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posted on 09.05.2022, 04:05 authored by Yaojun Peng, Qiyan Wu, Qing Zhou, Zhanglin Yang, Fan Yin, Lingxiong Wang, Qi Chen, Cong Feng, Xuewen Ren, Tianyi Liu

Severe trauma and sepsis can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, which is a leading cause of death in intensive care units with mortality rates in excess of 50%. In addition to infection, the degree of immuno-inflammatory response also influences the outcome. The genomic changes observed after a variety of pathophysiological insults, such as trauma, sepsis, burns are similar, and consist of innate immune activation and adaptive immunity suppression. However, the characteristics of the shared mechanisms of aforementioned critical illnesses and the clinical relevance remain less explored. In the present study, we performed a data analysis to identify functional genes concurrently involved in critical illnesses across differing etiologies (trauma and sepsis derived from community-acquired pneumonia/abdominal source) and explored the shared signaling pathways these common genes involved in to gain insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms. A number of immune-related biological functions were found to be dysregulated in both trauma and sepsis in the present study, so we continued to identify immune-related common genes, profiled the immune cell proportion, and explored the relationships between them. The diagnostic and prognostic value of the immune-related common genes was also evaluated to address their potential clinical utilization as novel biomarkers. Notably, we identified a list of 14 immune-related genes concurrently dysregulated in trauma and sepsis showing favorable diagnostic value, among which S100P can predict prognosis of sepsis patients. Moreover, a spectrum of immune cell subsets including naïve B cells, CD8+ T cells, CD4+ memory resting T cells, activated NK cells, resting dendritic cells, plasma cells, Tregs, macrophages M0 and macrophages M1 was found to be concurrently dysregulated in both trauma and sepsis, and a close relation between above identified immune-related genes and immune cell subsets was observed. Our data-driven findings lay a foundation for future research to elucidate the pathophysiology regarding the aspect of inflammatory and immune response in critical illnesses, and suggest future studies focus on interpreting the function roles of the identified immune-related genes, as well as the reactive immune cell subsets.

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