Background and Aims: The triggering factors of sepsis-induced myocardial dysfunction (SIMD) are poorly understood and are not addressed by current treatments. S100A8/A9 is a pro-inflammatory alarmin abundantly secreted by activated neutrophils during infection and inflammation. We investigated the efficacy of S100A8/A9 blockade as a potential new treatment in SIMD. Methods: The relationship between plasma S100A8/A9 and cardiac dysfunction was assessed in a cohort of 62 patients with severe sepsis admitted to the intensive care unit of Linköping University Hospital, Sweden. We used S100A8/A9 blockade with the small-molecule inhibitor ABR-238901 and S100A9−/− mice for therapeutic and mechanistic studies on endotoxemia-induced cardiac dysfunction in mice. Results: In sepsis patients, elevated plasma S100A8/A9 was associated with left-ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction and increased SOFA score. In wild-type mice, 5 mg/kg of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced rapid plasma S100A8/A9 increase and acute LV dysfunction. Two ABR-238901 doses (30 mg/kg) administered intraperitoneally with a 6 h interval, starting directly after LPS or at a later time-point when LV dysfunction is fully established, efficiently prevented and reversed the phenotype, respectively. In contrast, dexamethasone did not improve cardiac function compared to PBS-treated endotoxemic controls. S100A8/A9 inhibition potently reduced systemic levels of inflammatory mediators, prevented upregulation of inflammatory genes and restored mitochondrial function in the myocardium. The S100A9−/− mice were protected against LPS-induced LV dysfunction to an extent comparable with pharmacologic S100A8/A9 blockade. The ABR-238901 treatment did not induce an additional improvement of LV function in the S100A9−/− mice, confirming target specificity. Conclusion: Elevated S100A8/A9 is associated with the development of LV dysfunction in severe sepsis patients and in a mouse model of endotoxemia. Pharmacological blockade of S100A8/A9 with ABR-238901 has potent anti-inflammatory effects, mitigates myocardial dysfunction and might represent a novel therapeutic strategy for patients with severe sepsis. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number374
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalCritical Care
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems

Free keywords

  • Endotoxemia
  • Inflammation
  • Mitochondrial function
  • Neutrophils
  • S100A8/A9
  • Sepsis-induced myocardial dysfunction


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