Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) plays a pivotal role in sepsis. Activation of NF-κB is initiated by the signal-induced ubiquitylation and subsequent degradation of inhibitors of kappa B (IκBs) primarily via activation of the IκB kinase (IKK). This study was designed to investigate the effects of IKK inhibition on sepsis-associated multiple organ dysfunction and/or injury (MOD) and to elucidate underlying signaling mechanisms in two different in vivo models: male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to either bacterial cell wall components [lipopolysaccharide and peptidoglycan (LPS/PepG)] or underwent cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) to induce sepsis-associated MOD. At 1 hour after LPS/PepG or CLP, mice were treated with the IKK inhibitor IKK 16 (1 mg/kg body weight). At 24 hours, parameters of organ dysfunction and/or injury were assessed in both models. Mice developed a significant impairment in systolic contractility (echocardiography), and significant increases in serum creatinine, serum alanine aminotransferase and lung myeloperoxidase activity, thus indicating cardiac dysfunction, renal dysfunction, hepatocellular injury and lung inflammation, respectively. Treatment with IKK 16 attenuated the impairment in systolic contractility, renal dysfunction, hepatocellular injury and lung inflammation in LPS/PepG-induced MOD and in polymicrobial sepsis. Compared with mice that were injected with LPS/PepG or underwent CLP, immunoblot analyses of heart and liver tissues from mice that were injected with LPS/PepG or underwent CLP and were also treated with IKK 16 revealed: (1) significant attenuation of the increased phosphorylation of IκBα; (2) significant attenuation of the increased nuclear translocation of the NF-κB subunit p65; (3) significant attenuation of the increase in inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression; and (4) a significant increase in the phosphorylation of Akt and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Here, we report for the first time that delayed IKK inhibition reduces MOD in experimental sepsis. We suggest that this protective effect is (at least in part) attributable to inhibition of inflammation through NF-κB, the subsequent decrease in iNOS expression and the activation of the Akt-eNOS survival pathway.
- Received March 14, 2013.
- Accepted April 20, 2013.
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