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Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation attenuated intestine-derived acute lung injury

BackgroundIntestinal ischemia–reperfusion (IIR) could lead to acute lung injury, associated with severe alveolar epithelial cells inflammatory and oxidative injury. Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) is an essential component of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate the important role of α7nAChR on the lung subjected to IIR.MethodsThirty-two Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 8 in each): sham group (group S), model group (group M), α7nAChR agonist PNU-282987-treated group (group PNU), and specific α7nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine-treated group (group MLA). Intestinal IR damage was induced by clamping the superior mesenteric artery for 75 min, followed by a 120-min reperfusion. All rats were killed at 2 h after release of the clamps. The histologic examination of lungs was made, and lung water content was detected. Expression levels of malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, and superoxide dismutase activity of the lungs were detected. Additionally, expression level of toll-like receptor (TLR)4 and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB p65) in the nucleus of lung tissue and apoptosis-related protein (Bax, Bcl-2, and cleaved-caspase3) were detected using Western blot.ResultsLungs were damaged after intestine IR, manifested by higher lung water content, histologic score, concentrations of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and malondialdehyde of group M than those of group S, accompanied with decreased superoxide dismutase activity (P < 0.05). PNU treatment could significantly improve the pulmonary function of rats subjected to IIR. These effects of activation of α7nAChR were associated with suppression of TLR4/NF-κB pathway and subsequent reduction of apoptosis-related protein. However, MLA treatment aggravated lung injury.Conclusionsα7nAChR plays a role in acute lung injury induced by IIR via attenuating lung oxidative stress and inflammation through suppression of TLR4/NF-κB pathway, resulting in reduction of apoptosis in the lung.

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