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Shock. 2009 May;31(5):466-72. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e31818ec47d.

Hypertonic saline attenuates TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation in pulmonary epithelial cells.

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  • 1Center for Trauma Research and Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80045, USA.


Resuscitation with hypertonic saline (HTS) attenuates acute lung injury (ALI) and modulates postinjury hyperinflammation. TNF-alpha-stimulated pulmonary epithelium is a major contributor to hemorrhage-induced ALI. We hypothesized that HTS would inhibit TNF-alpha-induced nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB proinflammatory signaling in pulmonary epithelial cells. Therefore, we pretreated human pulmonary epithelial cells (A549) with hypertonic medium (180 mM NaCl) for 30 min, followed by TNF-alpha stimulation (10 ng/mL). Key regulatory steps and protein concentrations in this pathway were assessed for significant alterations. Hypertonic saline significantly reduced TNF-alpha-induced intercellular adhesion molecule 1 levels and NF-kappaB nuclear localization. The mechanism is attenuated phosphorylation and delayed degradation of IkappaB alpha. Hypertonic saline did not alter TNF-alpha-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation or constitutive vascular endothelial growth factor expression, suggesting that the observed inhibition is not a generalized suppression of protein phosphorylation or cellular function. These results show that HTS inhibits TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation in the pulmonary epithelium and, further, our understanding of its beneficial effects in hemorrhage-induced ALI.

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