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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 4652695, 13 pages
Research Article

Liver X Receptor Agonist TO901317 Attenuates Paraquat-Induced Acute Lung Injury through Inhibition of NF-κB and JNK/p38 MAPK Signal Pathways

Department of Emergency Medicine, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Min Zhao; gro.latipsoh-js@moahz

Received 16 December 2016; Revised 13 February 2017; Accepted 1 March 2017; Published 5 April 2017

Academic Editor: Koichiro Wada

Copyright © 2017 Xiao Hu 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.


Paraquat (PQ) is a widely used herbicide with extremely high poisoning mortality mostly from acute lung injury (ALI) or progressive pulmonary fibrosis. Toxicity mechanisms remain unclear, but a redox cycling process that generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) is involved, as are inflammation and cell apoptosis. We established an ALI mouse model by intraperitoneal injection of PQ (28 mg/kg) and then investigated the effects of a potent liver X receptor (LXR) agonist, TO901317 (5 or 20 mg/kg), injected intraperitoneally 30 min after PQ administration. Poisoned mice exhibited severe lung tissue lesions and edema, significant neutrophilic (PMNs) infiltration, and release of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β). PQ administration also decreased activity of antioxidases, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), and increased lipid peroxidation as evaluated by malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. PQ exposure induced upregulation of the proapoptotic gene Bax and downregulation of the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-2, leading to marked cell apoptosis in the lung tissues. TO901317 treatment reversed all these effects through inhibition of PQ-induced nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and JNK/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation. The LXR agonist TO901317 had potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic effects against PQ-induced ALI.