Mediators of Inflammation
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate36%
Submission to final decision53 days
Acceptance to publication29 days
CiteScore6.000
Impact Factor3.758

Diannexin Can Ameliorate Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Rats by Promoting Heme Oxygenase-1 Expression

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 Journal profile

Mediators of Inflammation publishes papers on all types of inflammatory mediators, including cytokines, histamine, bradykinin, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, PAF, biological response modifiers and the family of cell adhesion-promoting molecules

 Editor spotlight

Chief Editor, Professor Agrawal, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of the Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology. Dr. Agrawal's research focuses on the dendritic cells of the immune system in the context of aging and autoimmunity.

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We currently have a number of Special Issues open for submission. Special Issues highlight emerging areas of research within a field, or provide a venue for a deeper investigation into an existing research area.

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Research Article

Toll-Like Receptor 4 Mediated Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein-Induced Foam Cell Formation in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells via Src and Sirt1/3 Pathway

Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) induced a foam-cell-like phenotype of the vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), leading to the inflammatory responses incorporating Toll-like receptor- (Tlr-) mediated cellular alterations. However, the role of Tlr4 in foam cell formation and underlying molecular pathways has not been comprehensively elucidated. To further investigate the mechanism, VSMCs were incubated with different doses of oxLDL, and then, the lipid, reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, Tlr family genes, and the foam cell phenotype were explored. We observed that oxLDL induced foam cell-like phenotype in VSMCs and led to lipid and ROS accumulation in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, in the Tlr family, Tlr4 demonstrated the strongest upregulation under oxLDL stimulation. Simultaneously, oxLDL induced activation of Src, higher expression of Nox2, and lower expression of Mnsod, Sirt1, and Sirt3. By interfering the TLR4 expression, the phenotype alteration, lipid accumulation in VSMCs, and Src kinase activation induced by oxLDL were abolished. After interfering Src activation, the oxLDL-induced lipid accumulation and foam cell phenotype in VSMCs were also alleviated. Furthermore, the ROS accumulation, upregulated Nox2 expression, downregulated Sirt1, Sirt3, and Mnsod expression in VSMCs under oxLDL stimulation were also relieved after the knockdown of Tlr4. Additionally, overexpression of Sirt1 and Sirt3 ameliorated the ROS accumulation and foam cell-like marker expression in VSMCs. These results demonstrated that beyond its familiar role in regulating inflammation response, Tlr4 is a critical regulator in oxLDL-induced foam cell formation in VSMCs via regulating Src kinase activation as well as Sirt1 and Sirt3 expression.

Research Article

A Synthetic Curcuminoid Analogue, 2,6-Bis-4-(Hydroxyl-3-Methoxybenzylidine)-Cyclohexanone (BHMC) Ameliorates Acute Airway Inflammation of Allergic Asthma in Ovalbumin-Sensitized Mice

2,6-Bis-(4-hydroxyl-3-methoxybenzylidine) cyclohexanone (BHMC), a synthetic curcuminoid analogue, has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties in cellular models of inflammation and improve the survival of mice from lethal sepsis. We further evaluated the therapeutic effect of BHMC on acute airway inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma. Mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA), followed by intraperitoneal administration of 0.1, 1, and 10 mg/kg of BHMC. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, blood, and lung samples were collected, and the respiratory function was measured. OVA sensitization and challenge increased airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and pulmonary inflammation. All three doses of BHMC (0.1-10 mg/kg) significantly reduced the number of eosinophils, lymphocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils, as well as the levels of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) as compared to OVA­challenged mice. However, serum level of IgE was not affected. All three doses of BHMC (0.1-10 mg/kg) were effective in suppressing the infiltration of inflammatory cells at the peribronchial and perivascular regions, with the greatest effect observed at 1 mg/kg which was comparable to dexamethasone. Goblet cell hyperplasia was inhibited by 1 and 10 mg/kg of BHMC, while the lowest dose (0.1 mg/kg) had no significant inhibitory effect. These findings demonstrate that BHMC, a synthetic nonsteroidal small molecule, ameliorates acute airway inflammation associated with allergic asthma, primarily by suppressing the release of inflammatory mediators and goblet cell hyperplasia to a lesser extent in acute airway inflammation of allergic asthma.

Research Article

Cytokines and Water Distribution in Anorexia Nervosa

In patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), decreased intracellular (ICW), extracellular (ECW), and total body water (TBW) as well as changes in serum cytokine concentrations have been reported. In this exploratory study, we measured body composition and serum cytokine levels in patients with AN () and healthy controls (HCs; ). Eating disorder symptom severity was assessed using the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Body composition was determined by bioimpedance analysis (BIA) which provided information on ICW, ECW, and TBW. Following blood collection, 27 cytokines and chemokines were quantified using multiplex ELISA-based technology: Eotaxin, Eotaxin-3, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interferon- (IFN-) γ, interleukin- (IL-) 1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12/IL-23p40, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-15, IL-16, IL-17A, interferon γ-induced protein- (IP-) 10, macrophage inflammatory protein- (MIP-) 1α, MIP-1β, monocyte chemoattractant protein- (MCP-) 1, MCP-4, thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), TNF-α, and TNF-β. ICW, ECW, and TBW volumes were significantly lower in patients with AN than in HCs. In the whole sample, GM-CSF, MCP-4, and IL-4 were positively, whereas IFN-γ, IL-6, and IL-10 were negatively associated with all three parameters of body water. In AN participants, we found a statistically significant negative correlation of IL-10 with ICW, ECW, and TBW. Our results suggest an interaction between body water and the cytokine system. Underlying mechanisms are unclear but may involve a loss of water from the gut, kidneys, or skin due to AN-associated inflammatory processes.

Research Article

Gene Expression Profiling and Biofunction Analysis of HepG2 Cells Targeted by Crocetin

Crocetin is a carotenoid extracted from Gardenia jasminoides, one of the most popular traditional Chinese medicines, which has been used in the prevention and treatment of various diseases. The present study is aimed at clarifying the effect of crocetin on gene expression profiling of HepG2 cells by RNA-sequence assay and further investigating the molecular mechanism underlying the multiple biofunctions of crocetin based on bioinformatics analysis and molecular evidence. Among a total 23K differential genes identified, crocetin treatment upregulated the signals of 491 genes (2.14% of total gene probes) and downregulated the signals of 283 genes (1.24% of total gene probes) by ≥2-fold. The Gene Ontology analysis enriched these genes mainly on cell proliferation and apoptosis (BRD4 and DAXX); lipid formation (EHMT2); cell response to growth factor stimulation (CYP24A1 and GCNT2); and growth factor binding (ABCB1 and ABCG1), metabolism, and signal transduction processes. The KEGG pathway analysis revealed that crocetin has the potential to regulate transcriptional misregulation, ABC transporters, bile secretion, alcoholism, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and other pathways, of which SLE was the most significantly disturbed pathway. The PPI network was constructed by using the STRING online protein interaction database and Cytoscape software, and 21 core proteins were obtained. RT-qPCR datasets serve as the solid evidence that verified the accuracy of transcriptome sequencing results with the same change trend. This study provides first-hand data for comprehensively understanding crocetin targeting on hepatic metabolism and its multiple biofunctions.

Research Article

Ze-Qi-Tang Formula Induces Granulocytic Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Apoptosis via STAT3/S100A9/Bcl-2/Caspase-3 Signaling to Prolong the Survival of Mice with Orthotopic Lung Cancer

Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains the most common malignancy with the highest morbidity and mortality worldwide. In our previous study, we found that a classic traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula Ze-Qi-Tang (ZQT), which has been used in the treatment of respiratory diseases for thousands of years, could directly inhibit the growth of human NSCLC cells via the p53 signaling pathway. In this study, we explored the immunomodulatory functions of ZQT. We found that ZQT significantly prolonged the survival of orthotopic lung cancer model mice by modulating the tumor microenvironment (TME). ZQT remarkably reduced the number of MDSCs (especially G-MDSCs) and inhibited their immunosuppressive activity by inducing apoptosis in these cells via the STAT3/S100A9/Bcl-2/caspase-3 signaling pathway. When G-MDSCs were depleted, the survival promotion effect of ZQT and its inhibitory effect on lung luminescence signal disappeared in tumor-bearing mice. This is the first study to illustrate the immunomodulatory effect of ZQT in NSCLC and the underlying molecular mechanism.

Research Article

Whole-Transcriptome RNA Sequencing Reveals Significant Differentially Expressed mRNAs, miRNAs, and lncRNAs and Related Regulating Biological Pathways in the Peripheral Blood of COVID-19 Patients

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was initially identified in China and currently worldwide dispersed, resulting in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Notably, COVID-19 is characterized by systemic inflammation. However, the potential mechanisms of the “cytokine storm” of COVID-19 are still limited. In this study, fourteen peripheral blood samples from COVID-19 patients () and healthy donors () were collected to perform the whole-transcriptome sequencing. Lung tissues of COVID-19 patients (70%) presenting with ground-glass opacity. Also, the leukocytes and lymphocytes were significantly decreased in COVID-19 compared with the control group (). In total, 25,482 differentially expressed messenger RNAs (DE mRNA), 23 differentially expressed microRNAs (DE miRNA), and 410 differentially expressed long noncoding RNAs (DE lncRNAs) were identified in the COVID-19 samples compared to the healthy controls. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that the upregulated DE mRNAs were mainly involved in antigen processing and presentation of endogenous antigen, positive regulation of T cell mediated cytotoxicity, and positive regulation of gamma-delta T cell activation. The downregulated DE mRNAs were mainly concentrated in the glycogen biosynthetic process. We also established the protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of up/downregulated DE mRNAs and identified 4 modules. Functional enrichment analyses indicated that these module targets were associated with positive regulation of cytokine production, cytokine-mediated signaling pathway, leukocyte differentiation, and migration. A total of 6 hub genes were selected in the PPI module networks including AKT1, TNFRSF1B, FCGR2A, CXCL8, STAT3, and TLR2. Moreover, a competing endogenous RNA network showed the interactions between lncRNAs, mRNAs, and miRNAs. Our results highlight the potential pathogenesis of excessive cytokine production such as MSTRG.119845.30/hsa-miR-20a-5p/TNFRSF1B, MSTRG.119845.30/hsa-miR-29b-2-5p/FCGR2A, and MSTRG.106112.2/hsa-miR-6501-5p/STAT3 axis, which may also play an important role in the development of ground-glass opacity in COVID-19 patients. This study gives new insights into inflammation regulatory mechanisms of coding and noncoding RNAs in COVID-19, which may provide novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic avenues for COVID-19 patients.

Mediators of Inflammation
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate36%
Submission to final decision53 days
Acceptance to publication29 days
CiteScore6.000
Impact Factor3.758
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