Extracellular cold-inducible RNA-binding protein regulates neutrophil extracellular trap formation and tissue damage in acute pancreatitis

Johan Linders, Raed Madhi, Milladur Rahman, Matthias Mörgelin, Sara Regner, Max Brenner, Ping Wang, Henrik Thorlacius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) play a key role in the development of acute pancreatitis (AP). In the present study, we studied the role of extracellular cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (eCIRP), a novel damage-associated-molecular-pattern molecule, in severe AP. C57BL/6 mice underwent retrograde infusion of taurocholate into the pancreatic duct. C23, an eCIRP inhibitor, was given 1 h prior to induction of AP. Pancreatic, lung, and blood samples were collected and levels of citrullinated histone 3, DNA-histone complexes, eCIRP, myeloperoxidase (MPO), amylase, cytokines, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and CXC chemokines were quantified after 24 h. NETs were detected by electron microscopy in the pancreas and bone marrow-derived neutrophils. Amylase secretion was analyzed in isolated acinar cells. Plasma was obtained from healthy individuals and patients with mild and moderate severe or severe AP. Taurocholate infusion induced NET formation, inflammation, and tissue injury in the pancreas. Pretreatment with C23 decreased taurocholate-induced pancreatic and plasma levels of eCIRP and tissue damage in the pancreas. Blocking eCIRP reduced levels of citrullinated histone 3 and NET formation in the pancreas as well as DNA-histone complexes in the plasma. In addition, administration of C23 attenuated MPO levels in the pancreas and lung of mice exposed to taurocholate. Inhibition of eCIRP reduced pancreatic levels of CXC chemokines and plasma levels of IL-6, HMGB-1, and MMP-9 in mice with severe AP. Moreover, eCIRP was found to be bound to NETs. Coincubation with C23 reduced NET-induced amylase secretion in isolated acinar cells. Patients with severe AP had elevated plasma levels of eCIRP compared with controls. Our novel findings suggest that eCIRP is a potent regulator of NET formation in the inflamed pancreas. Moreover, these results show that targeting eCIRP with C23 inhibits inflammation and tissue damage in AP. Thus, eCIRP could serve as an effective target to attenuate pancreatic damage in patients with AP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-1630
Number of pages13
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number12
Early online date2020 Jul 24
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


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