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    Sepsis is typically triggered by an overwhelming systemic inflammatory response to pathogens, and may lead to severe organ dysfunction and/or death. Sepsis consequently has a high mortality rate and a high rate of complications for survivors, despite modern medical advances. Therefore, drug identification and validation for the treatment of sepsis is of the utmost importance. As a selective phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, rolipram also exhibits the abilities of inhibiting multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines production in macrophages and toxin-induced inflammation in mice. However, this drug has never been studied as a sepsis treatment method. We found that rolipram significantly improves survival in mice challenged with gram-negative bacterium E. coli, CLP, or E. coli derived lipopolysaccharide. We have also found that rolipram inhibits organ damage, pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and intracellular migration of early-stage inflammatory elements. Our results also show that rolipram increases anti-inflammatory cytokine production. The protective effects of rolipram on septic mice may result from inhibition of the MAP kinase and NF-κB signaling pathways. Rolipram may therefore be a potential novel sepsis treatment, one that would bypass the time-consuming and costly drug-discovery process.


    Xiaying Lu, Juan Wang, Xiaohuan Chen, Yong Jiang, Zhixing K Pan. Rolipram Protects Mice from Gram-negative Bacterium Escherichia coli-induced Inflammation and Septic Shock. Scientific reports. 2020 Jan 13;10(1):175

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    PMID: 31932743

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