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ADAR1 was activated in intestinal tissue of septic mice.ADAR1 suppressed the levels of inflammation in sepsis in vitro and in vivo.ADAR1 protected the small intestine against injury caused by sepsis.ADAR1 improved survival of septic mice.Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1), a double-stranded RNA-editing enzyme that converts adenosine (A) to inosine (I), has been identified as a modulator of immune responses. However, the role of ADAR1 in small intestinal homeostasis during sepsis remains unclear. In this study, we examined the role of ADAR1 on intestinal inflammation in a murine model of sepsis. We found that ADAR1 was highly expressed in “septic” macrophages and small intestinal tissue of septic mice. Deletion of ADAR1 in “septic” macrophages led to rapid apoptosis. In addition, suppression of ADAR1 in “septic” macrophages significantly enhanced inflammation, while over-expression of ADAR1 significantly suppressed the level of inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, suppression of ADAR1 in septic mice significantly enhanced inflammation and intestinal damage, while enhanced ADAR1 expression resulted in reduced damage and inflammation. Finally, over-expression of ADAR1 improved survival of septic mice. In conclusion, we have identified a novel ADAR1 protective effect for maintaining intestinal homeostasis. Our findings may provide a new targeted therapy for sepsis treatment.