A cell-penetrating peptide developed by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) can prevent, in an animal model, the often-fatal septic shock that can result from bacterial and viral infections. The team’s findings, published online on June 7, 2021 in Scientific Reports, could lead to a way to protect patients at highest risk for severe complications and death from out-of-control inflammatory responses to microbial infections, including COVID-19. The open-access article is titled “Hyperlipidemic Hypersensitivity to Lethal Microbial Inflammation and Its Reversal by Selective Targeting of Nuclear Transport Shuttles.” "Life-threatening microbial inflammation hits harder (in) patients with metabolic syndrome, a condition afflicting millions of people in the United States and worldwide," said the paper's corresponding author, Jacek Hawiger, MD, PhD, the Louise B. McGavock Chair in Medicine and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at VUMC. An international authority on inflammation as the mechanism of multiple diseases, Dr. Hawiger also is Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt and a Health Research Scientist at the Nashville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.
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