Background: Neonatal sepsis is a serious and difficult-to-diagnose systemic infectious
disease occurring during the neonatal period.
Objective: This study aimed to identify potential biomarkers of neonatal sepsis and explore its
Methods: We downloaded the neonatal sepsis-related gene profile GSE25504 from the NCBI Gene
Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The differentially expressed RNAs (DERs) were screened
and identified using LIMMA. Then, the functions of the DERs were evaluated using Gene
Ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses.
Finally, a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network was constructed and functional analyses
Results: The initial screening identified 444 differentially expressed (DE)-mRNAs and 45 DElncRNAs.
GO analysis showed that these DE-mRNAs were involved in immune response, defense
response, and positive regulation of immune system process. KEGG analysis showed that these
DE-mRNAs were enriched in 30 activated pathways and 6 suppressed pathways, and those with
the highest scores were the IL-17 signaling pathway and ribosome. Next, 722 miRNAs associated
with the identified lncRNAs were predicted using miRWalk. A ceRNA network was constructed
that included 6 lncRNAs, 11 mRNAs, and 55 miRNAs. In this network, HCP5, LINC00638, XIST
and TP53TG1 were hub nodes. Functional analysis of this network identified some essential immune
functions, hematopoietic functions, osteoclast differentiation, and primary immunodeficiency as
associated with neonatal sepsis.
Conclusion: HCP5, LINC00638, TP53TG1, ST20-AS1, and SERPINB9P1 may be potential
biomarkers of neonatal sepsis and may be useful for rapid diagnosis; the biological process of the
immune response was related to neonatal sepsis.