Background. MicroRNAs (miRs) are a class of short RNA molecules, which negatively regulate gene expression. The levels of circulating miR-15 family members are elevated in septic patients and may be associated with septic death. This study investigated whether inhibition of miR-195, a member of the miR-15 family, provided beneficial effects in sepsis.
Methods and Results. Sepsis was induced by injection of feces into the peritoneum in mice. miR-195 was upregulated in the lung and liver of septic mice. Silencing of miR-195 increased the protein levels of BCL-2, Sirt1, and Pim-1; prevented apoptosis; reduced liver and lung injury; and improved the survival in septic mice. Silencing of miR-195 provided similar protection in lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxemic mice. In endothelial cells, upregulation of miR-195 induced apoptosis, and inhibition of miR-195 prevented lipopolysaccharide-induced apoptosis. miR-195 repressed expression of its protein targets, BCL-2, Sirt1, and Pim-1. Furthermore, overexpression of Pim-1 prevented apoptosis induced by lipopolysaccharide and miR-195 mimic. Inhibition of Pim-1 attenuated the protective effects of miR-195 silencing in septic mice.
Conclusions. Silencing of miR-195 reduced multiple-organ injury and improved the survival in sepsis, and the protective effects of miR-195 inhibition were associated with upregulation of Bcl-2, Sirt1, and Pim-1. Thus, inhibition of miR-195 may represent a new therapeutic approach for sepsis.