MALDI-TOF MS monitoring of PBMC activation status in sepsis

Abstract : BACKGROUND: MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS) on whole cells enables the detection of different cell types and cell activation. Here, we wondered whether this approach would be useful to investigate the host response in sepsis. METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with severe sepsis and healthy donors were analyzed with MALDI-TOF MS. PBMCs from healthy donors were also stimulated with lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan, CpG oligonucleotides, polyinosinic polycytidylic acid, and with heat-inactivated bacteria. Averaged spectra of PBMCs stimulated in vitro by different agonists were generated from the database using the Biotyper software and matching scores between each spectrum from patients and averaged spectra from the database were calculated. RESULTS: We show that the MALDI-TOF MS signature of PBMCs from septic patients was specific, compared with healthy controls. As the fingerprints observed in patients may be related to PBMC activation, PBMCs from healthy controls were stimulated with cytokines, soluble Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs) and heat-killed bacteria, and we created a database of reference spectra. The MALDI-TOF MS profiles of PBMCs from septic patients were then compared with the database. No differences were found between patients with documented infection (n = 6) and those without bacteriological documentation (n = 6). The spectra of PBMCs from septic patients matched with those of interferon-γ- and interleukin-10-stimulated PBMCs, confirming that sepsis is characterized by both inflammatory and immunoregulatory features. Interestingly, the spectra of PBMCs from septic patients without documented infection matched with the reference spectrum of PBMCs stimulated by CpG oligonucleotides, suggesting a bacterial etiology in these patients. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the limits of this preliminary study, these results indicate that the monitoring of functional status of PBMCs in peripheral blood by whole cell MALDI-TOF MS could provide unique opportunities to assess disease progression or resolution in clinical settings.
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Aurélie Daumas, Julie Alingrin, Richard Ouedraogo, Patrick Villani, Marc Leone, et al.. MALDI-TOF MS monitoring of PBMC activation status in sepsis. BMC Infectious Diseases, BioMed Central, 2018, 18 (1), pp.355. ⟨10.1186/s12879-018-3266-7⟩. ⟨inserm-01857861⟩

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