SERPINB1 ameliorates acute lung injury in liver transplantation through ERK1/2-mediated STAT3-dependent HO-1 induction

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Abstract

Background

Postoperative acute lung injury (ALI) is a severe complication after liver transplantation, which severely affects postoperative patients’ survival. The underlying mechanism is largely unknown and effective treatment limited. We explored the role of serpin protease inhibitor B1 (SERPINB1), a potent inhibitor of neutrophil serine proteases, in ALI in liver transplantation and its interplay with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1).

Methods

Sprague-Dawley rats underwent orthotopic autologous liver transplantation (OALT) were treated with recombinant SB1 (rSB1) in the absence or presence of STAT3 specific inhibitor, WP1066. Then SB1-siRNA was used to knockdown endogenous SERPINB1. Also, alveolar epithelial cells RLE-6TN and BEAS-2B were exposed to TNF-α without or with SERPINB1 and the roles of STAT3 and HO-1 were examined by respective gene knockdown. Finally, rats were treated with ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126, p38 MAPK inhibitor SB20358, or JNK inhibitor SP600125 after rSB1 pretreatment and then subjected to OALT.

Results

OALT resulted in increased pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress, accompanied by severe lung injury that was coincident with increased pulmonary SERPINB1, HO-1, and STAT3. SERPINB1 gene knockdown increased post-OALT lung injury and pulmonary inflammation. rSB1 administration dose-dependently reduced post-OALT lung injury and decreased pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress with concomitant enhanced HO-1 and STAT3 protein expression. These protective effects of SERPINB1 were abolished by STAT3 inhibition. Similarly, in RLE-6TN cells and BEAS-2B cells, TNF-α induced cell injury and increased HO-1 and STAT3. SERPINB1 further increased HO-1 and STAT3 protein expression and attenuated TNF-α-induced cellular oxidative stress, apoptotic cells, and mitochondria damage, which were cancelled by STAT3 or HO-1 gene knockdown. Furthermore, these SERPINB1-mediated STAT3/HO-1 activation and pulmonary protective effects were abolished by inhibition of ERK1/2 but not p38 MAPK or JNK.

Conclusions

SERPINB1 decreased inflammation, ameliorated oxidative stress in the lung, and attenuated ALI in rats with OALT by activating HO-1 and it does so through STAT3 and it does so by activating ERK1/2.

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