Rationale: Although reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generally considered to be proinflammatory and to contribute to cellular and organ dysfunction when present in excessive amounts, there is evidence that specific ROS, particularly hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), may have antiinflammatory properties.
Objectives: To address the role that increases in intracellular H2O2 may play in acute inflammatory processes, we examined the effects of catalase inhibition or the absence of catalase on LPS-induced inflammatory responses.
Methods: Neutrophils from control or acatalasemic mice, or control neutrophils incubated with the catalase inhibitor aminotriazole, were treated with LPS, and levels of reactive oxygen species, proteasomal activity, NF-κB activation, and proinflammatory cytokine expression were measured. Acute lung injury (ALI) was produced by intratracheal injection of LPS into control, acatalasemic-, or aminotriazole-treated mice.
Measurements and Main Results: Intracellular levels of H2O2 were increased in acatalasemic neutrophils and in neutrophils exposed to aminotriazole. Compared with LPS-stimulated neutrophils from control mice, neutrophils from acatalasemic mice or neutrophils treated with aminotriazole demonstrated reduced 20S and 26S proteasomal activity, IκB-α degradation, NF-κB nuclear accumulation, and production of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and macrophage inhibitory protein (MIP)-2. The severity of LPS-induced ALI was less in acatalasemic mice and in mice treated with aminotriazole as compared with that found in control mice.
Conclusions: These results indicate that H2O2 has antiinflammatory effects on neutrophil activation and inflammatory processes, such as ALI, in which activated neutrophils play a major role.