July 2011

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


Oregon Health & Science University


Sepsis is defined as the systemic inflammatory response to infection, with a mortality rate in excess of 25%. It is associated with an acquired impairment in innate immune function, which is typified by reduced neutrophil bacterial killing, reduced antigen presentation and cytokine production by monocytes, and apoptosis of both immune and non-immune cells. Furthermore, sepsis is associated with eosinopenia. Treatment options for patients consist of antibiotics and supportive care, highlighting the need for means to improve patient mortality. A recent study indicated that IL-5 levels are elevated in sepsis survivors compared to non-survivors. However, because sepsis is associated with eosinopenia, these two observations present a paradox concerning the function of IL-5 and eosinophils in sepsis. Data presented in this thesis reconcile these observations, and show individual and unique roles for eosinophils and IL-­5 in sepsis. Data presented in Chapter 3 provide evidence that isolated




School of Medicine



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