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Sex-specific differences in plasma levels of FXII, HK, and FXIIa-C1-esterase inhibitor complexes in community acquired pneumonia
American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology  (IF5.464),  Pub Date : 2021-07-28, DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00162.2021
Kristin Ehrlich, Jochen Wilhelm, Philipp Markart, Heike Weisser, Jens-Christian Wolff, Gregor Bein, Oleg Pak, Guillermo Barreto, Norbert Weissmann, Fabian Schramm, Werner Seeger, Liliana Schaefer, Wolfgang M. Kuebler, Malgorzata Wygrecka, CAPNETZ Study Group

Sex-dependent differences in immunity and coagulation play an active role in the outcome of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Contact phase proteins act at the crossroads between inflammation and coagulation thus representing a point of convergence in host defense against infection. Here, we measured the levels of factor XII (FXII), FXIIa-C1 esterase inhibitor (C1INH) complexes, and high molecular weight kininogen (HK) in plasma of CAP patients and correlated them to clinical disease severity. Levels of FXIIa-C1INH/albumin ratio were elevated, irrespective of sex, in plasma of CAP patients (n=139) as compared to age-matched donors (n=58). No simultaneous decrease in FXII levels, indicating its consumption, was observed. Stratification by sex revealed augmented FXII levels in plasma of CAP women as compared to sex-matched donors yet no apparent differences in men. This sex-specific effect was, however, attributable to lower FXII levels in female donors relative to men donors. Plasma estradiol levels mirrored those for FXII. Levels of HK/albumin ratio were decreased in CAP plasma as compared to donors, however, after stratification by sex, this difference was only observed in women and was related to higher HK/albumin values in female donors as opposed to male donors. Finally, strong negative correlation between plasma levels of HK/albumin ratio and CAP severity, as assessed by CRB65 score, in males and females was observed. Our study identifies sex-dependent differences in plasma levels of the contact phase proteins in elderly subjects that may contribute to specific clinical outcomes in CAP between men and women.