Febuxostat protects rats against lipopolysaccharide-induced lung inflammation in a dose-dependent manner

Alaa N.A. Fahmi, George S.G. Shehatou*, Abdelhadi M. Shebl, Hatem A. Salem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present work was to investigate possible protective effects of febuxostat, a highly potent xanthine oxidase inhibitor, against acute lung injury (ALI) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in rats. Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups, as follows: (i) vehicle control group; (ii) and (iii) febuxostat 10 and febuxostat 15 groups, drug-treated controls; (iv) LPS group, receiving an intraperitoneal injection of LPS (7.5 mg/kg); (v) and (vi) febuxostat 10-LPS and febuxostat 15-LPS groups, receiving oral treatment of febuxostat (10 and 15 mg/kg/day, respectively) for 7 days before LPS. After 18 h administration of LPS, blood was collected for C-reactive protein (CRP) measurement. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was examined for leukocyte infiltration, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, protein content, and total nitrate/nitrite. Lung weight gain was determined, and lung tissue homogenate was prepared and evaluated for oxidative stress. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was assessed in BALF and lung homogenate. Moreover, histological changes of lung tissues were evaluated. LPS elicited lung injury characterized by increased lung water content (by 1.2 fold), leukocyte infiltration (by 13 fold), inflammation and oxidative stress (indicated by increased malondialdehyde (MDA), by 3.4 fold), and reduced superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity (by 34 %). Febuxostat dose-dependently decreased LPS-induced lung edema and elevations in BALF protein content, infiltration of leukocytes, and LDH activity. Moreover, the elevated levels of TNF-α in BALF and lung tissue of LPS-treated rats were attenuated by febuxostat pretreatment. Febuxostat also displayed a potent antioxidant activity by decreasing lung tissue levels of MDA and enhancing SOD activity. Histological analysis of lung tissue further demonstrated that febuxostat dose-dependently reversed LPS-induced histopathological changes. These findings demonstrate a significant dose-dependent protection by febuxostat against LPS-induced lung inflammation in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Febuxostat
  • Inflammation
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Lung injury
  • Oxidative stress
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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