BACKGROUND Sepsis is an extremely common health issue with a considerable mortality rate in children. Our understanding about the pathogenic mechanisms of sepsis is limited. The aim of this study was to identify the differential expression genes (DEGs) in pediatric sepsis through comprehensive analysis, and to provide specific insights for the clinical sepsis therapies in children. MATERIAL AND METHODS Three pediatric gene expression profiles (GSE25504, GSE26378, GSE26440) were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The difference expression genes (DEGs) between pediatric sepsis and normal control group were screened with the GEO2R online tool. The Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses of the DEGs were performed. Cytoscape with CytoHubba were used to identify the hub genes. Finally, NetworkAnalyst was used to construct the targeted microRNAs (miRNAs) of the hub genes. RESULTS Totally, 160 overlapping upward genes and 61 downward genes were identified. In addition, 5 KEGG pathways, including hematopoietic cell lineage, Staphylococcus aureus infection, starch and sucrose metabolism, osteoclast differentiation, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling pathway, were significantly enriched using a database for labeling, visualization, and synthetic discovery. In combination with the results of the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and CytoHubba, 9 hub genes including ITGAM, TLR8, IL1ß, MMP9, MPO, FPR2, ELANE, SPI1, and C3AR1 were selected. Combined with DEG-miRNAs visualization, 5 miRNAs, including has-miR-204-5p, has-miR-211-5p, has-miR-590-5p, and has-miR-21-5p, were predicted as possibly the key miRNAs. CONCLUSIONS Our findings will contribute to identification of potential biomarkers and novel strategies for pediatric sepsis treatment.

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