Therapeutic effect of ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid on neutrophilic lung inflammation and sepsis is mediated by Nrf2

Kyun Ha Kim, Ruxana T. Sadikot, Myungsoo Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Kaurenoic acid (ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid: KA) is a key constituent found in the roots of Aralia continentalis Kitagawa (Araliaceae), a remedy to treat patients with inflammatory diseases in traditional Asian medicine. Since KA activates Nrf2, a key anti-inflammatory factor, at the cellular level, we explored a possible therapeutic usage of KA against neutrophilic inflammatory lung disease such as acute lung injury (ALI). Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to C57BL/6 mice induced lung inflammation as in ALI. 2 h after i.p. LPS, intratracheal (i.t.) delivery of KA (0.3, 3, or 30 μg/kg body weight) improved lung structure and significantly suppressed neutrophil infiltrations to mouse lungs, with concomitant reduction of myeloperoxidase activity and of the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes. While activating Nrf2 and expressing Nrf2-dependent genes in mouse lungs, KA did not significantly suppress neutrophil lung inflammation in Nrf2 KO mice. In a mouse model of sepsis, a major cause of ALI, single i.t. KA (3 μg/kg) 2 h after the onset of sepsis significantly decreased the mortality of mice. Together, these results suggest that KA has a therapeutic potential against inflammatory lung disease, the effect of which is associated with Nrf2 activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 3 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-inflammation
  • Kaurenoic acid
  • Neutrophilic lung inflammation
  • Nrf2
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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