Apple polyphenol protects against cigarette smoke-induced acute lung injury

Nutrition. 2013 Jan;29(1):235-43. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.04.008. Epub 2012 Sep 8.


Objective: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex chronic inflammatory disease involving oxidative stress as well as a wide variety of cells activated from smoking cigarettes. There have been disappointingly few therapeutic advances in drug therapy for COPD. Plant polyphenols have been the topic of much research regarding their antioxidant activities and antiinflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. In the present study, we ask whether apple polyphenol provides protection against cigarette smoke (CS)-induced acute lung injury.

Methods: ICR mice were exposed to CS for 4 d with increasing exposure time for up to 6 h per day to elicit epithelial cells injury. One hour before smoke exposure, mice were treated with apple polyphenol (APP) by gavage; all examinations were performed 18 h after the last CS exposure.

Results: APP at 30, 100, or 300 mg not only significantly dose-dependently reduced the CS-induced accumulation of inflammatory cells and gene/protein expression of proinflammatory factors both in the lung and in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, but also significantly reversed oxidative stress in the lungs. Additionally, treatment with APP also significantly regulated the CS-induced imbalance of matrix metalloproteinases-9/tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 expression in the lungs. To investigate further the possible signaling pathway of APP effects, we examined protein expression of p-P38 MAPK by immunohistochemistry that found treatment with APP significantly decreased the CS-induced increases of p-P38 expression in the lungs.

Conclusion: Taken together, APP may be a potential dietary nutrient supplement agent to improve quality of life of COPD patients by inhibiting CS-exposed acute lung injury via P38 MAPK signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / etiology
  • Acute Lung Injury / genetics
  • Acute Lung Injury / metabolism
  • Acute Lung Injury / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Chemokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Malus* / chemistry
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / prevention & control
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / metabolism
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Polyphenols
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Timp1 protein, mouse
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mmp9 protein, mouse