Apigenin alleviates the symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia by inhibiting the production of alpha-hemolysin

Authors

  • Jing Dong,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Jiazhang Qiu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Jianfeng Wang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Hongen Li,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Xiaohan Dai,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Yu Zhang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Xin Wang,

    1. College of Quartermaster Technology, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Wei Tan,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Xiaodi Niu,

    1. College of Quartermaster Technology, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Xuming Deng,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Shuhua Zhao

    Corresponding author
    1. The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China
    • Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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Correspondence: Shuhua Zhao, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Ziqiang Street 218#, Changchun 130041, China. Tel.: +86 431 88796569; fax: +86 431 8893474; e-mail: zhao_sh@jlu.edu.cn

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is a common human pathogenic bacteria that can cause serious infections, including lethal staphylococcal pneumonia. The development of antimicrobial resistance has limited treatment options for this pathogen; consequently, novel antibiotics and strategies are urgently desired to combat these infections. In recent years, virulence factors secreted by pathogenic microorganisms have been developed as targets for drug discovery. Alpha-hemolysin, a pore-forming cytotoxin that is secreted by most S. aureus strains, is essential for the pathogenesis of S. aureus pneumonia. In this study, we report that apigenin, a compound extracted from parsley that has no antimicrobial activity vs. S. aureus in vitro, can remarkably decrease the production of α-hemolysin at low concentrations. When added to the A549 cells and S. aureus co-culture system, apigenin protected A549 cells from α-hemolysin-mediated injury. Furthermore, in vivo tests indicated that apigenin alleviated injury of the lung tissue and decreased cytokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in the mouse model of S. aureus pneumonia.

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