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α-Lipoic acid attenuates LPS-induced cardiac dysfunction through a PI3K/Akt-dependent mechanism

International Immunopharmacology
DOI: 10.1016/j.intimp.2013.03.024
  • Sepsis/Septic Shock
  • Cardiac Dysfunction
  • α-Lipoic Acid
  • Pi3K/Akt Signaling
  • Inflammation
  • Biology


Abstract Myocardial dysfunction is an important manifestation of sepsis/septic shock. Activation of Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase(PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway has been shown to improve cardiac performance during sepsis/septic shock. We have reported previously that α-lipoic acid (LA) activates PI3K/Akt pathway in neuronal cells. It is possible, therefore, that treatment with LA will attenuate cardiac dysfunction during sepsis/septic shock through a PI3K/Akt-dependent mechanism. To test this possibility, we treated mice with LA prior to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Cardiac function was analyzed by echocardiography 6h after LPS challenge. LPS significantly suppressed cardiac function as evidenced by decreases in EF% and FS% in mice. However, LA pretreatment significantly attenuated cardiac dysfunction following LPS challenge. LA pretreatment also improved survival in LPS-challenged mice. Furthermore, LA markedly attenuated the LPS-induced inflammatory response in myocardium, as evidenced by decreases in the upregulation of VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and iNOS, as well as myocardial leucocytes infiltration. Moreover, LPS challenge significantly decreased the phosphorylation levels of Akt and Gsk-3β, which was prevented by LA pretreatment. More importantly, inhibition of PI3K/Akt signaling by Wortmannin (WM) completely abrogated the LA-induced protection in cardiac dysfunction following LPS challenge. Collectively, our results demonstrated that LA improved cardiac function during endotoxemia. The mechanism was through, at least in part, preserved activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling.

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