the pathophysiology encountered in sepsis, a new standardized and highly reproducible murine model of abdominal sepsis termed colon ascendens stent peritonitis (CASP) was developed. In CASP, a stent is inserted into the ascending colon, which generates a septic focus. CASP employing a stent of 14-gauge diameter (14G stent) results in a mortality of 100% within 18 to 48 h after surgery. By inserting stents of small diameters, mortality can be exactly controlled. Thus, CASP surgery with insertion of a 22G or 18G stent (22G or 18G CASP surgery) results in 38 or 68% mortality, respectively. 14G CASP surgery leads to a rapid invasion of bacteria into the peritoneum and the blood. As a consequence, endotoxemia occurs, inflammatory cells are recruited, and a systemic inflammatory response syndrome develops. Interestingly, the most pronounced upregulation of inflammatory cytokines (gamma interferon [IFN- γ], tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α] and interleukin-12) is observed in spleen and lungs. CASP surgery followed by stent removal at specific time intervals revealed that all animals survived if intervention was performed after 3 h, whereas removal of the septic focus after 9 h did not prevent death, suggesting induction of autonomous mechanisms of a lethal inflammatory response syndrome. 18G CASP surgery in IFN-γ receptor-deficient (IFNγR(-/- )) mice revealed an essential role of IFN-γ in survival of sepsis, whereas TNF receptor p55-deficient (TNFRp55(-/-)) mice did not show altered survival rates. In summary, this study describes a novel animal model that closely mimics human sepsis and appears to be highly suitable for the study of the pathophysiology of abdominal sepsis. Importantly, this model demonstrates a protective role of IFN-γ in survival of bacterial sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2300-2309
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998


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