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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016, Article ID 7934049, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7934049
Research Article

Veronicastrum axillare Alleviates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury via Suppression of Proinflammatory Mediators and Downregulation of the NF-κB Signaling Pathway

1Animal Experimental Research Center, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China
2College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
3Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
4Zhejiang Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou 310007, China
5College of Bioengineering, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China

Received 18 August 2016; Accepted 28 September 2016

Academic Editor: Jie Yin

Copyright © 2016 Quanxin Ma 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.

Abstract

Veronicastrum axillare is a traditional medical plant in China which is widely used in folk medicine due to its versatile biological activities, especially for its anti-inflammatory effects. However, the detailed mechanism underlying this action is not clear. Here, we studied the protective effects of V. axillare against acute lung injury (ALI), and we further explored the pharmacological mechanisms of this action. We found that pretreatment with V. axillare suppressed the release of proinflammatory cytokines in the serum of ALI mice. Histological analysis of lung tissue demonstrated that V. axillare inhibited LPS-induced lung injury, improved lung morphology, and reduced the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in the lungs. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory actions of V. axillare were investigated in vitro. We observed that V. axillare suppressed the mRNA expression of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in RAW264.7 cells challenged with LPS. Furthermore, pretreatment of V. axillare in vitro reduced the phosphorylation of p65 and IκB-α which is activated by LPS. In conclusion, our data firstly demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory effects of V. axillare against ALI were achieved through downregulation of the NF-κB signaling pathway, thereby reducing the production of inflammatory mediators.