Soluble Neuropilin-1 Is Elevated in Sepsis and Correlates with Organ Dysfunction and Long-Term Mortality in Critical Illness

Philipp Hohlstein, Eileen Schumacher, Samira Abu Jhaisha, Jule K. Adams, Maike R. Pollmanns, Carolin V. Schneider, Karim Hamesch, Katarina Horvathova, Theresa H. Wirtz, Frank Tacke, Christian Trautwein, Ralf Weiskirchen, Alexander Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Critical illness and sepsis may cause organ failure and are recognized as mortality drivers in hospitalized patients. Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) is a multifaceted transmembrane protein involved in the primary immune response and is expressed in immune cells such as T and dendritic cells. The soluble form of NRP-1 (sNRP-1) acts as an antagonist to NRP-1 by scavenging its ligands. The aim of this study was to determine the value of sNRP-1 as a biomarker in critical illness and sepsis. We enrolled 180 critically ill patients admitted to a medical intensive care unit and measured serum sNRP-1 concentrations at admission, comparing them to 48 healthy individuals. Critically ill and septic patients showed higher levels of sNRP-1 compared to healthy controls (median of 2.47 vs. 1.70 nmol/L, p < 0.001). Moreover, sNRP-1 was also elevated in patients with sepsis compared to other critical illness (2.60 vs. 2.13 nmol/L, p = 0.01), irrespective of disease severity or organ failure. In critically ill patients, sNRP-1 is positively correlated with markers of kidney and hepatic dysfunction. Most notably, critically ill patients not surviving in the long term (one year after admission) showed higher concentrations of sNRP-1 at the time of ICU admission (p = 0.036), with this association being dependent on the presence of organ failure. Critically ill and septic patients exhibit higher serum concentrations of circulating sNRP-1, which correlates to organ failure, particularly hepatic and kidney dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5438
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Neuropilin-1
  • critical illness
  • human
  • immune system
  • inflammation
  • intensive care unit
  • mortality
  • prognosis
  • sepsis
  • survival


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