RGD Peptides Protects Against Acute Lung Injury in Septic Mice Through Wisp1-Integrin β6 Pathway Inhibition

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Abstract

Acute lung injury is a common consequence of sepsis, a life-threatening inflammatory response caused by severe infection. In this study, we elucidate the attenuating effects of synthetic Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser peptides (RGDs) on acute lung injury in a sepsis mouse model. We further reveal that the beneficial effects of RGDs stem from their negative regulation of the Wisp1 (WNT1-inducible signaling pathway)–integrin β6 pathway. After inducing sepsis using cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), mice were randomized into experimental and control groups, and survival rates were recorded over 7 days, whereas only 20% of mice subjected to CLP survived when compared with untreated controls; the addition of RGDs to this treatment regimen dramatically increased the survival rate to 80%. Histological analysis revealed acute lung injury in CLP-treated mice, whereas those subjected to the combined treatment of CLP and RGDs showed a considerable decrease in lung injury severity. The addition of RGDs also dramatically attenuated other common sepsis-associated effects, such as increased white blood cell number in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and decreased pulmonary capillary barrier function. Furthermore, treatment with RGDs decreased the serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid levels of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6, contrary to the CLP treatment alone that increased the levels of these proteins. Interestingly, however, RGDs had no detectable effect on bacterial invasion following sepsis induction. In addition, mice treated with RGDs showed decreased levels of wisp1 and integrin β6 when compared with CLP-treated mice. In the present study, a linkage between Wisp1 and integrin β6 was evaluated in vivo. Most strikingly, RGDs resulted in a decreased association of Wisp1 with integrin β6 based on coimmunoprecipitation analyses. These data suggest that RGDs ameliorate acute lung injury in a sepsis mouse model by inhibiting the Wisp1–integrin β6 pathway.

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