Betulinic acid attenuates lung injury by modulation of inflammatory cytokine response in experimentally-induced polymicrobial sepsis in mice.

PMID 25277468


Sepsis commonly progresses to acute lung injury (ALI), an inflammatory lung disease with high morbidity and mortality. Septic ALI is characterized by excessive production of proinflammatory mediators. It remained refractory to present therapies and new therapies need to be developed to improve further clinical outcomes. Betulinic acid (BA), a pentacyclic lupane group triterpenoid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activities in many studies. However, its therapeutic efficacy in polymicrobial septic ALI is yet unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effects of BA on septic ALI using cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model in mice. Vehicle or BA (3, 10, and 30mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally, 3 times (0, 24 and 48h) before CLP and CLP was done on 49(th)h of the study. Survival rate was observed till 120h post CLP. Lung tissues were collected for analysis by sacrificing mice 18h post CLP. BA at 10 and 30mg/kg dose significantly reduced sepsis-induced mortality and lung injury as implied by attenuated lung histopathological changes, decreased protein and neutrophils infiltration. BA also decreased lung NF-κB expression, cytokine, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 levels. These evidences suggest that, the protective effects of BA on lungs are associated with defending action against inflammatory response and BA could be a potential modulatory agent of inflammation in sepsis-induced ALI.

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