Abstract MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of multiple target genes. Dysregulation of miRNAs is common in sepsis. Through microRNA microarray and qRT-PCR we found that the levels of miR-27a, miR-153 and miR-143 are up regulated, while let-7a, miR-218 and miR-129-5p are down regulated in lungs of septic mice. Knocking down of miR-27a down regulates expression levels of TNF-α and IL-6 significantly via reducing the phosphorylation level of NF-κB p65 and inhibiting its DNA binding activity. Furthermore, neutralisation of miR-27a up regulates PPARγ level, down regulates TNF-α expression, relieves pulmonary inflammation and promotes survival of septic mice, which demonstrates that miR-27a plays an important role in regulating inflammatory response in sepsis and provides a potential target for clinical sepsis research and treatment.