Histone deacetylase III as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of lethal sepsis

Ting Zhao, Yongqing Li, Baoling Liu, Roderick T. Bronson, Ihab Halaweish, Hasan B. Alam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: We have recently demonstrated that inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) Class I, II, and IV with nonspecific HDAC inhibitors improves survival in a mouse model of lethal cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). However, the consequence of HDAC Class III inhibition is unknown in this model. The aims of the present study were to explore the effect of EX-527, a selective Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) inhibitor, on survival in the lethal model of CLP-sepsis and to assess the impact of the treatment on inflammatory cytokine production, coagulopathy, and bone marrow atrophy during severe sepsis.

Methods: For Experiment I, C57BL/6J mice were subjected to CLP and, 1 hour later, intraperitoneally injected with either EX-527 dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or DMSO only. Survival was monitored for 10 days. For Experiment II, 1 hour after CLP animals were randomly treated with (1) DMSO vehicle and (2) EX-527. Peritoneal fluid and blood samples were collected for measurement of cytokines, and blood was also used to evaluate coagulation status using thrombelastography. In addition, long bones (femurs and tibias) were examined to determine morphologic changes in the marrow by hematoxylin and eosin staining. For Experiment III, normal primary splenocytes were cultured and treated with lipopolysaccharide in the presence or absence of EX-527 to assess cytokine production.

Results: EX-527 significantly improved survival (50% vs. 0% survival as compared to vehicle, p = 0.0007) and attenuated levels of cytokines tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6 in the blood and the peritoneal fluid compared with the vehicle control. It also decreased tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6 production by splenocytes in vitro. Selective inhibition of SIRT1 was associated with significant improvements in fibrin cross-linkage, platelet function, and clot rigidity but had no significant impact on the clot initiation parameters. Moreover, inhibition of SIRT1 was associated with a significant decrease in bone marrow atrophy.

Conclusion: Selective inhibition of Class III HDAC SIRT1 significantly improves survival, attenuates cytokine levels and sepsis-associated coagulopathy, and decreases bone marrow atrophy in a lethal mouse septic model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-919
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 11 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • EX-527
  • Mice
  • SIRT1
  • Sepsis
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery


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