Cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRP) is a novel sepsis inflammatory mediator and C23 is a putative CIRP competitive inhibitor. Therefore, we hypothesized that C23 can ameliorate sepsis-associated injury to the lungs and kidneys. First, we confirmed that C23 dose-dependently inhibited TNF-α release, IκBα degradation, and NF-κB nuclear translocation in macrophages stimulated with CIRP. Next, we observed that male C57BL/6 mice treated with C23 (8 mg/kg BW) at 2 h after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) had lower serum levels of LDH, ALT, IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β (reduced by ≥39%) at 20 h after CLP compared with mice treated with vehicle. C23-treated mice also had improved lung histology, less TUNEL-positive cells, lower serum levels of creatinine (34%) and BUN (26%), and lower kidney expression of NGAL (50%) and KIM-1 (86%). C23-treated mice also had reduced lung and kidney levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β. E-selectin and ICAM-1 mRNA was significantly lower in C23-treated mice. The 10-day survival after CLP of vehicle-treated mice was 55%, while that of C23-treated mice was 85%. In summary, C23 decreased systemic, lung, and kidney injury and inflammation, and improved the survival rate after CLP, suggesting that it may be developed as a new treatment for sepsis.
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