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BACKGROUNDHydroxyethyl starch (HES) is one of the most frequently used plasma substitutes. Some studies have indicated that HES may have anti-inflammatory effects. The present in vivo study was performed to investigate the effects of HES on hepatic production of cytokines and activation of transcription factors in sepsis.
METHODSAdult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: rats challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (5 mg kg(-1)) and treated with saline (64 ml kg(-1)); challenged with LPS (5 mg kg(-1)) and treated with HES (16 ml kg(-1)); injected with saline and treated with HES (16 ml kg(-1)); and saline control. Each hepatic tissue was collected in groups of rats 2 h after induction of endotoxemia for determination of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha levels, TNF-alpha mRNA expressions, and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB, activator protein (AP)-1 activities or 3 h after LPS challenge for IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 levels and the mRNA expressions.
RESULTSEndotoxemia was associated with significant increases in hepatic proinflammatory cytokine productions and transcription factor activities. HES significantly reduced the increased hepatic levels of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8 and the mRNAs in the endotoxemic rats. Similarly, HES could inhibit hepatic NF-kappaB and AP-1 activations.
CONCLUSIONSThe results suggest that in sepsis HES may down-regulate hepatic inflammatory mediators production and these anti-inflammatory effects may act through inhibition of NF-kappaB and AP-1 activations.