Sepsis and septic shock are associated with acute and sustained impairment in the function of the cardiovascular system, kidneys, lungs, liver, and brain, among others. Despite the significant advances in prevention and treatment, sepsis and septic shock sepsis remain global health problems with elevated mortality rates. Rho proteins can interact with a considerable number of targets, directly affecting cellular contractility, actin filament assembly and growing, cell motility and migration, cytoskeleton rearrangement, and actin polymerization, physiological functions that are intensively impaired during inflammatory conditions, such as the one that occurs in sepsis. In the last few decades, Rho proteins and their downstream pathways have been investigated in sepsis-associated experimental models. The most frequently used experimental design included the exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in both in vitro and in vivo approaches, but experiments using the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of sepsis have also been performed. The findings described in this review indicate that Rho proteins, mainly RhoA and Rac1, are associated with the development of crucial sepsis-associated dysfunction in different systems and cells, including the endothelium, vessels, and heart. Notably, the data found in the literature suggest that either the inhibition or activation of Rho proteins and associated pathways might be desirable in sepsis and septic shock, accordingly with the cellular system evaluated. This review included the main findings, relevance, and limitations of the current knowledge connecting Rho proteins and sepsis-associated experimental models.
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