Novel aspects of sepsis pathophysiology: NETs, plasma glycoproteins, endotheliopathy and COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In 2016, sepsis was newly defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Sepsis remains one of the crucial medical problems to be solved worldwide. Although the world health organization has made sepsis a global health priority, there remain no specific and effective therapy for sepsis so far. Indeed, over the previous decades almost all attempts to develop novel drugs have failed. This may be partly ascribable to the multifactorial complexity of the septic cascade and the resultant difficulties of identifying drug targets. In addition, there might still be missing links among dysregulated host responses in vital organs. In this review article, recent advances in understanding of the complex pathophysiology of sepsis are summarized, with a focus on neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), the significant role of NETs in thrombosis/embolism, and the functional roles of plasma proteins, histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) and inter-alpha-inhibitor proteins (IAIPs). The specific plasma proteins that are markedly decreased in the acute phase of sepsis may play important roles in the regulation of blood cells, vascular endothelial cells and coagulation. The accumulating evidence may provide us with insights into a novel aspect of the pathophysiology of sepsis and septic ARDS, including that in COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Endotheliopathy
  • Histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG)
  • Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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