The Toll-Like Receptor 9 Ligand, CpG Oligodeoxynucleotide, Attenuates Cardiac Dysfunction in Polymicrobial Sepsis, Involving Activation of Both Phosphoinositide 3 Kinase/AKT and Extracellular-Signal-Related Kinase Signaling

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Background. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a role in the pathophysiology of sepsis and multiple organ failure. This study examined the effect of CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG-ODN), the TLR9 ligand, on polymicrobial sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction.Methods. Male C57BL/6 mice were treated with CpG-ODN, control CpG-ODN (control-ODN), or inhibitory CpG-ODN (iCpG-ODN) 1 hour prior to cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis. Mice that underwent sham surgery served as sham controls. Cardiac function was examined by echocardiography before and 6 hours after CLP.Results. Cardiac function was significantly decreased 6 hours after CLP. CpG-ODN prevented CLP-induced cardiac dysfunction, as evidenced by maintenance of the ejection fraction and fractional shortening. Control-ODN or iCpG-ODN did not alter CLP-induced cardiac dysfunction. CpG-ODN significantly attenuated CLP-induced myocardial apoptosis and increased myocardial Akt and extracellular-signal-related kinase (ERK) phosphorylation levels following CLP. In vitro experiments demonstrated that CpG-ODN promotes an association between TLR9 and Ras, resulting in Akt and ERK phosphorylation. Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) by Ly294002 or inhibition of ERK by U0126 in vivo abolished CpG-ODN attenuation of CLP-induced cardiac dysfunction.Conclusions. CpG-ODN prevents CLP-induced cardiac dysfunction, in part through activation of PI3K/Akt and ERK signaling. Modulation of TLR9 could be an effective approach for treatment of cardiovascular dysfunction in patients with sepsis or septic shock.