Tangeretin attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury through Notch signaling pathway via suppressing Th17 cell response in mice

Microb Pathog. 2020 Jan;138:103826. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2019.103826. Epub 2019 Oct 29.


Tangeretin, a polymethoxylated flavonoid is abundant in citrus fruits, which has been reported to inhibit inflammation by inhibiting NF-κB activation and proinflammatory cytokines. Notch blockage inhibits Th17 cells response that are involved in the development of acute lung injury (ALI). This study investigated the protective effects of tangeretin on LPS-induced ALI in mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), LPS and tangeretin, or LPS and N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-l-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT, a Notch signaling inhibitor), which were harvested at 48 h after challenged by LPS. CD4+ T cells were treated with tangeretin or DAPT and harvested after 72 h. Tangeretin notably attenuated pathological changes and decreased the wet to dry weight ratio of the mouse lungs. The total cell and neutrophil counts, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), myeloperoxidase activity of lung tissue were markedly reduced by tangeretin. The percentage of CD4+IL-17 + T cells in the lungs and the concentration of interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-22 in BALF were significantly down-regulated by tangeretin. As with the positive control (DAPT), tangeretin inhibited the activity of the Notch signaling pathway accompanied with the down-regulation of acid-related orphan receptor gamma t and IL-23 receptor expression. This study demonstrated that tangeretin protects against LPS-induced ALI by suppressing Th17 response at least partially, through a Notch-dependent mechanism.

Keywords: Acute lung injury; IL-23R; Notch; RORγt; Tangeretin; Th17.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / etiology*
  • Acute Lung Injury / metabolism*
  • Acute Lung Injury / pathology
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Flavones / chemistry
  • Flavones / pharmacology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Lipopolysaccharides / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 3 / genetics
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 3 / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Interleukin / metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Th17 Cells / drug effects*
  • Th17 Cells / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Flavones
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 3
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Notch
  • interleukin-23 receptor, mouse
  • tangeretin