Treatment Response of Ethyl Pyruvate in a Mouse Model of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Studied by Hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI

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The purpose of this work was to investigate disease progression and treatment response in a murine model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using a preclinical hyperpolarized 129Xe (HPXe) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) strategy.


COPD phenotypes were induced in 32 mice by 10 weeks of exposure to cigarette smoke (CS) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Efficacy of ethyl pyruvate (EP), an anti-inflammatory drug, was investigated by administering EP to 16 of the 32 mice after 6 weeks of CS and LPS exposure. HPXe MRI was performed to monitor changes in pulmonary function during disease progression and pharmacological therapy.


HPXe metrics of fractional ventilation and gas-exchange function were significantly reduced after 6 weeks of CS and LPS exposure compared to sham-instilled mice administered with saline (P < 0.05). After this observation, EP administration was started in 16 of the 32 mice and continued for 4 weeks. EP was found to improve HPXe MRI metrics to a similar level as in sham-instilled mice (P < 0.01). Histological analysis showed significant alveolar tissue destruction in the COPD group, but relatively normal alveolar structure in the EP and sham-instilled groups.


This study demonstrates the potential efficacy of EP for COPD therapy, as assessed by a noninvasive, translatable 129Xe MRI procedure.

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