Patients with sepsis carry little-known inflammatory disease particle

December 16, 2020
Patients with sepsis carry little-known inflammatory disease particle

Researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), California, have found a new type of particle in the human bloodstream that appears to be related to inflammatory disease. These sausage-shaped particles are created by neutrophils within the body and are called elongated neutrophil-derived structures (ENDS).

The LJI team originally noticed long, thin shapes sticking to the walls of blood vessels in mice; they eventually snap off, floating away to become ENDS. Imaging showed that these ENDS stick to blood vessel walls and curl up for a time before eventually dying.

“ENDS are not normal – they are not detectable in healthy people or mice;but ENDS are very high in sepsis, and I would not be surprised if they were high in other inflammatory diseases,” said LJI Professor Klaus Ley.

Read: Sepsis deaths jump to one in five – more than are killed by cancer, US analysis shows

So far only detected in culture cells, live mice and human patients with sepsis, ENDS could serve as a biomarker for certain diseases – since neutrophil numbers are increased in the presence of infection, it follows that ENDS would also appear in higher numbers in these patients.

The LJI team hopes to investigate this potential by collecting more samples from patients, at different points in the progression of a disease, before widespread clinical use of an ENDS biomarker.


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