Molecular rna correlates of the sofa score in patients with sepsis

Agnes S. Meidert, Dominik Buschmann, Florian Brandes, Kristiyan Kanev, Jean Noël Billaud, Melanie Borrmann, Matthias Witte, Benedikt Kirchner, Marlene Reithmair, Michael W. Pfaffl, Gustav Schelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The most common scoring system for critically ill patients is the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score. Little is known about specific molecular signaling networks underlying the SOFA criteria. We characterized these networks and identified specific key regulatory molecules. We prospectively studied seven patients with sepsis and six controls with high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNAseq). Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) confirmation was performed in a second independent cohort. Differentially and significantly expressed miRNAs and their target mRNA transcripts were filtered for admission SOFA criteria and marker RNAs for the respective criteria identified. We bioinformatically constructed molecular signaling networks specifically reflecting these criteria followed by RT-qPCR confirmation of RNAs with important regulatory functions in the networks in the second cohort. RNAseq identified 82 miRNAs (45% upregulated) and 3254 mRNAs (50% upregulated) differentially expressed between sepsis patients and controls. Bioinformatic analysis characterized 6 miRNAs and 76 mRNA target transcripts specific for the SOFA criteria. RT-qPCR validated miRNA and mRNAs included IGFBP2 (respiratory system); MMP9 and PDE4B (nervous system); PPARG (cardiovascular system); AKR1B1, ANXA1, and LNC2/NGAL (acute kidney injury); GFER/ALR (liver); and miR-30c-3p (coagulopathy). There are specific canonical networks underlying the SOFA score. Key regulatory miRNA and mRNA transcripts support its biologic validity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1649
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • High-throughput nucleotide sequencing
  • Messenger RNA
  • Micro RNAs
  • Organ dysfunction scores
  • Sepsis


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