Once a patient is in septic shock, survival rates drop by 7.6% for every hour of delay in antibiotic therapy. Biomarkers based on the molecular mechanism of sepsis are important for timely diagnosis and triage. Here, we study the potential roles of a panel of cellular and viral miRNAs as sepsis biomarkers. We performed genome-wide microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling in leukocytes from septic patients and nonseptic controls, combined with quantitative RT-PCR in plasmas from two cohorts of septic patients, two cohorts of nonseptic surgical patients and healthy volunteers. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, miRNA transfection and chromatin immunoprecipitation were used to study the effects of Kaposi sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV) miRNAs on interleukin's secretion. Differences related to sepsis etiology were noted for plasma levels of 10 cellular and 2 KSHV miRNAs (miR-K-10b and miR-K-12-12∗) between septic and nonseptic patients. All the sepsis groups had high KSHV miRNAs levels compared with controls; Afro-American patients had higher levels of KSHV-miR-K12-12∗ than non-Afro-American patients. Both KSHV miRNAs were increased on postoperative day 1, but returned to baseline on day 7; they acted as direct agonists of Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8), which might explain the increased secretion of the IL-6 and IL-10. Cellular and KSHV miRNAs are differentially expressed in sepsis and early postsurgical patients and may be exploited for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Increased miR-K-10b and miR-K12-12∗ are functionally involved in sepsis as agonists of TLR8, forming a positive feedback that may lead to cytokine dysregulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience