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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 2870503, 13 pages
Research Article

Preventive Effects of Velvet Antler (Cervus elaphus) against Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Mice by Inhibiting MAPK/NF-κB Activation and Inducing AMPK/Nrf2 Pathways

1School of Chinese Medicine, Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
2Chang Jui Shu Chinese Medicine Clinic, Changhua, Taiwan
3Department of Health and Nutrition Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan
4School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
5School of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Guan-Jhong Huang; wt.ude.umc.liam@gnauhjg

Received 28 June 2017; Revised 19 October 2017; Accepted 5 November 2017; Published 2 January 2018

Academic Editor: José L. Rios

Copyright © 2018 Jui-Shu Chang 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.


Velvet antler (Cervus elaphus) is a typical traditional animal medicine. It is considered to have various pharmacological effects including stimulation of the immune system, increase in the physical strength, and enhancement of sexual function. This paper aims to investigate the aqueous extract of velvet antler (AVA) in the mouse models of LPS-induced ALI. Inhibition of NO, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 productions contributes to the attenuation of LPS-induced lung inflammation by AVA. A 5-day pretreatment of AVA prevented histological alterations and enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity in lung tissues. AVA significantly reduced the material (total number of cells and proteins) in the BALF. Western blot analysis revealed that the expression of iNOS and COX-2 and phosphorylation of IκB-α and MAPKs proteins are blocked in LPS-stimulated macrophages as well as LPS-induced lung injury in mice. Consistent with this concept, the phosphorylation of CaMKKβ, LKB1, AMPK, Nrf2, and HO-1 was activated after AVA treatment. The results from this study indicate AVA has anti-inflammatory effects in vivo and AVA is a potential model for the development of health food. In addition, its pathways may be at least partially associated with inhibiting MAPK/NF-κB activation and upregulating AMPK/Nrf2 pathways and the regulation of antioxidant enzyme activity.