King's College London

Research portal

Endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response in skeletal muscle of subjects suffering from peritoneal sepsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Uta Barbara Metzing, Christian von Loeffelholz, Ricardo Steidl, Bernd Romeike, René Winkler, Falk Rauchfuß, Utz Settmacher, Christian Stoppe, Sina M. Coldewey, Claudia Weinmann, Martin O. Weickert, Ralf A. Claus, Andreas L. Birkenfeld, Christian Kosan, Paul Horn

Original languageEnglish
Article number504
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date11 Jan 2022
Accepted/In press23 Dec 2021
E-pub ahead of print11 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This study has been supported by DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center/Transregio 124 FungiNet (Project C5 to CvL). Funding Information: We thankfully acknowledge financial support by the interdisciplinary center for clinical research (IZKF) Jena (M.D.-Fellowship to PH and U.B. Schaller. Rotational position the Center for Sepsis Control and Care Jena (CSCC, rotational position to PH and CVL). We further thankfully acknowledge financial support by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the Centre for Innovation Competence Septomics (Translational Septomics, grant 03Z22JN12 to SMC). Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

King's Authors


We provide a descriptive characterization of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in skeletal muscle of human patients with peritoneal sepsis and a sepsis model of C57BL/6J mice. Patients undergoing open surgery were included in a cross-sectional study and blood and skeletal muscle samples were taken. Key markers of the UPR and cluster of differentiation 68 (CD68) as surrogate of inflammatory injury were evaluated by real-time PCR and histochemical staining. CD68 mRNA increased with sepsis in skeletal muscle of patients and animals (p < 0.05). Mainly the inositol-requiring enzyme 1α branch of the UPR was upregulated as shown by elevated X-box binding-protein 1 (XBP1u) and its spliced isoform (XBP1s) mRNA (p < 0.05, respectively). Increased expression of Gadd34 indicated activation of PRKR-Like Endoplasmic Reticulum Kinase (PERK) branch of the UPR, and was only observed in mice (p < 0.001) but not human study subjects. Selected cell death signals were upregulated in human and murine muscle, demonstrated by increased bcl-2 associated X protein mRNA and TUNEL staining (p < 0.05). In conclusion we provide a first characterization of the UPR in skeletal muscle in human sepsis.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454