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Purpose: To investigate the effect of echinacoside (ECH) on acute lung injury (ALI) and the underlying mechanism of action.
Methods: The ALI model was established through intranasal instillation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Lung tissue damage was determined using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and lung wet-to-dry–weight ratio. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) protein concentration, cell count, and cytokine level were evaluated. Western blotting was used to determine protein expression level.
Results: ECH attenuated lung tissue injury and lung wet-to-dry–weight ratio in the ALI model (p < 0.01). The total protein content and number of total cells, neutrophils, and macrophages increased in BALF of mice treated with LPS, but these increases were reversed by ECH treatment (p < 0.01). The levels of TNF-α and IL-1β increased in BALF and lung tissue of LPS-treated mice; however, ECH treatment decreased these changes (p < 0.01). In addition, ECH inhibited the activation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)/NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) pathway in LPS-treated mice (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Echinacoside attenuates LPS-induced ALI via inactivation of the NF-κB/NLRP3 pathway, making echinacoside a potential drug for the treatment of ALI.
Keywords: Echinacoside, Acute lung injury, Lipopolysaccharide, Nuclear factor-κB, NLR family pyrin domain containing 3