Exp Ther Med.2021 Nov;22(5):1311.doi: 10.3892/etm.2021.10746. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Blocking tumor necrosis factor-α delays progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in rats through inhibiting MAPK signaling pathway and activating SOCS3/TRAF1

Qiong Feng  1 Yan-Zi Yu  2 Qing-Hua Meng  1 Affiliations

Free PMC article


The present study was conducted in order to study the detailed molecular mechanism of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The rats were treated with cigarette smoke (CS) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to establish the COPD model. Next, the changes in lung injury in COPD rats with TNF-α knockdown was tested. Meanwhile, the regulation of TNF-α on MAPK pathway and its downstream molecules (SOCS3/TRAF1) was determined by western blotting. On this basis, the activation of MAPK and inhibition of SOCS3/TRAF1 was also examined. Subsequently, the lung function was tested with the plethysmograph, the cells of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was counted and classified. Furthermore, lung tissue sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin to verify whether the treatment of MAPK pathway and downstream molecules affected the effect of TNF-α knockdown on COPD. The present study showed that TNF-α knockdown could alleviate the decrease in the function and inflammatory injury of the lungs of rats with COPD. Western blot analysis verified that TNF-α knockdown could inhibit the activation of MAPK pathway and increase the expression of SOCS3/TRAF1. The following experimental results showed that the relief of lung injury caused by TNF-α knockdown could be deteriorated by activating MAPK pathway. It was also found that the symptom of COPD was decreased following transfection with sh-TNF-α but worsened by SOCS3/TRAF1 knockdown. Overall, TNF-α knockdown inhibited the activation of MAPK pathway and increased the expression of SOCS3/TRAF1, thus delaying the process of COPD.

Keywords: MAPK; SOCS3; TRAF1; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; tumor necrosis factor-α.