The tricyclic antidepressant imipramine has recently emerged as a cytoprotective agent, exerting beneficial effects in inflammatory tissue injury. The present study aimed to investigate therapeutic effects of imipramine in murine model of endotoxin-induced acute lung injury. Mice were administrated intraperitoneally with LPS (lipopolysaccharide) from Escherichia coli or vehicle. Imipramine was administrated intraperitoneally 30 min before LPS challenge. Pretreatment of mice with imipramine reduced lethality. Impramine also significantly attenuated lung inflammation, lung edema, MPO (myeloperoxidase) activity, lung tissue pathological changes and nuclear factor-kappaB DNA binding activity. The results of this study suggest that imipramine can exert protective effects in endotoxin-induced acute lung injury by suppressing nuclear factor-kappaB-mediated expression of inflammatory genes. Thus, imipramine could be a potential novel therapeutic agent for the treatment for acute lung injury.
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