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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Mar 15;165(6):818-23.

Luteolin reduces lipopolysaccharide-induced lethal toxicity and expression of proinflammatory molecules in mice.

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George P. Livanos Laboratory, Evangelismos Hospital, Department of Critical Care and Pulmonary Services, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Luteolin is a flavonoid that has been shown to reduce proinflammatory molecule expression in vitro. In the present study, we have tested the ability of luteolin to inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- induced lethal toxicity and proinflammatory molecule expression in vivo. Mice receiving LPS (Salmonella enteriditis LPS, 32 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) exhibited high mortality with only 4.1% of the animals surviving seven days after the LPS challenge. On the contrary, mice that had received luteolin (0.2 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) before LPS showed an increased survival rate with 48% remaining alive on Day 7. To investigate the mechanism by which luteolin affords protection against LPS toxicity we measured intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production in response to LPS in the presence or absence of luteolin pretreatment. Treatment of animals with LPS increased serum TNF-alpha levels in a time-dependent manner. The increase in peak serum TNF-alpha levels was sensitive to luteolin pretreatment. Luteolin pretreatment also reduced LPS-stimulated ICAM-1 expression in the liver and abolished leukocyte infiltration in the liver and lung. We conclude that luteolin protects against LPS-induced lethal toxicity, possibly by inhibiting proinflammatory molecule (TNF-alpha, ICAM-1) expression in vivo and reducing leukocyte infiltration in tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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