Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AECOPD) is an irreversible inflammatory airways disease responsible for global health burden, involved with a complex condition of immunological change. Exacerbation-mediated neutrophilia is an important factor in the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke-induced AECOPD. Ginsenoside Rg3, a red-ginseng-derived compound, has multiple pharmacological properties such as anti-inflammatory and antitumor activities. Here, we investigated a protective role of Rg3 against AECOPD, focusing on neutrophilia. 14-week-cigarette smoke (CS) exposure and non-typeable Haemophilus inflenzae (NTHi) infection were used to establish the AECOPD murine model. Rg3 (10, 20, 40 mg/kg) was administered intragastrically from the 12th week of CS exposure before infection, and this led to improved lung function and lung morphology, and reduced neutrophilic inflammation, indicating a suppressive effect on neutrophil infiltration by Rg3. Further investigations on the mechanism of Rg3 on neutrophils were carried out using bronchial epithelial cell (BEAS-2B) and neutrophil co-culture and transepithelial migration model. Pre-treatment of neutrophils with Rg3 reduced neutrophil migration, which seemed to be the result of inhibition of phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 3-kinases (PI3K) activation within neutrophils. Thus, Rg3 could inhibit exacerbation-induced neutrophilia in COPD by negatively regulating PI3K activities in neutrophils. This study provides a potential natural drug against AECOPD neutrophil inflammation.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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