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The extent of non-coding RNA alterations in patients with sepsis and their relationship to clinical characteristics, soluble mediators of the host response to infection, as well as an advocated in vivo model of acute systemic inflammation is unknown. Here we obtained whole blood from 156 patients with sepsis and 82 healthy subjects among whom eight were challenged with lipopolysaccharide in a clinically controlled setting (human endotoxemia). Via next-generation microarray analysis of leukocyte RNA we found that long non-coding RNA and, to a lesser extent, small non-coding RNA were significantly altered in sepsis relative to health. Long non-coding RNA expression, but not small non-coding RNA, was largely recapitulated in human endotoxemia. Integrating RNA profiles and plasma protein levels revealed known as well as previously unobserved pathways, including non-sensory olfactory receptor activity. We provide a benchmark dissection of the blood leukocyte 'regulome' that can facilitate prioritization of future functional studies.

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Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine, Amsterdam Infection & Immunity, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Molecular Diagnosis and Risk Stratification in Sepsis (MARS) consortium, Leukocytes, Humans, Sepsis, Endotoxemia, Critical Illness, RNA, Untranslated, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Case-Control Studies, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Transcriptome