Original Article

Protective effects of luteolin against lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury involves inhibition of MEK/ERK and PI3K/Akt pathways in neutrophils

Authors: Jen-pei Lee, Yi-ching Li, Hung-yi Chen, Ruey-hseng Lin, Shiang-suo Huang, Hui-ling Chen, Pai-chuan Kuan, Mao-fang Liao, Chun-jung Chen, Yu-hsiang Kuan
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2010.62

Abstract

Aim: To investigate whether luteolin, the major polyphenolic components of Lonicera japonica, has beneficial effects against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury (ALI) and to determine whether the protective mechanism involves anti-inflammatory effects on neutrophils.
Methods: ALI was induced with intratracheal instillation of LPS in mice. The level of ALI was determined by measuring the cell count and protein content in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Neutrophils were stimulated with formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP) or LPS in vitro. Chemotaxis and superoxide anion generation were measured to evaluate neutrophil activation. The potential involvement of intracellular signaling molecules in regulating neutrophil activation was analyzed by using Western blot.
Results: LPS induced ALI in mice, as evidenced with leukocyte infiltration and protein leakage into the lungs. Luteolin attenuated LPS-induced leukocyte infiltration and protein extravasation. In cell studies, luteolin attenuated the fMLP-induced neutrophil chemotaxis and respiratory burst (IC50 0.2±0.1 μmol/L and 2.2±0.8 μmol/L, respectively), but had a negligible effect on superoxide anion generation during phorbol myristate acetate stimulation. Furthermore luteolin effectively blocked MAPK/ERK kinase 1/2 (MEK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and Akt phosphorylation in fMLP- and LPS-stimulated neutrophils.
Conclusion: These results indicate that luteolin has beneficial effects against LPS-induced ALI in mice, and the attenuation of neutrophil chemotaxis and respiratory burst by luteolin involves the blockade of MEK-, ERK-, and Akt-related signaling cascades.
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