PD-L1+ neutrophils contribute to injury-induced infection susceptibility

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Science Advances  05 Mar 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 10, eabd9436
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd9436


The underlying mechanisms contributing to injury-induced infection susceptibility remain poorly understood. Here, we describe a rapid increase in neutrophil cell numbers in the lungs following induction of thermal injury. These neutrophils expressed elevated levels of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and exhibited altered gene expression profiles indicative of a reparative population. Upon injury, neutrophils migrate from the bone marrow to the skin but transiently arrest in the lung vasculature. Arrested neutrophils interact with programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) on lung endothelial cells. A period of susceptibility to infection is linked to PD-L1+ neutrophil accumulation in the lung. Systemic treatment of injured animals with an anti–PD-L1 antibody prevented neutrophil accumulation in the lung and reduced susceptibility to infection but augmented skin healing, resulting in increased epidermal growth. This work provides evidence that injury promotes changes to neutrophils that are important for wound healing but contribute to infection susceptibility.

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