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Regulator of G protein signaling protein 6 alleviates acute lung injury by inhibiting inflammation and promoting cell self-renewal in mice

Published date

December 8, 2023

Abstract


"Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a disease with high mortality and morbidity. Regulator of G protein signaling protein 6 (RGS6), identified as a tumor suppressor gene, has received increasing attention owing to its close relationship with oxidative stress and inflammation. However, the association between ARDS and RGS6 has not been reported.

Methods: Congruously regulated G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-related genes and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in an acute lung injury (ALI) model were identified, and functional enrichment analysis was conducted. In an in vivo study, the effects of RGS6 knockout were studied in a mouse model of ALI induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). HE staining, ELISA, and immunohistochemistry were used to evaluate pathological changes and the degree of inflammation. In vitro, qRT‒PCR, immunofluorescence staining, and western blotting were used to determine the dynamic changes in RGS6 expression in cells. The RGS6 overexpression plasmid was constructed for transfection. qRT‒PCR was used to assess proinflammatory factors transcription. Western blotting and flow cytometry were used to evaluate apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Organoid culture was used to assess the stemness and self-renewal capacity of alveolar epithelial type II cells (AEC2s).

Results: A total of 110 congruously regulated genes (61 congruously upregulated and 49 congruously downregulated genes) were identified among GPCR-related genes and DEGs in the ALI model. RGS6 was downregulated in vivo and in vitro in the ALI model. RGS6 was expressed in the cytoplasm and accumulated in the nucleus after LPS stimulation. Compared with the control group, we found higher mortality, more pronounced body weight changes, more serious pulmonary edema and pathological damage, and more neutrophil infiltration in the RGS6 knockout group upon LPS stimulation in vivo. Moreover, AEC2s loss was significantly increased upon RGS6 knockout. Organoid culture assays showed slower alveolar organoid formation, fewer alveolar organoids, and impaired development of new structures after passaging upon RGS6 knockout. In addition, RGS6 overexpression decreased ROS production as well as proinflammatory factor transcription in macrophages and decreased apoptosis in epithelial cells.

Conclusions: RGS6 plays a protective role in ALI not only in early inflammatory responses but also in endogenous lung stem cell regeneration."

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