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Sepsis Impairs Purkinje Cell Functions and Motor Behaviors Through Microglia Activation

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A Correction to this article was published on 24 February 2023

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The most common clinical manifestation of sepsis-related encephalopathy (SAE) is the deterioration of cognitive function. Besides, increasing evidence shows that SAE patients exhibit coordination and sensorimotor dysfunctions, suggesting that SAE affects motor function with unclear mechanism. In the present work, we explored the effects of SAE on cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) using cecal ligation and perforation (CLP), a standard model for inducing sepsis symptoms similar to those in human patients. Our results show that the sepsis can activate microglia in the cerebellum and promote the secretion of inflammatory factor TNF-α, which increases intrinsic excitability and synaptic transmission of PCs, inhibits the synaptic plasticity of PCs, and impairs motor learning of mice. These findings address how SAE changes PC functions, and thereby are of great significance to reveal pathophysiological feathers of human patients suffering from SAE.

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Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Change history



Artificial cerebrospinal fluid


Blood-brain barrier


Climbing fiber


Cecal ligation and perforation


Central nervous system


Colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor


Excitatory postsynaptic current


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


γ-Aminobutyric acid


Long-term depression


Long-term potentiation


Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents


Optokinetic reflex


Purkinje cell


Parallel fiber


Paired-pulse facilitation


Room temperature


Sepsis-related encephalopathy


Tumor necrosis factor


Vestibulo-ocular reflex


Visually-enhanced VOR


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This work was supported by the grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81971874 to LDS).

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Authors and Affiliations



Y.S. and L.-D.S. wrote the main manuscript text and Y.Z. and J.Y. prepared Figs. 1–4. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ying Shen or Li-Da Su.

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All animal experiments were carried out in strict compliance with protocols approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee at Zhejiang University School of Medicine.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Zhao, Y., Jiang, Y., Shen, Y. et al. Sepsis Impairs Purkinje Cell Functions and Motor Behaviors Through Microglia Activation. Cerebellum (2023).

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