Inhibition of MicroRNA-23b Attenuates Immunosuppression During Late Sepsis Through NIK, TRAF1, and XIAP

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Background microRNA-23b (miR-23b) is a multiple functional miRNA. We hypothesize that miR-23b plays a role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. Our study investigated the effect of miR-23b on sepsis-induced immunosuppression. Methods Mice were treated with miR-23b inhibitors by tail vein injection 2 days after cecal ligation puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis. Apoptosis in spleens and apoptotic signals were investigated, and survival was monitored. T-cell immunoreactivities were examined during late sepsis. Nuclear factor B (NF-B)-inducing kinase (NIK), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-receptor associated factor 1 (TRAF1), and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), the putative targets of miR-23b, were identified by a dual-luciferase reporter assay. Results miR-23b expression is upregulated and sustained during sepsis. The activation of the TLR4/TLR9/p38 MAPK/STAT3 signal pathway contributes to the production of miR-23b in CLP-induced sepsis. miR-23b inhibitor decreased the number of spleen cells positive by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling and improved survival. miR-23b inhibitor restored the immunoreactivity by alleviating the development of T-cell exhaustion and producing smaller amounts of immunosuppressive interleukin 10 and interleukin 4 during late sepsis. We demonstrated that miR-23b mediated immunosuppression during late sepsis by inhibiting the noncanonical NF-B signal and promoting the proapoptotic signal pathway by targeting NIK, TRAF1, and XIAP. Conclusions Inhibition of miR-23b reduces late-sepsis-induced immunosuppression and improves survival. miR-23b might be a target for immunosuppression.