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Interleukin-35 pretreatment attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced heart injury by inhibition of inflammation, apoptosis and fibrosis

By Yang Fu, Huan Hu, Meng Li, Huasong Xia, Yue Liu, Xiaopei Sun, Yang Hu, Fulin Song, Xiaoshu Cheng, Ping Li, Yanqing Wu

Posted 24 Jan 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.23.916890

Previous studies have demonstrated that targeting inflammation is a promising strategy for treating lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sepsis and related heart injury. Interleukin-35 (IL-35), which consists of two subunits, Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3) and p35, is an immunosuppressive cytokine of the IL-12 family and exhibits strong anti-inflammatory activity. However, the role of IL-35 in LPS-induced heart injury remains obscure. In this study, we explored the role of IL-35 in heart injury induced by LPS and its potential mechanisms. Mice were treated with a plasmid-encoding IL-35 (pIL-35) and then injected intraperitoneally (ip) with LPS (10 mg/kg). Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography 12 h later. LPS apparently decreased the expression of EBI3 and p35 and caused cardiac dysfunction and pathological changes, which were significantly improved by pIL-35 pretreatment. Moreover, pIL-35 pretreatment significantly decreased the levels of cardiac proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β, and the NLRP3 inflammasome. Furthermore, increased BCL-2 levels and decreased BAX levels inhibited apoptosis, and LPS-induced upregulation of the expression of pro-fibrotic genes (MMP2 and MMP9) was inhibited. Further investigation indicated that pIL-35 pretreatment suppressed the activation of the cardiac NF-Bp65 and TGF-1/Smad2/3 signaling pathways in LPS-treated mice. Similar cardioprotective effects of IL-35 pretreatment were observed in mouse myocardial fibroblasts challenged with LPS in vitro. In summary, IL-35 pretreatment can attenuate cardiac inflammation, apoptosis, and fibrosis induced by LPS, implicating IL-35 as a promising therapeutic target in sepsis-related cardiac injury.

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