Role of the inflammatory response in the hemorrhagic syndrome induced by the hemolymph of the caterpillarLonomia achelous

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Contact with the caterpillar of Lonomia achelous causes a hemorrhagic syndrome in humans prompted by two processes, an initial mild DIC that is later masked by overwhelming fibrinolytic activity. Although the venom affects both the hemostatic and inflammatory systems separately, it is not clear whether the hematological and hemostatic disturbances may in part be due to an indirect effect via inflammatory mediators. Here we report results on the crosstalk between these systems, particularly the effect of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α on hemostatic parameters. Materials and Methods: the nitric oxide and TNF-α responses, as well as activation of the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems, were measured in macrophages and endothelial cells treated with Lonomia achelous hemolymph (LAH). The same responses were then determined, in a mouse model of LAH envenomation, after treatment with an anti-TNF-α antibody. Results: Both macrophages and endothelial cells responded strongly to LAH in terms of pro-inflammatory mediator release and fibrinolytic activities as well as pro-coagulant activity (TF activity) in endothelial cells. Treatment with antibody against TNF-α decreased both TNF-α and NO3−/NO2− serum levels in the mice, after LAH injection. Blocking TNF-α also modified significantly the serum levels of plasminogen, fibrinogen and FXIII in mice, as well as decreased TF activity in endothelial cells. Conclusions: LAH may induce a hemostatic effect through endothelial and macrophage activation. These activated cell release hemostatic enzymes as well as pro-inflammatory mediators, principally TNF-α, that potentiate this release in an autocrine fashion, amplifying the fibrinolytic effect, which may in turn exacerbate the hemorrhagic manifestations. As far as we are aware, this is the first report of the relationship between the hemostatic system and the inflammatory responses in a hemorrhagic syndrome induce by animal secretions.

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