Naja naja atra venom ameliorates pulmonary fibrosis by inhibiting inflammatory response and oxidative stress

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Dec 2;14:461. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-461.


Background: Naja naja atra venom (NNAV) displays diverse pharmacological actions including analgesia, anti-inflammation and immune regulation.In this study, we investigated the effects of NNAV on pulmonary fibrosis and its mechanisms of action.

Methods: To determine if Naja naja atra venom (NNAV) can produce beneficial effects on pulmonary fibrosis, two marine models of pulmonary fibrosis were produced with bleomycin (BLM) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). NNAV (30, 90, 270 μg/kg) was orally administered once a day started five days before BLM and LPS until to the end of experiment. The effects of NNAV treatment on pulmonary injury were evaluated with arterial blood gas analysis, hydroxyproline (HYP) content assessment and HE/Masson staining. The effects of NNAV treatment on inflammatory related cytokines, fibrosis related TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway and oxidative stress were examined.

Results: The results showed that NNAV improved the lung gas-exchange function and attenuated the fibrotic lesions in lung. NNAV decreased IL-1β and TNF-α levels in serum in both pulmonary fibrosis models. NNAV inhibited the activation of NF-κB in LPS-induced and TGF-β/Smad pathway in BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Additionally, NNAV also increased the levels of SOD and GSH and reduced the levels of MDA in BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis model.

Conclusions: The present study indicates that NNAV attenuates LPS- and BLM-induced lung fibrosis. Its mechanisms of action are associated with inhibiting inflammatory response and oxidative stress. The study suggests that NNAV might be a potential therapeutic drug for treatment of pulmonary fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Bleomycin
  • Elapid Venoms / pharmacology
  • Elapid Venoms / therapeutic use*
  • Elapidae
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Hydroxyproline / metabolism
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / chemically induced
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Elapid Venoms
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Bleomycin
  • Hydroxyproline