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Research article

J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2015; 25(12): 2146-2152

Published online December 28, 2015 https://doi.org/10.4014/jmb.1508.08017

Copyright © The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Apios americana Medik Extract Alleviates Lung Inflammation in Influenza Virus H1N1- and Endotoxin-Induced Acute Lung Injury

Sung-Hwa Sohn 1, Sang-Yeon Lee 1, Jun Cui 2, Ho Hee Jang 2, Tae-Hoon Kang 3, Jong-Keun Kim , In-Kyoung Kim , Deuk-Ki Lee 5, Seulgi Choi 1, Il-Sub Yoon 1, Ji-Woo Chung 1 and Jae-Hwan Nam 1*

1Department of Biotechnology, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon 14662, Republic of Korea, 2Department of Molecular Medicine, Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute, Gachon University, Incheon 406-840, Republic of Korea, 3Health Care Institute, Phytomecca Co., Ltd, Incheon 406-840, Republic of Korea, 4Sungkyun Biotech Co., Ltd R&D Center, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea, 5Division of Respiratory, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea

Received: August 6, 2015; Accepted: August 20, 2015

Abstract

Apios americana Medik (hereinafter Apios) has been reported to treat diseases, including
cancer, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. The therapeutic effect of Apios is likely to be
associated with its anti-inflammatory activity. This study was conducted to evaluate the
protective effects of Apios in animal models of acute lung injury induced by
lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza A virus (H1N1). Mice were
exposed to LPS or H1N1 for 2–4 days to induce acute lung injury. The treatment groups were
administered Apios extracts via oral injection for 8 weeks before LPS treatment or H1N1
infection. To investigate the effects of Apios, we assessed the mice for in vivo effects of Apios
on immune cell infiltration and the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the bronchoalveolar
lavage (BAL) fluid, and histopathological changes in the lung. After induction of acute lung
injury, the numbers of neutrophils and total cells were lower in the Apios-treated groups than
in the non-Apios-treated LPS and H1N1 groups. The Apios groups tended to have lower levels
of tumor necrosis factor-a and interleukin-6 in BAL fluid. In addition, the histopathological
changes in the lungs were markedly reduced in the Apios-treated groups. These data suggest
that Apios treatment reduces LPS- and H1N1-induced lung inflammation. These protective
effects of Apios suggest that it may have therapeutic potential in acute lung injury.

Keywords: Apios, acute lung injury, influenza virus, lipopolysaccharide, inflammation