The effect of continuous intravenous norepinephrine infusion on systemic hemodynamics in a telemetrically-monitored mouse model of sepsis

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 11;17(8):e0271667. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271667. eCollection 2022.


Sepsis, a life-threatening organ dysfunction, results from dysregulated host responses to infection and still has a high incidence and mortality. Although administration of vasopressors to treat septic shock is standard of care, the benefits are not well established. We evaluated the effect of continuous intravenous norepinephrine infusion in a septic cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) mouse model, evaluating systemic hemodynamics and body temperature post-hoc. CLP surgery significantly decreased mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart rate, and body temperature within six hours. Continuous norepinephrine infusion (NE+, n = 12) started at the time of CLP surgery significantly increased MAP at 24 and 30 hours and heart rate at 6, 18, 24, and 30 hours after CLP vs CLP alone (NE-, n = 12). However, addition of norepinephrine did not improve survival rate (NE+ n = 34, NE- n = 31). Early (6 hours or earlier, when the animal became visibly sick) MAP did not predict 7-day mortality. However, heart rates at 3 and at 6 hours after CLP/norepinephrine (NE+) were highly predictive of mortality, as also been found in one clinical study. We conclude that limited hemodynamic support can be provided in a mouse sepsis model. We propose that heart rate can be used to stratify severity of illness in rodent preclinical studies of sepsis therapeutics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hemodynamics
  • Mice
  • Norepinephrine / therapeutic use
  • Sepsis*
  • Shock, Septic* / complications
  • Shock, Septic* / drug therapy


  • Norepinephrine

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.