Although the accumulation of amyloidogenic proteins in neuroinflammatory conditions is generally considered pathologic, in a murine model of multiple sclerosis, amyloid-forming fibrils, comprised of hexapeptides, are anti-inflammatory. Whether these molecules modulate systemic inflammatory conditions remains unknown. We hypothesized that an amylin hexapeptide that forms fibrils can attenuate the systemic inflammatory response in a murine model of sepsis. To test this hypothesis, mice were pre-treated with either vehicle or amylin hexapeptide (20 μg) at 12 hours and 6 hours prior to intraperitoneal (i.p.) lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 20 mg/kg) administration. Illness severity and survival were monitored every 6 hours for 3 days. Levels of pro- (IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines were measured via ELISA at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours after LPS (i.p.). As a metric of lung injury, pulmonary artery endothelial cell (PAEC) barrier function was tested 24 hours after LPS administration by comparing lung wet-to-dry ratios, Evan’s blue dye (EBD) extravasation, lung histology and caspase-3 activity. Compared to controls, pretreatment with amylin hexapeptide significantly reduced mortality (p<0.05 at 72 h), illness severity (p<0.05), and proinflammatory cytokine levels, while IL-10 levels were elevated (p<0.05). Amylin pretreatment attenuated LPS-induced lung injury, as demonstrated by decreased lung water and caspase-3 activity (p<0.05, versus PBS). Hence, in a murine model of systemic inflammation, pretreatment with amylin hexapeptide reduced mortality, disease severity, and preserved lung barrier function. Amylin hexapeptide may represent a novel therapeutic tool to mitigate sepsis severity and lung injury.
Mahapatra, S., Ying, L., Ho, P. P. K., Kurnellas, M., Rothbard, J., Steinman, L., & Cornfield, D. N. (2018). An amyloidogenic hexapeptide derived from amylin attenuates inflammation and acute lung injury in murine sepsis. PLoS ONE, 13(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199206