Polyhexamethylene guanidine (PHMG) phosphate is a competitive disinfectant with strong antibacterial activity. However, epidemiologists revealed that inhaled PHMG-phosphate may increase the risk of pulmonary fibrosis associated with inflammation, resulting in the deaths of many people, including infants and pregnant women. In addition, in vitro and in vivo studies reported the inflammatory effects of PHMG-phosphate. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to clarify the inflammatory effects and its mechanism induced by PHMG-phosphate in murine RAW264.7 macrophages. Cell viability, inflammatory cytokine secretion, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation were investigated in macrophages exposed to PHMG-phosphate. PHMG-phosphate induced dose-dependent cytotoxicity, with LC50 values of 11.15-0.99mg/ml at 6 and 24h, respectively. PHMG-phosphate induced pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8. In particular, IL-8 expression was completely inhibited by the NF-κB inhibitor BAY11-7082. In addition, PHMG-phosphate decreased IκB-α protein expression and increased NF-κB-mediated luciferase activity, which was diminished by N-acetyl-l-cystein. However, abundant amounts of ROS were generated in the presence of PHMG-phosphate at high concentrations with a cytotoxic effect. Our results demonstrated that PHMG-phosphate triggered the activation of NF-κB signaling pathway by modulating the degradation of IκB-α. Furthermore, the NF-κB signaling pathway plays a critical role in the inflammatory responses induced by PHMG-phosphate. We assumed that ROS generated by PHMG-phosphate were associated with inflammatory responses as secondary mechanism. In conclusion, we suggest that PHMG-phosphate induces inflammatory responses via NF-κB signaling pathway.
- Nuclear factor kappa B
- Polyhexamethylene guanidine phosphate
- Reactive oxygen species
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