Nucleic-acid based gene therapy approaches for sepsis

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Despite advances in overall medical care, sepsis and its sequelae continue to be an embarrassing clinical entity with an unacceptably high mortality rate. The central reason for high morbidity and high mortality of sepsis and its sequelae is the lack of an effective treatment. Previous clinical trials have largely failed to identify an effective therapeutic target to improve clinical outcomes in sepsis. Thus, the key goal favoring the outcome of septic patients is to devise innovative and evolutionary therapeutic strategies. Gene therapy can be considered as one of the most promising novel therapeutic approaches for nasty disorders. Since a number of transcription factors, such as nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1), play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of sepsis that can be characterized by the induction of multiple genes and their products, sepsis may be regarded as a gene-related disorder and gene therapy may be considered a promising novel therapeutic approach for treatment of sepsis. In this review article, we provide an up-to-date summary of the gene-targeting approaches, which have been developed in animal models of sepsis. Our review sheds light on the molecular basis of sepsis pathology for the development of novel gene therapy approaches and leads to the conclusion that future research efforts may fully take into account gene therapy for the treatment of sepsis.

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