Prognostic and Pathogenic Role of Angiopoietin-1 and -2 in Pneumonia

Birgitt Gutbier, Anne-Kathrin Neuhauß, Katrin Reppe, Carolin Ehrler, Ansgar Santel, Jörg Kaufmann, Markus Scholz, Norbert Weissmann, Lars Morawietz, Tim Mitchell, Stefano Aliberti, Stefan Hippenstiel, Norbert Suttorp, Martin Witzenrath, CAPNETZ and PROGRESS study groups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


RATIONALE: During pneumonia, pathogen-host interaction evokes inflammation and lung barrier dysfunction. Tie2-activation by Angiopoietin-1 reduces, while Tie2-blockade by Angiopoietin-2 increases inflammation and permeability during sepsis. The role of Angiopoietin-1/-2 in pneumonia remains unidentified.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prognostic and pathogenetic impact of Angiopoietins in regulating pulmonary vascular barrier function and inflammation in bacterial pneumonia.

METHODS: Serum Angiopoietin levels were quantified in pneumonia patients of two independent cohorts (n=148, n=395). Human post mortem lung tissue, pneumolysin- or Angiopoietin-2-stimulated endothelial cells, isolated perfused and ventilated mouse lungs, and mice with pneumococcal pneumonia were investigated.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: In pneumonia patients, decreased serum Angiopoietin-1 and increased Angiopoietin-2 levels were observed as compared to healthy subjects. Higher Angiopoietin-2 serum levels were found in community-acquired pneumonia patients who died within 28 days after diagnosis compared to survivors. ROC analysis revealed improved prognostic accuracy of CURB-65 for 28-day survival, intensive care treatment and length of hospital stay if combined with Angiopoietin-2 serum levels. In vitro, pneumolysin enhanced endothelial Angiopoietin-2 release, Angiopoietin-2 increased endothelial permeability, and Angiopoietin-1 reduced pneumolysin-evoked endothelial permeability. Ventilated and perfused lungs of mice with Angiopoietin-2-knockdown showed reduced permeability upon pneumolysin stimulation. Increased pulmonary Angiopoietin-2 and reduced Angiopoietin-1 mRNA expression were observed in S. pneumoniae infected mice. Finally, Angiopoietin-1 therapy reduced inflammation and permeability in murine pneumonia.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest a central role of Angiopoietin-1/-2 in pneumonia-evoked inflammation and permeability. Increased Angiopoietin-2 serum levels predicted mortality and length of hospital stay, and Angiopoietin-1 may provide a therapeutic target for severe pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2018


  • streptococcus pneumoniae
  • pneumolysin
  • endothelial permeability
  • ARDS


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