Jeffery Ho 1 , Hung Chan 1 , Sunny H. Wong , 2 , 3 , Maggie H. T. Wang 4 , Jun Yu 2 , 3 , Zhangang Xiao 5 , Xiaodong Liu 1 , Gordon Choi 1 , Czarina C. H. Leung 1 , Wai T. Wong 1 , Zheng Li 6 , Tony Gin 1 , Matthew T. V. Chan , 1 , William K. K. Wu , 1 , 2
28 November 2016
Sepsis coincides with altered gene expression in different tissues. Accumulating evidence has suggested that microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and circular RNAs are important molecules involved in the crosstalk with various pathways pertinent to innate immunity, mitochondrial functions, and apoptosis.
We searched articles indexed in PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE and Europe PubMed Central databases using the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) or Title/Abstract words (“microRNA”, “long non-coding RNA”, “circular RNA”, “sepsis” and/or “septic shock”) from inception to Sep 2016. Studies investigating the role of host-derived microRNA, long non-coding RNA, and circular RNA in the pathogenesis of and as biomarkers or therapeutics in sepsis were included. Data were extracted in terms of the role of non-coding RNAs in pathogenesis, and their applicability for use as biomarkers or therapeutics in sepsis. Two independent researchers assessed the quality of studies using a modified guideline from the Systematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation (SYRCLE), a tool based on the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias tool.
Observational studies revealed dysregulation of non-coding RNAs in septic patients. Experimental studies confirmed their crosstalk with JNK/NF-κB and other cellular pathways pertinent to innate immunity, mitochondrial function, and apoptosis. Of the included studies, the SYRCLE scores ranged from 3 to 7 (average score of 4.55). This suggests a moderate risk of bias. Of the 10 articles investigating non-coding RNAs as biomarkers, none of them included a validation cohort. Selective reporting of sensitivity, specificity, and receiver operating curve was common.
Although non-coding RNAs appear to be good candidates as biomarkers and therapeutics for sepsis, their differential expression across tissues complicated the process. Further investigation on organ-specific delivery of these regulatory molecules may be useful.