Inhibition of microRNA-23b Prevents Polymicrobial Sepsis-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction by Modulating TGIF1 and PTEN

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Cardiovascular dysfunction is a major complication associated with sepsis induced mortality. Cardiac fibrosis plays a critical role in sepsis induced cardiac dysfunction. The mechanisms of the activation of cardiac fibrosis is unclarified. In this study, we found that microRNA-23b (miR-23b) was up-regulated in heart tissue during cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis and transfection of miR-23b inhibitor improved survival in late sepsis. Inhibition of miR-23b in the myocardium protected against cardiac output and enhanced left ventricular systolic function. miR-23b inhibitor also alleviated cardiac fibrosis in late sepsis. MiR-23b mediates the activation of TGF-β1/Smad2/3 signaling to promote the differentiation of cardiac fibroblasts through suppression of 5′TG3′-interacting factor 1 (TGIF1). MiR-23b also induces AKT/N-Cadherin signaling to contribute to the deposition of extracellular matrix by inhibiting phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN). TGIF1 and PTEN were confirmed as the targets of miR-23b in vitro by Dual-Glo Luciferase assay. miR-23b inhibitor blocked the activation of adhesive molecules and restored the imbalance of pro-fibrotic and anti-fibrotic factors. These data provide direct evidence that miR-23b is a critical contributor to the activation of cardiac fibrosis to mediate the development of myocardial dysfunction in late sepsis. Blockade of miR-23b expression may be an effective approach for prevention sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction.