Neutrophil expression of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) anti-inflammatory protein is associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome severity

Research paper by Marie-Alix Espinasse, David Hajage, Philippe Montravers, Pascale Piednoir, Guillaume Dufour, Florence Tubach, Vanessa Granger, Luc de Chaisemartin, Benoît Noël, Marc Pallardy, Sylvie Chollet-Martin, Armelle Biola-Vidamment

Indexed on: 02 Nov '16Published on: 02 Nov '16Published in: Annals of Intensive Care


Glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) is a potent anti-inflammatory protein involved in neutrophil apoptosis and the resolution of inflammation. Given the numerous pathophysiologic roles of neutrophils in the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), we postulated that neutrophil GILZ expression might be induced during ARDS, to modulate the inflammatory process and participate in lung repair. This single-center, prospective, observational cohort study took place in the surgical intensive care unit of Bichat Hospital (Paris, France) and involved 17 ARDS patients meeting the Berlin criteria at inclusion, and 14 ventilated controls without ARDS. Serial blood samples were obtained every 2 days until extubation or death (from 1 to 9 samples per patient). GILZ protein and gene expression was quantified in blood neutrophils, along with markers of inflammation (CRP, extracellular DNA) or its resolution (Annexin A1).Neutrophil GILZ expression was detected at the transcriptional and/or translational level in 9/17 ARDS patients (in particular 7/10 severe ARDS) and in 2/14 ventilated controls. The highest mRNA levels were observed in the most severely ill patients (p < 0.028). GILZ was expressed in about ¾ of the corticosteroid-treated patients and its expression could also occur independently of corticosteroids, suggesting that inflammatory signals may also induce neutrophil GILZ expression in vivo. In this pilot study, we show for the first time that blood neutrophils from patients with ARDS can express GILZ, in keeping with an anti-inflammatory and regulatory endogenous role of GILZ in humans. Contrary to some markers of inflammation or its resolution, the levels of gilz gene expression were related to ARDS severity.