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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;42(5):1907-1919. doi: 10.1159/000479609. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Dexmedetomidine Alleviates Hyperoxia-Induced Acute Lung Injury via Inhibiting NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation.

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Department of Paediatrics, Harbin, China.
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.



Dexmedetomidine (Dex), a specific agonist of α2-adrenoceptor, has been reported to have extensive pharmacological effects. In this study, we focused on the protective effect of Dex on hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury and further explored its possible molecular mechanisms.


The model of hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury was established by continuous inhalation of oxygen (FiO2= 0.90) for 7 d in neonatal rats in vivo. The in vitro experiments were carried out in LPS/ATP or hyperoxia-treated RAW264.7 cells. ELISA, western blot, TUNEL staining, and immunohistochemistry staining assays were performed and the commercial kits were used to assess the beneficial effect of Dex on hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury.


According to our results, Dex treatment attenuated hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury via decreasing the lung wet/dry(W/D) weight ratio and mitigating pathomorphologic changes. Moreover, the oxidative stress injury, inflammatory reaction, and apoptosis in lung epithelial cells were inhibited by Dex treatment. In addition, the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome was restrained by Dex both in lung tissue in vivo and RAW264.7 cells in vitro.


These data provide evidence that Dex may ameliorate hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury, which suggests a potential clinical application of Dex in long-term supplemental oxygen therapy.


Acute lung injury; Dexmedetomidine; Hyperoxia; Inflammation; NLRP3 inflammasome; Oxidative stress

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