, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 499-506
Date: 23 Feb 2013

Protective effect of gossypol on lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury in mice

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Gossypol has been reported to have anti-inflammatory properties. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of gossypol on acute lung injury (ALI) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mice.


Male BALB/c mice were pretreated with gossypol 1 h before intranasal instillation of LPS. Then, 7 h after LPS administration, the myeloperoxidase in histology of lungs, lung wet/dry ratio and inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were determined. The levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in the BALF were measured by ELISA. The extent of phosphorylation of IκB-α, p65 NF-κB, p46–p54 JNK, p42–p44 ERK, and p38 were detected by western blot.


Gossypol markedly attenuated the LPS-induced histological alterations in the lung and inhibited the production of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6. Additionally, gossypol reduced the inflammatory cells in BALF, decreased the wet/dry ratio of lungs and inhibited the phosphorylation of IκB-α, p65 NF-κB, p46–p54 JNK, p42–p44 ERK, and p38 caused by LPS.


The data suggest that anti-inflammatory effects of gossypol against the LPS-induced ALI may be due to its ability of inhibition of the NF-κB and MAPKs signaling pathways. Gossypol may be a promising potential therapeutic reagent for ALI treatment.

Responsible Editor: Michael Parnham.
Z. Liu and Z. Yang are contributed equally to this work.