3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM), a natural indole found in cruciferous vegetables, has significant anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. In this current study, we investigated the effects of DIM on acute lung injury (ALI) induced by exposure to staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). We found that pretreatment of mice with DIM led to attenuation of SEB-induced inflammation in the lungs, vascular leak, and IFN-γ secretion. Additionally, DIM could induce cell-cycle arrest and cell death in SEB-activated T cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Interestingly, microRNA (miRNA) microarray analysis uncovered an altered miRNA profile in lung-infiltrating mononuclear cells after DIM treatment of SEB-exposed mice. Moreover, computational analysis of miRNA gene targets and regulation networks indicated that DIM alters miRNA in the cell death and cell-cycle progression pathways. Specifically, DIM treatment significantly downregulated several miRNA and a correlative increase associated gene targets. Furthermore, overexpression and inhibition studies demonstrated that DIM-induced cell death, at least in part, used miR-222. Collectively, these studies demonstrate for the first time that DIM treatment attenuates SEB-induced ALI and may do so through the induction of microRNAs that promote apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest in SEB-activated T cells.
- Received June 8, 2015.
- Accepted January 26, 2016.
The research was funded in part by National Institutes of Health [Grants R01AT006888, P01AT003961, P20RR032684, R01ES019313, R01MH094755, and VA Merit Award 1I01BX001357]. The funding agency had no role in experimental design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
- U.S. Government work not protected by U.S. copyright