, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 895–903 | Cite as

Electroacupuncture Pretreatment Attenuates Inflammatory Lung Injury After Cardiopulmonary Bypass by Suppressing NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation in Rats

  • Dongxiao Huang
  • Mo Chen
  • Zhankui Wang
  • Lei Hou
  • Weifeng YuEmail author


Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) can induce inflammatory lung injury, which is a common complication during cardiac surgery. Nod-like receptor family, pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome-induced inflammation plays a crucial role in lung injury after CPB. Previous studies have shown that electroacupuncture (EA) has potential anti-inflammatory activity. However, the role of EA in CPB is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether EA was associated with CPB-induced inflammatory lung injury. In the present study, rats were treated with EA for 5 days before CPB. Two hours after CPB, the lung tissue, serum, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were prepared for assessment. Our results showed that the expression of NLRP3 in the lung tissue increased significantly after CPB. The EA pretreatment suppressed NLRP3 inflammasome activation, reduced lung edema, and inhibited IL-1β release into the serum and BALF after CPB. Our findings suggest that EA pretreatment attenuates inflammatory lung injury after CPB by suppressing NLRP3 inflammasome activation.


Electroacupuncture Inflammatory lung injury Cardiopulmonary bypass NLRP3 IL-1β Caspase-1 



We thank the staff of the Department of Anesthesiology Laboratory at the Shanghai Ren Ji Hospital for their assistance.

Authors’ Contributions

WY conceived and designed the study. DH, MC, ZW, and LH performed the experiments and analyzed the data. DH and MC wrote the manuscript. WY reviewed and edited the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the manuscript.


This study was funded by the Wuxi Municipal Commission Fund of Health and Family Planning [MS201713].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All animal experiments were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine. All the animal procedures conformed to the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978).

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow UniversityChangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiologyWuxi People’s HospitalWuxiChina
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedics, The First Clinical Medical CollegeShaanxi University of Chinese MedicineXianyangChina
  4. 4.Department of Anesthesiology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  5. 5.Department of Anesthesiology, Shanghai Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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