Inhibition of histone deacetylase 6 improves long-term survival in a lethal septic model

Yongqing Li*, Ting Zhao, Baoling Liu, Ihab Halaweish, Ralph Mazitschek, Xiuzhen Duan, Hasan B. Alam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: We recently demonstrated that suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, a broad-spectrum histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor that inhibits HDACs 1, 2, 3, and 6, improves survival in a mouse model of cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced lethal sepsis. The current study was undertaken to determine the effect of selective inhibition of HDAC isoform on survival, key cytokine production, organ injury, bacteria clearance, and cell apoptosis. Methods: In Experiment 1, C57BL/6J mice were subjected to CLP and, 1 hour later, given intraperitoneal injections of (1) Tubastatin A (inhibitor of HDAC6) dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), (2) MS-275 (inhibitor of HDACs 1, 2, and 3) in DMSO, and (3) DMSO only. Survivalwas monitored for 10 days. In Experiment 2, 1 hour after CLP, animalswere treated with DMSOvehicle or Tubastatin A. Shamoperated animals served as control. Peritoneal fluid and blood samples were collected for measurement of cytokines at 24 hours or 48 hours. Blood at 48 hourswas also used to determine bacteria load. Liverwas harvested to evaluate acute liver injury. In Experiment 3, Primary splenocytes were used to assess cytokine responses and phagocytosis. Macrophages were cultured and harvested 3 hours and 6 hours after lipopolysaccharide stimulation in the absence or presence of Tubastatin A to analyze cell apoptosis. Results: Animals treated with Tubastatin A, but not MS-275, displayed a significant improvement in survival. Moreover, Tubastatin A significantly inhibited cytokine production in peritoneal fluid and plasma as well as in supernatant from splenocytes stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. Tubastatin A significantly attenuated acute liver injury, increased blood bacteria clearance and splenocyte phagocytosis, and decreased macrophage apoptosis. Conclusion: HDAC6 inhibition significantly improves survival, reduces "cytokine storm," attenuates acute livery injury, increases bacteria clearance and immune cell phagocytosis, and inhibits macrophage apoptosis in a lethal mouse CLP model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-385
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute liver injury
  • Bacteria clearance
  • HDAC6
  • Mice
  • Septic shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery


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