Protective effects of imipramine in murine endotoxin-induced acute lung injury

Eur J Pharmacol. 2010 Jul 25;638(1-3):128-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.04.005. Epub 2010 Apr 18.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / chemically induced
  • Acute Lung Injury / metabolism
  • Acute Lung Injury / mortality
  • Acute Lung Injury / pathology
  • Acute Lung Injury / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Edema / drug therapy*
  • Random Allocation
  • Survival Analysis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Peroxidase
  • Imipramine