Upregulation of grail is associated with impaired CD4 T cell proliferation in sepsis

Monowar Aziz, Weng Lang Yang, Shingo Matsuo, Archna Sharma, Mian Zhou, Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The loss of numbers and functionality of CD4 T cells is observed in sepsis; however, the mechanism remains elusive. Gene related to anergy in lymphocytes (GRAIL) is critical for the impairment of CD4 T cell proliferation.We therefore sought to examine the role of GRAIL in CD4 T cell proliferation during sepsis. Sepsis was induced in 10-wk-old male C57BL/6 mice by cecal ligation and puncture. Splenocytes were isolated and subjected to flow cytometry to determine CD4 T cell contents. CD4 T cell proliferation was assessed by CFSE staining, and the expression of GRAIL in splenocytes was measured by immunohistochemistry, real-time PCR, and flow cytometry. The expressions of IL-2 and early growth response-2 were determined by real-time PCR. As compared with shams, the numbers of CD4 T cells were significantly reduced in spleens. Septic CD4 T cells were less efficient in proliferation than shams. The IL-2 expression was significantly reduced, whereas the GRAIL expression was significantly increased in septic mice splenocytes as compared with shams. The small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of GRAIL expression re-established the CD4 T cell proliferation ability ex vivo. Similarly, the treatment with recombinant murine IL-2 to the septic CD4 T cells restored their proliferation ability by downregulating GRAIL expression. Our findings reveal a novel association of the increased GRAIL expression with impaired CD4 T cell proliferation, implicating an emerging therapeutic tool in sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2305-2314
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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