Dimethyl Fumarate Attenuates Lung Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Induced by Chronic Exposure to Diesel Exhaust Particles in Mice

Isabella Cattani Pinto Cavalieri, Helber Da Maia Valença, João Alfredo Moraes, Lycia Brito-Gitirana, Bruna Romana-Souza, Martina Schmidt*, Samuel Santos Valença

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Air pollution is mainly caused by burning of fossil fuels, such as diesel, and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality due to adverse health effects induced by inflammation and oxidative stress. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a fumaric acid ester and acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. We investigated the potential therapeutic effects of DMF on pulmonary damage caused by chronic exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEPs). Mice were challenged with DEPs (30 µg per mice) by intranasal instillation for 60 consecutive days. After the first 30 days, the animals were treated daily with 30 mg/kg of DMF by gavage for the remainder of the experimental period. We demonstrated a reduction in total inflammatory cell number in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of mice subjected to DEP + DMF as compared to those exposed to DEPs alone. Importantly, DMF treatment was able to reduce lung injury caused by DEP exposure. Intracellular total reactive oxygen species (ROS), peroxynitrite (OONO), and nitric oxide (NO) levels were significantly lower in the DEP + DMF than in the DEP group. In addition, DMF treatment reduced the protein expression of kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap-1) in lung lysates from DEP-exposed mice, whereas total nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65 expression was decreased below baseline in the DEP + DMF group compared to both the control and DEP groups. Lastly, DMF markedly reduced DEP-induced expression of nitrotyrosine, glutathione peroxidase-1/2 (Gpx-1/2), and catalase in mouse lungs. In summary, DMF treatment effectively reduced lung injury, inflammation, and oxidative and nitrosative stress induced by chronic DEP exposure. Consequently, it may lead to new therapies to diminish lung injury caused by air pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9658
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume 21(24)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2020


  • diesel exhaust particles
  • dimethyl fumarate

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