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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 583736, 10 pages
Research Article

Agmatine Protects against Zymosan-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Mice by Inhibiting NF-κB-Mediated Inflammatory Response

State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Research Institute of Surgery, Daping Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042, China

Received 16 February 2014; Revised 8 July 2014; Accepted 29 July 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Baoli Cheng

Copyright © 2014 Xuanfei Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acute lung injury (ALI) is characterized by overwhelming lung inflammation and anti-inflammation treatment is proposed to be a therapeutic strategy for ALI. Agmatine, a cationic polyamine formed by decarboxylation of L-arginine, is an endogenous neuromodulator that plays protective roles in diverse central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Consistent with its neuromodulatory and neuroprotective properties, agmatine has been reported to have beneficial effects on depression, anxiety, hypoxic ischemia, Parkinson’s disease, and gastric disorder. In this study, we tested the effect of agmatine on the lung inflammation induced by Zymosan (ZYM) challenge in mice. We found that agmatine treatment relieved ZYM-induced acute lung injury, as evidenced by the reduced histological scores, wet/dry weight ratio, and myeloperoxidase activity in the lung tissue. This was accompanied by reduced levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in lung and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and decreased iNOS expression in lung. Furthermore, agmatine inhibited the phosphorylation and degradation of IκB and subsequently blocked the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB induced by Zymosan. Taken together, our results showed that agmatine treatment inhibited NF-κB signaling in lungs and protected mice against ALI induced by Zymosan, suggesting agmatine may be a potential safe and effective approach for the treatment of ALI.