Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (2020-01-01)

Neuregulin-1β Protects the Rat Diaphragm during Sepsis against Oxidative Stress and Inflammation by Activating the PI3K/Akt Pathway

  • Hua Liu,
  • Xiao-jian Weng,
  • Jun-yan Yao,
  • Jun Zheng,
  • Xiang Lv,
  • Xu-hui Zhou,
  • Hong Jiang,
  • Shi-tong Li

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2020


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Sepsis-induced diaphragm dysfunction (SIDD) which is mainly characterized by decrease in diaphragmatic contractility has been identified to cause great harms to patients. Therefore, there is an important and pressing need to find effective treatments for improving SIDD. In addition, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity is a vital property of the diaphragm, so we evaluated both diaphragmatic contractility and AChE activity. Though neuregulin-1β (NRG-1β) is known to exert organ-protective effects in some inflammatory diseases, little is known about the potential of NRG-1β therapy in the diaphragm during sepsis. Our study was aimed at exploring the effects of NRG-1β application on diaphragmatic contractility and AChE activity during sepsis. Proinflammatory cytokines, muscle injury biomarkers in serum, contractile force, AChE activity, proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative parameters, histological condition, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, and expression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) signaling proteins in the diaphragm were measured and compared between nonseptic and septic groups with or without NRG-1β treatment. In vitro, the effects of NRG-1β on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) stimulated L6 rat muscle skeletal cells with or without the Akt inhibitor MK-2206 were detected. NRG-1β inhibited proinflammatory cytokine release and muscle injury biomarkers soaring in serum and improved the sepsis-induced diaphragm dysfunction and AChE activity decrease significantly during sepsis. Meanwhile, the inflammatory response, oxidative stress, pathological impairment, and cell apoptosis in the diaphragm were mitigated by NRG-1β. And NRG-1β activated the PI3K/Akt signaling in the diaphragm of septic rats. Elevated ROS production in the LPS-stimulated L6 rat skeletal muscle cells was reduced after treatment with NRG-1β, while MK-2206 blocked these effects of NRG-1β. In conclusion, our findings underlined that NRG-1β could reduce circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines in rats with sepsis, adjust diaphragmatic proinflammatory cytokine level, mitigate diaphragmatic oxidative injury, and lessen diaphragm cell apoptosis, thereby improving diaphragmatic function, and play a role in diaphragmatic protection by activating PI3K/Akt signaling.