Objective and design: An animal experiment was performed to demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effects of an alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) derivative, dihydrolipoyl histidinate zinc complex (DHLHZn) for acute lung injury (ALI) and to investigate the mechanism of action. Material: Rats were randomly divided into three experimental groups: control group (n = 17), DHLHZn(−) group (n = 11, ALI model rats), and DHLHZn(+) group (n = 12, ALI model rats treated by DHLHZn). Treatment: Lipopolysaccharides (LPS, 10 mg/kg) were administered intratracheally in the DHLHZn(−) group and the DHLHZn(+) group. For the DHLHZn(+) group, DHLHZn (100 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally 2 h prior to LPS administration. Methods: Four hours after LPS administration, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue were collected. The findings were analyzed using the Mann–Whitney U test. Results: Total number of cells, number of neutrophils and lymphocytes, levels of various inflammatory cytokines, and NF-kB p65 concentration of BALF were significantly lower in the DHLHZn(+) group than in the DHLHZn(−) group (p < 0.05). ALI pathology scores were significantly lower in the DHLHZn(+) group than in the DHLHZn(−) group (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Anti-inflammatory effects of DHLHZn for ALI were demonstrated by BALF and histopathological findings. The mechanism of action of DHLHZn was considered to be via inhibition of the NF-kB signaling pathway. DHLHZn is thus suggested to be a new prophylactic agent for ALI.
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