Costunolide ameliorates lipoteichoic acid-induced acute lung injury via attenuating MAPK signaling pathway

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Lipoteichoic acid (LTA)-induced acute lung injury (ALI) is an experimental model for mimicking Gram-positive bacteria-induced pneumonia that is a refractory disease with lack of effective medicines. Here, we reported that costunolide, a sesquiterpene lactone, ameliorated LTA-induced ALI. Costunolide treatment reduced LTA-induced neutrophil lung infiltration, cytokine and chemokine production (TNF-α, IL-6 and KC), and pulmonary edema. In response to LTA challenge, treatment with costunolide resulted less iNOS expression and produced less inflammatory cytokines in bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs). Pretreatment with costunolide also attenuated the LTA-induced the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and ERK in BMDMs. Furthermore, costunolide treatment reduced the phosphorylation of TAK1 and inhibited the interaction of TAK1 with Tab1. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that costunolide protects against LTA-induced ALI via inhibiting TAK1-mediated MAPK signaling pathway, and our studies suggest that costunolide is a promising agent for treatment of Gram-positive bacteria-mediated pneumonia.

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