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Overexpressing Six-transmembrane protein of prostate 2 alleviates sepsis-induced acute lung injury probably by hindering M1 macrophage polarization via the NF-κB pathway.

INTRODUCTION: Acute lung injury (ALI) is a major cause of death in sepsis patients. The Six-transmembrane protein of prostate 2 (STAMP2) is a key regulator of inflammation, while its role in septic ALI remains unclear.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to cecal ligation puncture (CLP) to induce experimental sepsis whereas lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells were used as the models of septic ALI in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Overexpression of STAMP2 in mouse lungs and RAW264.7 cells was performed with an adenoviral vector. We measured histological lung injury, lung wet/dry weight (W/D) ratio, and pulmonary myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity to assess lung injury extent. Cell counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were measured using Giemsa staining. The concentration of inflammatory factors was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The polarization of macrophages was evaluated by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and F4/80 staining. The activation of cell apoptosis and NF-κB pathway was evaluated using Western blot, TUNEL staining, immunofluorescence, and immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Overexpression of STAMP2 alleviated CLP-induced lung injury of mice with decreased W/D ratio of the lung, and MPO activity in lung tissue. STAMP2 overexpression reduced the lung infiltration of inflammatory cells, and the levels of TNF-a, IL-6, and macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in BALF. Overexpressed STAMP2 inhibited macrophage M1 polarization in lung tissues as indicated by F4/80 and iNOS stainings in lung tissue. STAMP2 overexpression inhibited RAW 264.7 cell apoptosis by increasing Bcl-2 and decreasing Bax and cleaved-caspase 3 expression. Besides, STAMP2 overexpression suppressed nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65 pathway activation, as evidenced by reduced phosphorylation of IκBα, and phosphorylation and translocation of NF-κB p65. In vitro study further proved that STAMP2 overexpression suppressed the NF-κB pathway (IκBα/p65) in macrophages and decreased macrophage M1 polarization and M1-associated inflammatory factor production (TNF-a, IL-6, and MCP-1).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study for the first time demonstrated that STAMP2 might be able to reduce inflammation in sepsis-induced ALI by inhibiting macrophage M1 polarization through repressing NF-κB signaling activation.

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