Protective Effects of Valproic Acid, a Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor, against Hyperoxic Lung Injury in a Neonatal Rat Model

Merih Cetinkaya*, Mehmet Cansev, Ferhat Cekmez, Cuneyt Tayman, Fuat Emre Canpolat, Ilker Mustafa Kafa, Esra Orenlili Yaylagul, Boris W. Kramer, Serdar Umit Sarici

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective Histone acetylation and deacetylation may play a role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory lung diseases. We evaluated the preventive effect of valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, on neonatal hyperoxic lung injury. Methods Forty newborn rat pups were randomized in normoxia, normoxia+VPA, hyperoxia and hyperoxia+VPA groups. Pups in the normoxia and normoxia+VPA groups were kept in room air and received daily saline and VPA (30 mg/kg) injections, respectively, while those in hyperoxia and hyperoxia+VPA groups were exposed to 95% O2 and received daily saline and VPA (30 mg/kg) injections for 10 days, respectively. Growth, histopathological, biochemical and molecular biological indicators of lung injury, apoptosis, inflammation, fibrosis and histone acetylation were evaluated. Results VPA treatment during hyperoxia significantly improved weight gain, histopathologic grade, radial alveolar count and lamellar body membrane protein expression, while it decreased number of TUNEL(+) cells and active Caspase- 3 expression. Expressions of TGF beta 3 and phospho- SMAD2 proteins and levels of tissue proinflammatory cytokines as well as lipid peroxidation biomarkers were reduced, while anti- oxidative enzyme activities were enhanced by VPA treatment. VPA administration also reduced HDAC activity while increasing acetylated H3 and H4 protein expressions. Conclusions The present study shows for the first time that VPA treatment ameliorates lung damage in a neonatal rat model of hyperoxic lung injury. The preventive effect of VPA involves HDAC inhibition.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0126028
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015

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