Secreted Frizzled Related Protein 5 (SFRP5) Serum Levels Are Decreased in Critical Illness and Sepsis and Are Associated with Short-Term Mortality
Sepsis is a major health burden with insufficiently understood mechanisms of inflammation and immune paralysis, leading to a life-threatening critical illness. The secreted frizzled related protein 5 (SFRP5) acts as an anti-inflammatory adipokine by antagonizing the Wnt5a pathway. The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of SFRP5 in critical illness and sepsis and to determine its value as a prognostic biomarker for mortality. We analyzed SFRP5 serum concentrations of 223 critically ill patients at admission to a medical intensive care unit (ICU) and compared those to 24 healthy individuals. SFRP5 serum concentrations were significantly decreased in critical illness as compared to healthy controls (24.66 vs. 100 ng/mL, p = 0.029). Even lower serum concentrations were found in septic as compared to nonseptic critically ill patients (19.21 vs. 32.83 ng/mL, p = 0.031). SFRP5 concentrations correlated with liver disease, age, anti-inflammation, and metabolic parameters. Furthermore, patients with sepsis recovered levels of SFRP5 in the first week of ICU treatment. SFRP5 levels at admission predicted short-term mortality in critically ill but not in septic patients. This study points to the role of the anti-inflammatory mediator SFRP5 not only in sepsis but also in nonseptic critically ill patients and associates high levels of SFRP5 to worse outcomes, predominantly in nonseptic critically ill patients.