Open Access Open Badges Research article

Transcriptomic analysis of peritoneal cells in a mouse model of sepsis: confirmatory and novel results in early and late sepsis

Minny Bhatty1, Ruping Fan2, William M Muir3, Stephen B Pruett12* and Bindu Nanduri1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA

2 Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA

3 Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

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BMC Genomics 2012, 13:509  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-509

Published: 25 September 2012



The events leading to sepsis start with an invasive infection of a primary organ of the body followed by an overwhelming systemic response. Intra-abdominal infections are the second most common cause of sepsis. Peritoneal fluid is the primary site of infection in these cases. A microarray-based approach was used to study the temporal changes in cells from the peritoneal cavity of septic mice and to identify potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for this subset of sepsis patients.


We conducted microarray analysis of the peritoneal cells of mice infected with a non-pathogenic strain of Escherichia coli. Differentially expressed genes were identified at two early (1 h, 2 h) and one late time point (18 h). A multiplexed bead array analysis was used to confirm protein expression for several cytokines which showed differential expression at different time points based on the microarray data. Gene Ontology based hypothesis testing identified a positive bias of differentially expressed genes associated with cellular development and cell death at 2 h and 18 h respectively. Most differentially expressed genes common to all 3 time points had an immune response related function, consistent with the observation that a few bacteria are still present at 18 h.


Transcriptional regulators like PLAGL2, EBF1, TCF7, KLF10 and SBNO2, previously not described in sepsis, are differentially expressed at early and late time points. Expression pattern for key biomarkers in this study is similar to that reported in human sepsis, indicating the suitability of this model for future studies of sepsis, and the observed differences in gene expression suggest species differences or differences in the response of blood leukocytes and peritoneal leukocytes.

Intra-abdominal sepsis; Microarray; Peritoneal leukocytes