Molecular Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 5–6, pp 327–336 | Cite as

Molecular Events in the Cardiomyopathy of Sepsis

  • Michael A. Flierl
  • Daniel Rittirsch
  • Markus S. Huber-Lang
  • J. Vidya Sarma
  • Peter A. Ward
Review Article


Septic cardiomyopathy is a well-described complication of severe sepsis and septic shock. However, the interplay of its underlying mechanisms remains enigmatic. Consequently, we constantly add to our pathophysiological understanding of septic cardiomyopathy. Various cardiosuppressive mediators have been discovered, as have multiple molecular mechanisms (alterations of myocardial calcium homeostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, and myocardial apoptosis) that may be involved in myocardial dysfunction during sepsis. Finally, the detrimental roles of nitric oxide and peroxynitrite have been unraveled. Here, we describe our present understanding of systemic, supracellular, and cellular molecular mechanisms involved in sepsis-induced myocardial suppression.



We are indebted to Robin Kunkel for her excellent assistance in the composition of the illustrations. We also thank Beverly Schumann and Sue Scott for their assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.

This study was supported by NIH grants GM29507, GM61656, and HL-31963 (P.A.W.) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grants DFG HU 823/2-2 and HU 823/2-3 (M.H.-L).


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Copyright information

© Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Flierl
    • 1
  • Daniel Rittirsch
    • 1
  • Markus S. Huber-Lang
    • 2
  • J. Vidya Sarma
    • 1
  • Peter A. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe University of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity of Ulm Medical SchoolUlmGermany

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