Electroacupuncture alleviates LPS-induced ARDS through α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated inhibition of ferroptosis.

PMID: Front Immunol. 2022; 13: 832432. Epub 2022 Feb 10. PMID: 35222419 Abstract Title: Electroacupuncture Alleviates LPS-Induced ARDS Throughα7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Mediated Inhibition of Ferroptosis. Abstract: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is an uncontrollable, progressive pulmonary inflammatory disease, and as a common clinical critical disease, there is no effective treatment available. Electroacupuncture (EA) therapy is a type of traditional Chinese medicine physiotherapy that can alleviate the inflammatory response. However, the potential mechanism of EA in the treatment of ARDS is not yet clear. Ferroptosis is a new type of programmed cell death characterized by intracellular iron accumulation and lipid peroxidation. Recently, emerging evidence has shown that ferroptosis is closely related to the occurrence and development of ARDS caused by various pathological factors. Here, we further investigated whether EA-mediated inhibition of ferroptosis in lung tissue could attenuate lipopolysaccharide (LPS) -induced ARDS and explored its underlying mechanisms. In this study, mice were administered LPS intraperitoneally to establish a model of LPS-induced ARDS. We found that EA stimulation could not only reduce the exudation of inflammatory cells and proteins in the alveolar lumen but also significantly alleviate the pathological changes of lung tissue, inhibit the production of proinflammatory cytokines and improve the survival rate of mice. Concurrently, we also found that ferroptosis events occurred in the lung tissue of LPS-induced ARDS mice, manifested by elevated iron levels, ROS production and lipid peroxidation. Intriguingly, our results showed that EA stimulation at the Zusanli (ST36) acupoint activatedα7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAchR) in lung tissue mainly through the sciatic nerve and cervical vagus nerve, thus exerting anti-ferroptosis and pulmonary protective effects. Additionally, these effects were eliminated by methyllycaconitine (MLA), a selective antagonist of α7nAchR.experiments, activation of n7nAchR protected alveolar epithelial cells from LPS-induced ferroptosis. Furthermore, our experiments showed that the pulmonary protective effects of EA stimulation were effectively reversed by erastin, a ferroptosis activator. Collectively, we demonstrated that EA stimulation could alleviate LPS-induced ARDS by activating α7nAchR to inhibit LPS-induced ferroptosis in alveolar epithelial cells. Targeting and regulating ferroptosis in alveolar epithelial cells may be a potential intervention approach for the treatment of LPS-induced ALI / ARDS in the future.

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