Activation of mitochondrial biogenesis by heme oxygenase-1-mediated NF-E2-related factor-2 induction rescues mice from lethal Staphylococcus aureus sepsis.


Journal Article

Mitochondrial damage is an important component of multiple organ failure syndrome, a highly lethal complication of severe sepsis that lacks specific therapy. Mitochondrial quality control is regulated in part by the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1; Hmox1) system through the redox-regulated NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) transcription factor, but its role in mitochondrial biogenesis in Staphylococcus aureus sepsis is unknown.To test the hypothesis that Nrf2-dependent up-regulation of the HO-1/carbon monoxide (CO) system would preserve mitochondrial biogenesis and rescue mice from lethal S. aureus sepsis.A controlled murine S. aureus peritonitis model with and without inhaled CO was examined for HO-1 and Nrf2 regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and the resolution of hepatic mitochondrial damage.Sepsis survival was significantly enhanced using inhaled CO (250 ppm once-daily for 1 h), and linked mechanistically to Hmox1 induction and mitochondrial HO activity through Nrf2 transcriptional and Akt kinase activity. HO-1/CO stimulated Nrf2-dependent gene expression and nuclear accumulation of nuclear respiratory factor-1, -2α (Gabpa), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α; increased mitochondrial transcription factor-A and citrate synthase protein levels; and augmented mtDNA copy number. CO enhanced antiinflammatory IL-10 and reduced proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor-α production. By contrast, Nrf2(-/-) and Akt1(-/-) mice lacked CO induction of Hmox1 and mitochondrial biogenesis, and CO rescued neither strain from S. aureus sepsis.We identify an inducible Nrf2/HO-1 regulatory cycle for mitochondrial biogenesis that is prosurvival and counter-inflammatory in sepsis, and describe targeted induction of mitochondrial biogenesis as a potential multiple organ failure therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • MacGarvey, NC; Suliman, HB; Bartz, RR; Fu, P; Withers, CM; Welty-Wolf, KE; Piantadosi, CA

Published Date

  • April 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 185 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 851 - 861

PubMed ID

  • 22312014

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22312014

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-4970

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1073-449X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1164/rccm.201106-1152OC


  • eng