The intention of this review is to give a brief overview of the continuously expanding field of sepsis therapy based on recent studies with animal models and clinical trials. Over the past few years, it has become apparent that the mechanisms controlling this disease are more complex than was previously thought, with factors such as free radicals, nuclear factors, and enzyme co-factors all contributing in the control of the pathogenesis of sepsis as well and improvements in the morbidity. Recent advances at the molecular biology level have facilitated the development of a whole new field of research. In addition, a number of groups have also shown that free radicals can modulate the expression of several genes. Probably an effect that is due to an interaction between free radicals and transcription factors. Further elucidation of the signals that influence the production and actions of free radicals will, without doubt, further our understanding of the numerous pathophysiological processes involved in sepsis. For these reasons, there is considerable interest in alternative treatment modalities which focus on recent animal studies. These recent experimental approaches to the therapy of sepsis are discussed in light of each step in the complex inflammatory cascade involved and compared to traditional approaches to the prevention and therapy of sepsis and septic shock.
Keywords: hydrocortisone, L-NMMA, cytokine modulation, NOS inhibitors, Antioxidants
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