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1.  Effects of Intermediates between Vitamins K2 and K3 on Mammalian DNA Polymerase Inhibition and Anti-Inflammatory Activity 
Previously, we reported that vitamin K3 (VK3), but not VK1 or VK2 (=MK-4), inhibits the activity of human DNA polymerase γ (pol γ). In this study, we chemically synthesized three intermediate compounds between VK2 and VK3, namely MK-3, MK-2 and MK-1, and investigated the inhibitory effects of all five compounds on the activity of mammalian pols. Among these compounds, MK-2 was the strongest inhibitor of mammalian pols α, κ and λ, which belong to the B, Y and X families of pols, respectively; whereas VK3 was the strongest inhibitor of human pol γ, an A-family pol. MK-2 potently inhibited the activity of all animal species of pol tested, and its inhibitory effect on pol λ activity was the strongest with an IC50 value of 24.6 μM. However, MK-2 did not affect the activity of plant or prokaryotic pols, or that of other DNA metabolic enzymes such as primase of pol α, RNA polymerase, polynucleotide kinase or deoxyribonuclease I. Because we previously found a positive relationship between pol λ inhibition and anti-inflammatory action, we examined whether these compounds could inhibit inflammatory responses. Among the five compounds tested, MK-2 caused the greatest reduction in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced acute inflammation in mouse ear. In addition, in a cell culture system using mouse macrophages, MK-2 displayed the strongest suppression of the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Moreover, MK-2 was found to inhibit the action of nuclear factor (NF)-κB. In an in vivo mouse model of LPS-evoked acute inflammation, intraperitoneal injection of MK-2 in mice led to suppression of TNF-α production in serum. In conclusion, this study has identified VK2 and VK3 intermediates, such as MK-2, that are promising anti-inflammatory candidates.
PMCID: PMC3083694  PMID: 21541047
vitamin K; MK-2; DNA polymerase λ; enzyme inhibitor; anti-inflammation
2.  Modulation by glycyrrhetinic acid derivatives of TPA-induced mouse ear oedema. 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1989;96(1):204-210.
1. The anti-inflammatory effects of glycyrrhetinic acid and its derivatives on TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate)-induced mouse ear oedema were studied. The mechanisms of TPA-induced ear oedema were first investigated with respect to the chemical mediators. 2. The formation of ear oedema reached a maximum 5 h after TPA application (2 micrograms per ear) and the prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production of mouse ear increased with the oedema formation. 3. TPA-induced ear oedema was prevented by actinomycin D and cycloheximide (0.1 mg per ear, respectively) when applied during 60 min after TPA treatment. 4. Of glycyrrhetinic acid derivatives examined, dihemiphthalate derivatives (IIe, IIe', IIIa, IIIa', IVa, IVa') most strongly inhibited ear oedema on both topical (ID50, 1.6 mg per ear for IIe, 2.0 mg per ear for IIIa and 1.6 mg per ear for IVa) and oral (ID50, 88 mg kg-1 for IIe', 130 mg kg-1 for IIIa' and 92 mg kg-1 for IVa') administration. 5. Glycyrrhetinic acid (Ia) and its derivatives applied 30 min before TPA treatment were much more effective in inhibiting oedema than when applied 30 min after TPA. A dihemiphthalate of triterpenoid compound IVa completely inhibited oedema, even when applied 3 h before TPA treatment. 6. Glycyrrhetinic acid (Ia) and deoxoglycyrrhetol (IIa), the parent compounds, produced little inhibition by oral administration at less than 200 mg kg-1. 7. These results suggest that the dihemiphthalate derivatives of triterpenes derived from glycyrrhetinic acid by chemical modification are useful for the treatment of skin inflammation by both topical and oral application.
PMCID: PMC1854326  PMID: 2924072
3.  Potent anti-inflammatory effects of two quinolinedione compounds, OQ1 and OQ21, mediated by dual inhibition of inducible NO synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2009;156(2):328-337.
Background and purpose:
Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) have been suggested as key components in various inflammatory diseases. Here we examined the effects of new quinolinedione derivatives, 6-(4-fluorophenyl)-amino-5,8-quinolinedione (OQ1) and 6-(2,3,4-trifluorophenyl)-amino-5,8-quinolinedione (OQ21) on activity and expression of iNOS and COX-2 to explore their anti-inflammatory properties.
Experimental approach:
The effects of OQ1 and OQ21 were assessed on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced iNOS and COX-2 in murine macrophage cell line (RAW264.7), along with isolated enzyme assays to measure enzyme inhibition. Nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) activation pathways were investigated to elucidate mechanisms underlying OQ-mediated suppression of the expression of iNOS and COX-2. In vivo anti-inflammatory activities of OQ compounds were evaluated in mouse ear oedema, induced by topical 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA).
Key results:
LPS-induced NO production in RAW264.7 cells was inhibited by OQ1 and OQ21 through the attenuation of iNOS expression as well as iNOS activity. Down-regulation of iNOS followed blocking of NFκB activation, as assessed by inhibitory κB degradation and electrophoretic mobility shift assay for NFκB. Synthesis and accumulation of prostaglandin E2 were also suppressed by OQ1 and OQ21. LPS-induced COX-2 expression and cellular COX-2 activities were attenuated by OQ1 and OQ21. Consistent with these results, OQ1 showed potent anti-inflammatory effects in mouse ear oedema induced by TPA.
Conclusions and implications:
The novel quinolinedione derivatives, OQ1 and OQ21, showed potent anti-inflammatory activity through dual inhibitory effects on iNOS and COX-2, suggesting that OQ derivatives might provide a new therapeutic modality for chronic inflammatory diseases, refractory to conventional drug therapies.
PMCID: PMC2697840  PMID: 19154436
iNOS; cyclooxygenase-2; anti-inflammatory agent; inflammation; TPA-induced mouse ear oedema; quinolinedione
4.  Glycyrrhizin Attenuates MPTP Neurotoxicity in Mouse and MPP+-Induced Cell Death in PC12 Cells 
The present study examined the inhibitory effect of licorice compounds glycyrrhizin and a metabolite 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid on the neurotoxicity of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in the mouse and on the 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-induced cell death in differentiated PC12 cells. MPTP treatment increased the activities of total superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase and the levels of malondialdehyde and carbonyls in the brain compared to control mouse brain. Co-administration of glycyrrhizin (16.8 mg/kg) attenuated the MPTP effect on the enzyme activities and formation of tissue peroxidation products. In vitro assay, licorice compounds attenuated the MPP+-induced cell death and caspase-3 activation in PC12 cells. Glycyrrhizin up to 100µM significantly attenuated the toxicity of MPP+. Meanwhile, 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid showed a maximum inhibitory effect at 10µM; beyond this concentration the inhibitory effect declined. Glycyrrhizin and 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid attenuated the hydrogen peroxide- or nitrogen species-induced cell death. Results from this study indicate that glycyrrhizin may attenuate brain tissue damage in mice treated with MPTP through inhibitory effect on oxidative tissue damage. Glycyrrhizin and 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid may reduce the MPP+ toxicity in PC12 cells by suppressing caspase-3 activation. The effect seems to be ascribed to the antioxidant effect.
PMCID: PMC2817536  PMID: 20157396
Glycyrrhizin; MPTP; MPP+; Brain tissue damage; Cell death; Inhibitory effect
5.  The relationship between the molecular structure of natural acetogenins and their inhibitory activities which affect DNA polymerase, DNA topoisomerase and human cancer cell growth 
Acetogenins from the Annonaceous plant are a fatty acid-derived natural product. Chemically synthesized natural acetogenins, such as mucocin (compound 1), jimenezin (compound 2), muconin (compound 4), pyranicin (compound 5) and pyragonicin (compound 6) were investigated. Concomitantly, 19-epi jimenezin (compound 3), 10-epi pyragonicin (compound 7) and a γ-lactone (compound 8), which is estimated to be a biosynthetic precursor of acetogenins, were synthesized and investigated. Compounds 5 and 6 strongly inhibited, and compound 7 moderately inhibited the activities of mammalian DNA polymerases (pols), such as replicative pol α and repair/recombination-related pol β and λ, and also inhibited human DNA topoisomerase (topos) I and II activities. On the other hand, compounds 1–4 and 8 did not influence the activities of any pols and topos. Compound 5 was the strongest inhibitor of the pols and topos tested, and the IC50 values were 5.0–9.6 μM, respectively. These compounds also suppressed human cancer cell growth with almost the same tendency as the inhibition of pols and topos. Compound 5 was the strongest suppressor of the proliferation of the promyelocytic leukemia cell line, HL-60, in human cancer cell lines tested with an LD50 value of 9.4 μM, and arrested the cells at G1 phases, indicating that it blocks DNA replication by inhibiting the activity of pols rather than topos. This compound also induced cell apoptosis. The relationship between the three-dimensional molecular structure of acetogenins and these inhibitory activities is discussed. The results suggested that compound 5 is a lead compound of potentially useful cancer chemotherapy agents.
PMCID: PMC3490394  PMID: 23136587
acetogenins; pyranicin; enzyme inhibitor; DNA polymerase; DNA topoisomerase; cell cycle arrest; apoptosis; anti-cancer agent; computer simulation
6.  Inhibition of nitric oxide and inflammatory cytokines in LPS-stimulated murine macrophages by resveratrol, a potent proteasome inhibitor 
Altered immune function during ageing results in increased production of nitric oxide (NO) and other inflammatory mediators. Recently, we have reported that NO production was inhibited by naturally-occurring proteasome inhibitors (quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, and riboflavin) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, and thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages from C57BL/6 mice. In a continuous effort to find more potent, non-toxic, commercially available, naturally-occurring proteasome inhibitors that suppress inflammation, the present study was carried out to describe the inhibition of NF-κB activation and NO, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and iNOS expression by trans-resveratrol, trans-pterostilbene, morin hydrate, and nicotinic acid in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells and thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages from C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice.
The present results indicate that resveratrol, pterostilbene, and morin hydrate caused significant inhibition (>70% to 90%; P < 0.02) in the activities of chymotrypsin-like, trypsin-like, and post-acidic (post-glutamase) proteasome sites in RAW 264.7 cells at a dose of only 20 μM. These compounds also inhibited the production of NO by RAW-264.7 cells stimulated with LPS alone (>40%; P < 0.05), or LPS + interferon-γ (IFN-γ; >60%; P < 0.02). Furthermore, resveratrol, pterostilbene, morin hydrate, and quercetin suppressed secretion of TNF-α (>40%; P < 0.05) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells, and suppressed NF-κB activation (22% to 45%; P < 0.05) in LPS-stimulated HEK293T cells. These compounds also significantly suppressed LPS-induced expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and iNOS genes in RAW 264.7 cells, and also in thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages from C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice.
The present results clearly demonstrate that resveratrol and pterostilbene are particularly potent proteasome inhibitors that suppress expression of genes, and production of inflammatory products in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells, and macrophages from C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. Resveratrol and pterostilbene which are present in grapes, blueberries, and red wine, have been implicated as contributing factors to the lower incidence of cardiovascular disease in the French population, despite their relatively high dietary fat intake. Consequently, it appears likely that the beneficial nutritional effects of resveratrol and pterostilbene are due at least in part, to their ability to inhibit NF-κB activation by the proteasome, thereby suppressing activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and iNOS genes, resulting in decreased secretion of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and NO levels, in response to inflammatory stimuli. This is the first report demonstrating that resveratrol and pterostilbene act as proteasome inhibitors, thus providing a mechanism for their anti-inflammatory effects.
PMCID: PMC3393619  PMID: 22698256
Nitric oxide (NO); TNF-α; NF-κB; Cytokines; Resveratrol; Proteasome inhibitors
7.  Anti-Tumor Effects of Novel 5-O-Acyl Plumbagins Based on the Inhibition of Mammalian DNA Replicative Polymerase Activity 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88736.
We previously found that vitamin K3 (menadione, 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) inhibits the activity of human mitochondrial DNA polymerase γ (pol γ). In this study, we focused on plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone), and chemically synthesized novel plumbagins conjugated with C2:0 to C22:6 fatty acids (5-O-acyl plumbagins). These chemically modified plumbagins enhanced mammalian pol inhibition and their cytotoxic activity. Plumbagin conjugated with chains consisting of more than C18-unsaturated fatty acids strongly inhibited the activities of calf pol α and human pol γ. Plumbagin conjugated with oleic acid (C18:1-acyl plumbagin) showed the strongest suppression of human colon carcinoma (HCT116) cell proliferation among the ten synthesized 5-O-acyl plumbagins. The inhibitory activity on pol α, a DNA replicative pol, by these compounds showed high correlation with their cancer cell proliferation suppressive activity. C18:1-Acyl plumbagin selectively inhibited the activities of mammalian pol species, but did not influence the activities of other pols and DNA metabolic enzymes tested. This compound inhibited the proliferation of various human cancer cell lines, and was the cytotoxic inhibitor showing strongest inhibition towards HT-29 colon cancer cells (LD50 = 2.9 µM) among the nine cell lines tested. In an in vivo anti-tumor assay conducted on nude mice bearing solid tumors of HT-29 cells, C18:1-acyl plumbagin was shown to be a promising tumor suppressor. These data indicate that novel 5-O-acyl plumbagins act as anti-cancer agents based on mammalian DNA replicative pol α inhibition. Moreover, the results suggest that acylation of plumbagin is an effective chemical modification to improve the anti-cancer activity of vitamin K3 derivatives, such as plumbagin.
PMCID: PMC3919815  PMID: 24520419
8.  Antibacterial Effects of Glycyrrhetinic Acid and Its Derivatives on Staphylococcus aureus 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(11):e0165831.
Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in humans and causes serious problems due to antibiotic resistance. We investigated the antimicrobial effect of glycyrrhetinic acid (GRA) and its derivatives against 50 clinical S. aureus strains, including 18 methicillin-resistant strains. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of GRA, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, disodium succinoyl glycyrrhetinate (GR-SU), stearyl glycyrrhetinate and glycyrrhetinyl stearate were evaluated against various S. aureus strains. Additionally, we investigated the bactericidal effects of GRA and GR-SU against two specific S. aureus strains. DNA microarray analysis was also performed to clarify the mechanism underlying the antibacterial activity of GR-SU. We detected the antimicrobial activities of five agents against S. aureus strains. GRA and GR-SU showed strong antibacterial activities compared to the other three agents tested. At a higher concentration (above 2x MIC), GRA and GR-SU showed bactericidal activity, whereas at a concentration of 1x MIC, they showed a bacteriostatic effect. Additionally, GRA and GR-SU exhibited a synergistic effect with gentamicin. The expression of a large number of genes (including transporters) and metabolic factors (carbohydrates and amino acids) was altered by the addition of GR-SU, suggesting that the inhibition of these metabolic processes may influence the degree of the requirement for carbohydrates or amino acids. In fact, the requirement for carbohydrates or amino acids was increased in the presence of either GRA or GR-SU. GRA and GR-SU exhibited strong antibacterial activity against several S. aureus strains, including MRSA. This activity may be partly due to the inhibition of several pathways involved in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism.
PMCID: PMC5098735  PMID: 27820854
9.  Anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of six pentacyclic triterpenes isolated from the Mexican copal resin of Bursera copallifera 
Bursera copallifera (Burseraceae) releases a resin known as “copal ancho” which has been used, since pre-Colombian times, as ceremonially burned incense and to treat tooth ache, tumors, arthritis, cold, cough, and various inflammatory conditions; however, its anti-inflammatory potential is poorly studied. The aim of the present study was to isolate, quantify, and to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity of triterpene compounds isolated from the copal resin of B. copallifera.
The constituents present in the total resin of B. copallifera were obtained by successive chromatographic procedures, and quantitative analysis was performed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Anti-inflammatory effects of the isolated triterpenes were investigated to determine their inhibitory effects on phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced edema in mice, viability and nitric oxide (NO) production inhibition on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages, and inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, COX-2 and secretory Phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) activities in vitro.
Quantitative phytochemical analysis of the copal resin showed the presence of six pentacyclic triterpenes of which, 3-epilupeol (59.75 % yield) and α-amyrin (21.1 % yield) are the most abundant. Among the isolated triterpenes, 3-epilupeol formiate (Inhibitory Concentration 50 % (IC50) = 0.96 μmol), α.amyrin acetate (IC50 = 1.17 μmol), lupenone (IC50 = 1.05 μmol), and 3-epilupeol (IC50 = 0.83 μmol) showed marked inhibition of the edema induced by TPA in mice. α-amyrin acetate and 3-epilupeol acetate, at 70 μM, also inhibited the activity of COX-2 by 62.85 and 73.28 % respectively, while α-amyrin and 3-epilupeol were the best inhibitors of the production of NO in LPS-activated RAW 264.7 cells with IC50 values of 15.5 and 8.98 μM respectively, and did not affected its viability. All compounds moderately inhibited the activity of PLA2.
This work supports the folk use of B. copallifera and provides the basis for future investigations about the therapeutic use of this resin in treating inflammation.
PMCID: PMC5081879  PMID: 27784308
B. copallifera; Copal ancho; Pentacyclic triterpenes; Inflammation; NO inhibition; COX-2 inhibition
10.  8-(Tosylamino)quinoline inhibits macrophage-mediated inflammation by suppressing NF-κB signaling 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2012;33(8):1037-1046.
The macrophage-mediated inflammatory response may contribute to the development of cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis and septic shock. This study was to characterize several new compounds to suppress macrophage-mediated inflammation.
Peritoneal macrophages from C57BL/6 male mice and RAW264.7 cells were examined. Anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated in the cells exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory activity were investigated via measuring transcription factor activation in response to specific signals and via assaying the activities of the target kinases.
Of 7 candidate compounds tested, 8-(tosylamino)quinoline (8-TQ, compound 7) exhibited the strongest activities in suppressing the production of NO, TNF-α, and PGE2 in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells and peritoneal macrophages (the IC50 values=1−5 μmol/L). This compound (1.25−20 μmol/L) dose-dependently suppressed the expression of the pro-inflammatory genes for iNOS, COX-2, TNF-α, and the cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 at the level of transcription in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. 8-TQ (20 μmol/L) significantly suppressed the activation of NF-κB and its upstream signaling elements, including inhibitor of κB (IκBα), IκBα kinase (IKK) and Akt in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. In in vivo experiments, oral administration of 20 and 40 mg/kg 8-TQ for 3 d significantly alleviated the signs of LPS-induced hepatitis and HCl/EtOH-induced gastritis, respectively, in ICR mice.
8-TQ (compound 7) exerts significant anti-inflammatory activity through the inhibition of the Akt/NF-κB pathway, thus may be developed as a novel anti-inflammatory drug.
PMCID: PMC4011321  PMID: 22796759
8-(tosylamino)quinoline; anti-inflammatory effect; lipopolysaccharide; macrophage; RAW264.7 cell; hepatitis; gastritis; NF-κB; Akt
11.  Shikonin reduces oedema induced by phorbol ester by interfering with IκBα degradation thus inhibiting translocation of NF-κB to the nucleus 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2010;160(2):376-388.
Background and purpose:
In the present paper we studied the effect of shikonin on ear oedema induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), and determined the mechanisms through which shikonin might exert its topical anti-inflammatory action.
Experimental approach:
Acute ear oedema was induced in mice by topical application of TPA. The in vitro assays used macrophages RAW 264.7 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. Cyclooxygenase-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, protein kinase Cα, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), phosphorylated ERK (pERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), pJNK, p38, p-p38, p65, p-p65, inhibitor protein of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) (IκBα) and pIκBα were measured by Western blotting, activation and binding of NF-κB to DNA was detected by reporter gene and electrophoretic mobility shift assay, respectively, and NF-κB p65 localization was detected by immunocytochemistry.
Key results:
Shikonin reduced the oedema (inhibitory dose 50 = 1.0 mg per ear), the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (70%) and of inducible nitric oxide synthase (100%) in vivo. It significantly decreased TPA-induced translocation of protein kinase Cα, the phosphorylation and activation of ERK, the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and the TPA-induced NF-κB-DNA-binding activity in mouse skin. Moreover, in RAW 264.7 cells, shikonin significantly inhibited the binding of NF-κB to DNA in a dose-dependent manner and the nuclear translocation of p65.
Conclusions and implications:
Shikonin exerted its topical anti-inflammatory action by interfering with the degradation of IκBα, thus inhibiting the activation of NF-κB.
PMCID: PMC2874859  PMID: 20423347
shikonin; TPA; cyclooxygenase-2; ear mouse; RAW 264.7 macrophages; NF-κB; p65; inducible nitric oxide synthase; MAPK
12.  Ethyl caffeate suppresses NF-κB activation and its downstream inflammatory mediators, iNOS, COX-2, and PGE2 in vitro or in mouse skin 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2005;146(3):352-363.
Ethyl caffeate, a natural phenolic compound, was isolated from Bidens pilosa, a medicinal plant popularly used for treating certain inflammatory syndromes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the structural activity, and the anti-inflammatory functions and mechanism(s) of ethyl caffeate.Ethyl caffeate was found to markedly suppress the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production (IC50=5.5 μg ml−1), mRNA and protein expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in RAW 264.7 macrophages.Transient gene expression assays using human cox-2 promoter construct revealed that ethyl caffeate exerted an inhibitory effect on cox-2 transcriptional activity in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-treated MCF-7 cells.Immunohistochemical studies of mouse skin demonstrated that TPA-induced COX-2 expression was significantly inhibited by ethyl caffeate with a superior effect to that of celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.The phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitor κB (IκB) and the translocation of nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB) into the nucleus, as well as the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) induced by LPS in macrophages, were not affected by ethyl caffeate. Ethyl caffeate, however, could inhibit NF-κB activation by impairing the binding of NF-κB to its cis-acting element. These results suggest that ethyl caffeate suppresses iNOS and COX-2 expressions partly through the inhibition of the NF-κB·DNA complex formation.Structure–activity relationship analyses suggested that the catechol moiety and α,β-unsaturated ester group in ethyl caffeate are important and essential structural features for preventing NF-κB·DNA complex formation. This study provides an insight into the probable mechanism(s) underlying the anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties of ethyl caffeate.
PMCID: PMC1576288  PMID: 16041399
Ethyl caffeate; Bidens pilosa; NF-κB; COX-2; iNOS; PGE2
13.  Phytochemical Analysis on Quantification and the Inhibitory Effects on Inflammatory Responses from the Fruit of Xanthii fructus 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2015;11(Suppl 4):S585-S591.
Xanthii fructus (Compositae) is a traditional herbal medicine used for treating headache, toothache, pruritus, empyema, and rhinitis. In this study of the quality control of X. fructus, we performed simultaneous analysis of nine marker compounds: Protocatechuic acid (1), chlorogenic acid (2), caffeic acid (3), 4,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (4), ferulic acid (5), 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (6), 1,3-dicaffeoylquinic acid (7), 1,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid (8), and 4,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (9).
Materials and Methods:
Nine components were separated using reversed-phase SunFire™ C18 analytical column and analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography. We examined the biological effects of the nine marker compounds by determining their anti-inflammatory activities in the murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7.
Among the nine marker compounds, eight significantly inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) production. 1, 3, 5 had significant inhibitory effects on LPS-induced prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in RAW 264.7 cells. None of the tested marker compounds had a significant effect on interleukin-6 production in LPS-treated RAW 264.7 cells. Our data demonstrated that each marker compound from X. fructus exerts anti-inflammatory activity by targeting different inflammation-related pathways such as the TNF-α or PGE2 pathway.
Further experiments using in vitro and in vivo models are needed to identify the mechanisms responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of each marker compound.
Simultaneous analysis of nine phenylpropanoids in the Xanthii fructus was established using HPLC-PDA system.1,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid significantly inhibited LPS-stimulated TNF-a production.Protocatechuic acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid had significant inhibitory effects on LPS-induced PGE2 production in RAW 264.7 cells.
PMCID: PMC4787093  PMID: 27013799
Anti-inflammatory effect; herbal medicine; high-performance liquid chromatography; RAW 264.7; Xanthii fructus
14.  Characterisation of (R)-2-(2-Fluorobiphenyl-4-yl)-N-(3-Methylpyridin-2-yl)Propanamide as a Dual Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase: Cyclooxygenase Inhibitor 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0139212.
Increased endocannabinoid tonus by dual-action fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and substrate selective cyclooxygenase (COX-2) inhibitors is a promising approach for pain-relief. One such compound with this profile is 2-(2-fluorobiphenyl-4-yl)-N-(3-methylpyridin-2-yl)propanamide (Flu-AM1). These activities are shown by Flu-AM1 racemate, but it is not known whether its two single enantiomers behave differently, as is the case towards COX-2 for the parent flurbiprofen enantiomers. Further, the effects of the compound upon COX-2-derived lipids in intact cells are not known.
Methodology/Principal Findings
COX inhibition was determined using an oxygraphic method with arachidonic acid and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) as substrates. FAAH was assayed in mouse brain homogenates using anandamide (AEA) as substrate. Lipidomic analysis was conducted in unstimulated and lipopolysaccharide + interferon γ- stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Both enantiomers inhibited COX-2 in a substrate-selective and time-dependent manner, with IC50 values in the absence of a preincubation phase of: (R)-Flu-AM1, COX-1 (arachidonic acid) 6 μM; COX-2 (arachidonic acid) 20 μM; COX-2 (2-AG) 1 μM; (S)-Flu-AM1, COX-1 (arachidonic acid) 3 μM; COX-2 (arachidonic acid) 10 μM; COX-2 (2-AG) 0.7 μM. The compounds showed no enantiomeric selectivity in their FAAH inhibitory properties. (R)-Flu-AM1 (10 μM) greatly inhibited the production of prostaglandin D2 and E2 in both unstimulated and lipopolysaccharide + interferon γ- stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Levels of 2-AG were not affected either by (R)-Flu-AM1 or by 10 μM flurbiprofen, either alone or in combination with the FAAH inhibitor URB597 (1 μM).
Both enantiomers of Flu-AM1 are more potent inhibitors of 2-AG compared to arachidonic acid oxygenation by COX-2. Inhibition of COX in lipopolysaccharide + interferon γ- stimulated RAW 264.7 cells is insufficient to affect 2-AG levels despite the large induction of COX-2 produced by this treatment.
PMCID: PMC4583449  PMID: 26406890
15.  Identification of anti-inflammatory constituents in Hypericum perforatum and Hypericum gentianoides extracts using RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages 
Phytochemistry  2011;72(16):2015-2023.
Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) is an herb widely used as supplement for mild to moderate depression. Our prior studies revealed synergistic anti-inflammatory activity associated with 4 bioactive compounds in a fraction of H. perforatum ethanol extract. Whether these 4 compounds also contributed to the ethanol extract activity was addressed in the research reported here. Despite the popularity of H. perforatum, other Hypericum species with different phytochemical profiles could have their anti-inflammatory potentials attributed to these or other compounds. In the current study, ethanol extracts of different Hypericum species were compared for their inhibitory effect on LPS-induced prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO) production in RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages. Among these extracts, those made from H. perforatum and H. gentianoides demonstrated stronger overall efficacy. LC-MS analysis indicated the 4 compounds in H. perforatum extract and pseudohypericin in all active fractions. The 4 compounds accounted for a significant part of the extract’s inhibitory activity on PGE2, NO, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in RAW 264.7 as well as peritoneal macrophages. Pseudohypericin was the most important contributor of the anti-inflammatory potential among the 4 compounds. The lipophilic fractions of H. gentianoides extract, which did not contain the previously identified active constituents, decreased PGE2 and NO potently. These fractions were rich in acylphloroglucinols, including uliginosin A that accounted for a proportion of the anti-inflammatory activity observed with the active fractions. Overall, the current study revealed a different group of major anti-inflammatory constituents in H. gentianoides, while showing that a previously identified 4 compounds combination was important for H. perforatum’s anti-inflammatory potential.
PMCID: PMC3197739  PMID: 21855951
Hypericum perforatum; Hypericum gentianoides; RAW 264.7 macrophages; Peritoneal macrophages; Inflammation; Lipopolysaccharide; Acylphloroglucinols; Pseudohypericin; Prostaglandin E2; Nitric oxide
16.  New Isorhamnetin Derivatives from Salsola imbricata Forssk. Leaves with Distinct Anti-inflammatory Activity 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2016;12(Suppl 1):S47-S51.
Salsola imbricata Forssk. is a shrub widely growing in Egypt, used as a camel food, traditionally, used as anti-inflammatory agent. Literature survey showed no report about the anti-inflammatory activity of S. imbricata.
Aim of the Study:
This work was designed to study the phenolic constituents and to provide evidence for the traditional use of S. imbricata as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Materials and Methods:
The in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of the total aqueous methanol extract and some isolated compounds were investigated in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells using nitric oxide assay. All chemical structures were identified on the basis of electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry, one- and two-dimension nuclear magnetic resonance.
Nine phenolic compounds, among them two new natural products; isorhamnetin-3-O-β-D-glucuronyl (1’’’→4’’) glucuronide (1) and its dimethyl ester; isorhamnetin-3-O-β-D-di glucuronate dimethyl ester (2), two isorhamnetin glycosides: Isorhamnetin-3-O-β-D-galactopyranoside (3), isorhamnetin-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (4), and isorhamnetin (5). In addition, an alkaloidal phenolic; trans N-feruloyl tyramine (6), three phenolic acids: Isovanillic acid (7), ferulic acid (8), and p-hydroxy benzoic acid (9) were isolated from salsola imbricata leaves. All compounds were isolated and identified for the first time from this plant except compound (6). The extract and the tested compounds showed distintict anti-inflammatory activities with no toxicity on RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.
The extract and the tested compounds showed distintict anti-inflammatory activities with no toxicity on RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.
Investigation of the chemical constituents of the leaves of Salsola imbricata led to isolation of two new isorhamnetin derivatives: isorhamnetin.3-O-β-D.glucuronyl (1’“→”) glucuronide (1) and its dimethyl ester (2), together with seven known phenolic compounds. The extract and the tested compounds showed distintict anti-inflammatory activities with no toxicity on RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.
Abbreviations used: PC: Paper chromatography, MPLC : Medium Pressure Liquid Chromatography, HMBC: Heteronuclear multiple bond correlation, HMQC: Heteronuclear single quantum correlation, NMR: Nuclear magnetic resonance
PMCID: PMC4791999  PMID: 27041858
Amaranthaceae; anti-inflammatory; isorhamnetin-3-O-β-D-glucuronyl (1′′′→4′′) glucuronide; plant phenolics; Salsola imbricata
17.  Inhibitory Effects of Benzaldehyde Derivatives from the Marine Fungus Eurotium sp. SF-5989 on Inflammatory Mediators via the Induction of Heme Oxygenase-1 in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated RAW264.7 Macrophages 
Two benzaldehyde derivatives, flavoglaucin (1) and isotetrahydro-auroglaucin (2), were isolated from the marine fungus Eurotium sp. SF-5989 through bioassay- and 1H NMR-guided investigation. In this study, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of these compounds in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. We demonstrated that compounds 1 and 2 markedly inhibited LPS-induced nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production by suppressing inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein expression without affecting cell viability. We also demonstrated that the compounds reduced the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Furthermore, compounds 1 and 2 inhibited LPS-induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation by suppressing phosphorylation of IkappaB (IκB). These results indicated that the anti-inflammatory effects of these benzaldehyde derivatives in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages were due to the inactivation of the NF-κB pathway. In addition, compounds 1 and 2 induced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression through the nuclear transcription factor-E2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) translocation. The inhibitory effects of compounds 1 and 2 on the production of pro-inflammatory mediators and on NF-κB binding activity were reversed by HO-1 inhibitor tin protoporphyrin (SnPP). Thus, the anti-inflammatory effects of compounds 1 and 2 also correlated with their ability of inducing HO-1 expression.
PMCID: PMC4284790  PMID: 25535073
benzaldehyde derivatives; marine fungus; Eurotium rubrum; RAW264.7 macrophages; heme oxygenase-1; anti-inflammatory effect; nuclear factor-κB
18.  Terameprocol, a methylated derivative of nordihydroguaiaretic acid, inhibits production of prostaglandins and several key inflammatory cytokines and chemokines 
Extracts of the creosote bush, Larrea tridentata, have been used for centuries by natives of western American and Mexican deserts to treat a variety of infectious diseases and inflammatory disorders. The beneficial activity of this plant has been linked to the compound nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) and its various substituted derivatives. Recently, tetra-O-methyl NDGA or terameprocol (TMP) has been shown to inhibit the growth of certain tumor-derived cell lines and is now in clinical trials for the treatment of human cancer. In this report, we ask whether TMP also displays anti-inflammatory activity. TMP was tested for its ability to inhibit the LPS-induced production of inflammatory lipids and cytokines in vitro. We also examined the effects of TMP on production of TNF-α in C57BL6/J mice following a sublethal challenge with LPS. Finally, we examined the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects we observed.
RAW 264.7 cells and resident peritoneal macrophages from C57BL6/J mice, stimulated with 1 μg/ml LPS, were used in experiments designed to measure the effects of TMP on the production of prostaglandins, cytokines and chemokines. Prostaglandin production was determined by ELISA. Cytokine and chemokine production were determined by antibody array and ELISA.
Western blots, q-RT-PCR, and enzyme assays were used to assess the effects of TMP on expression and activity of COX-2.
q-RT-PCR was used to assess the effects of TMP on levels of cytokine and chemokine mRNA.
C57BL6/J mice injected i.p. with LPS were used in experiments designed to measure the effects of TMP in vivo. Serum levels of TNF-α were determined by ELISA.
TMP strongly inhibited the production of prostaglandins from RAW 264.7 cells and normal peritoneal macrophages. This effect correlated with a TMP-dependent reduction in levels of COX-2 mRNA and protein, and inhibition of the enzymatic activity of COX-2.
TMP inhibited, to varying degrees, the production of several cytokines, and chemokines from RAW 264.7 macrophages and normal peritoneal macrophages. Affected molecules included TNF-α and MCP-1. Levels of cytokine mRNA were affected similarly, suggesting that TMP is acting to prevent gene expression.
TMP partially blocked the production of TNF-α and MCP-1 in vivo in the serum of C57BL6/J mice that were challenged i.p. with LPS.
TMP inhibited the LPS-induced production of lipid mediators and several key inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, both in vitro and in vivo, raising the possibility that TMP might be useful as a treatment for a variety of inflammatory disorders.
PMCID: PMC2631502  PMID: 19133137
19.  Suppression of nitric oxide induction and pro-inflammatory cytokines by novel proteasome inhibitors in various experimental models 
Inflammation has been implicated in a variety of diseases associated with ageing, including cancer, cardiovascular, and neurologic diseases. We have recently established that the proteasome is a pivotal regulator of inflammation, which modulates the induction of inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, and nitric oxide (NO) in response to a variety of stimuli. The present study was undertaken to identify non-toxic proteasome inhibitors with the expectation that these compounds could potentially suppress the production of inflammatory mediators in ageing humans, thereby decreasing the risk of developing ageing related diseases. We evaluated the capacity of various proteasome inhibitors to suppress TNF-α, NO and gene suppression of TNF-α, and iNOS mRNA, by LPS-stimulated macrophages from several sources. Further, we evaluated the mechanisms by which these agents suppress secretion of TNF-α, and NO production. Over the course of these studies, we measured the effects of various proteasome inhibitors on the RAW 264.7 cells, and peritoneal macrophages from four different strains of mice (C57BL/6, BALB/c, proteasome double subunits knockout LMP7/MECL-1-/-, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α,-/- (PPAR-α,-/-) knockout mice. We also directly measured the effect of these proteasome inhibitors on proteolytic activity of 20S rabbit muscle proteasomes.
There was significant reduction of chymotrypsin-like activity of the 20S rabbit muscle proteasomes with dexamethasone (31%), mevinolin (19%), δ-tocotrienol (28%), riboflavin (34%), and quercetin (45%; P < 0.05). Moreover, quercetin, riboflavin, and δ-tocotrienol also inhibited chymotrypsin-like, trypsin-like and post-glutamase activities in RAW 264.7 whole cells. These compounds also inhibited LPS-stimulated NO production and TNF-α, secretion, blocked the degradation of P-IκB protein, and decreased activation of NF-κB, in RAW 264.7 cells. All proteasome inhibitors tested also significantly inhibited NO production (30% to 60% reduction) by LPS-induced thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages derived from all four strains of mice. All five compounds also suppressed LPS-induced TNF-α, secretion by macrophages from C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. TNF-α, secretion, however, was not suppressed by any of the three proteasome inhibitors tested (δ-tocotrienol, riboflavin, and quercetin) with LPS-induced macrophages from LMP7/MECL-1-/- and PPAR-α,-/- knockout mice. Results of gene expression studies for TNF-α, and iNOS were generally consistent with results obtained for TNF-α, protein and NO production observed with four strains of mice.
Results of the current study demonstrate that δ-tocotrienol, riboflavin, and quercetin inhibit NO production by LPS-stimulated macrophages of all four strains of mice, and TNF-α, secretion only by LPS-stimulated macrophages of C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. The mechanism for this inhibition appears to be decreased proteolytic degradation of P-IκB protein by the inhibited proteasome, resulting in decreased translocation of activated NF-κB to the nucleus, and depressed transcription of gene expression of TNF-α, and iNOS. Further, these naturally-occurring proteasome inhibitors tested appear to be relatively potent inhibitors of multiple proteasome subunits in inflammatory proteasomes. Consequently, these agents could potentially suppress the production of inflammatory mediators in ageing humans, thereby decreasing the risk of developing a variety of ageing related diseases.
PMCID: PMC3206449  PMID: 21992595
20.  Unequivocal glycyrrhizin isomer determination and comparative in vitro bioactivities of root extracts in four Glycyrrhiza species 
Journal of Advanced Research  2014;6(1):99-104.
Graphical abstract
Glycyrrhiza glabra, commonly known as licorice, is a popular herbal supplement used for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions and as sweetener in the food industry. This species contains a myriad of phytochemicals including the major saponin glycoside glycyrrhizin (G) of Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) aglycone. In this study, 2D-ROESY NMR technique was successfully applied for distinguishing 18α and 18β glycyrrhetinic acid (GA). ROESY spectra acquired from G. glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis and Glycyrrhiza inflata crude extracts revealed the presence of G in its β-form. Anti-inflammatory activity of four Glycyrrhiza species, G, glabra, G. uralensis, G. inflata, and G. echinata roots was assessed against COX-1 inhibition revealing that phenolics rather than glycyrrhizin are biologically active in this assay. G. inflata exhibits a strong cytotoxic effect against PC3 and HT29 cells lines, whereas other species are inactive. This study presents an effective NMR method for G isomer assignment in licorice extracts that does not require any preliminary chromatography or any other purification step.
PMCID: PMC4293670  PMID: 25685548
G. glabra; G. inflata; G. uralensis; Glycyrrhizin; Licorice; ROESY
21.  Quantitative Analysis and In vitro Anti-inflammatory Effects of Gallic Acid, Ellagic Acid, and Quercetin from Radix Sanguisorbae 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2016;12(46):104-108.
Radix Sanguisorbae has long been used to treat diarrhea, enteritis, duodenal ulcers, and internal hemorrhage.
We investigated the in vitro anti-inflammatory effects of Radix Sanguisorbae and performed quantitative analyses of three marker components, namely gallic acid, ellagic acid, and quercetin, using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a photodiode array detector.
Materials and Methods:
The three marker components were separated using a reversed-phase Gemini C18 analytical column maintained at 40°C by the gradient elution with two solvent systems. We examined the biological effects of the three marker compounds, gallic acid, ellagic acid, and quercetin, by determining their anti-inflammatory activities in the murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7.
All of the marker compounds exhibited inhibitory effects on prostaglandin E2 production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages, with no cytotoxicity. Particularly, ellagic acid significantly inhibited production of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-6 in LPS-treated RAW 264.7 cells.
Our results suggest that ellagic acid is the most potent bioactive phytochemical component of radix Sanguisorbae in the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Established high-performance liquid chromatography method was applied in the quantitative analysis of gallic acid, ellagic acid, and quercetin present in an extract from radix SanguisorbaeAmong the three compounds, the ellagic acid.( is main component in radix SanguisorbaeEllagic acid significantly inhibited production of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-6 in lipopolysaccharide-treated RAW 264.7 cells.
Abbreviations used: HPLC: High-performance liquid chromatography, PDA: Photodiode array, TNF-α: Tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL: Interleukin, LPS: Lipopolysaccharide, PGE2: Prostaglandin E2, NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, COX: Cyclooxygenase.
PMCID: PMC4809163  PMID: 27076745
Anti-inflammation; ellagic acid; quantitative analysis; radix Sanguisorbae
22.  Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate Inhibits HMGB1-Dependent Inflammation and Ameliorates Colitis in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66527.
High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) is a DNA-binding protein that is released from injured cells during inflammation. Advances in targeting HMGB1 represent a major challenge to improve the treatment of acute/chronic inflammation.
This study is aimed at verifying whether the inhibition of HMGB1 through dipotassium glycyrrhizate (DPG) is a good strategy to reduce intestinal inflammation.
Human colon adenocarcinoma cell line, HT29, human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma, Caco2, and murine macrophage cell line, RAW 264.7, were cultured to investigate the effect of DPG on the secretion of HMGB1. Acute colitis was induced in C57BL/6 mice through administration of 3% dextran sodium sulphate (DSS); a combined treatment with DSS and 3 or 8 mg/kg/day DPG was used to investigate the effects of DPG on intestinal inflammation. Animals were euthanized at seventh day and colonic samples underwent molecular and histological analyses.
DPG significantly reduces in vitro the release of HMGB1 in the extracellular matrix as well as expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6, by inhibiting HMGB1. Moreover, DPG significantly decreases the severity of DSS-induced colitis in mice. Murine colonic samples show decreased mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6, as well as HMGB1 receptors, RAGE and TLR4. Finally, HMGB1, abundantly present in the feces of mice with DSS-induced colitis, is strongly reduced by DPG.
HMGB1 is an early pro-inflammatory cytokine and an active protagonist of mucosal gut inflammation. DPG exerts inhibitory effects against HMGB1 activity, significantly reducing intestinal inflammation. Thus, we reason that DPG could represent an innovative tool for the management of human intestinal inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3686690  PMID: 23840500
23.  Cytotoxicity, nitric oxide and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of three limonoids isolated from Trichilia welwitschii (Meliaceae) 
Biological Research  2015;48:57.
Limonoids are highly oxygenated compounds with a prototypical structure. Their occurrence in the plant kingdom is mainly confined to plant families of Meliaceae and Rutaceae. Owing to their wide range of pharmacological and therapeutic properties, this study was aimed at investigating the potential nitric oxide (NO) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity and the cytotoxicity of three limonoids: trichilia lactone D5 (1), rohituka 3 (2) and dregeanin DM4 (3), isolated from Trichilia welwitschii C.DC.
Results indicated that the three limonoids had low cytotoxicity towards Vero cells with LC50 values ranging from 89.17 to 75.82 μg/mL. Compounds (2) and (3) had lower cytotoxicity compared to puromycin and doxorubicin used as reference cytotoxic compounds. Compound (1) (LC50 of 23.55 μg/mL) had good antiproliferative activity against RAW 264.7 cancer cells. At the lowest concentration tested (0.5 µg/mL), compound (2) and (3) released the lowest amount of nitric oxide (2.97 and 2.93 µM, respectively). The three limonoids had anti-AChE activity with IC50 values ranged of 19.13 μg/mL for (1), 34.15 μg/mL for (2) and 45.66 μg/mL for (3), compared to galantamine (IC50 of 8.22 μg/mL) used as positive control.
The limonoid compounds studied in this work inhibited nitric oxide production in LPS-stimulated macrophages and had anti-AChE activity. Trichilia lactone D5 had potential antiproliferative activity against RAW 264.7 cancer cells. The limonoids had low cytotoxicity towards Vero cells lines. This study provided further examples of the importance of limonoids compounds as potential AChE inhibitors and anti-inflammatory agents targeting the inhibition of NO production.
PMCID: PMC4604621  PMID: 26463660
Trichilia welwitschii; Cytotoxicity; Acetylcholinesterase; Nitric oxide; Limonoids
24.  Downregulation of Programmed Cell Death 4 by Inflammatory Conditions Contributes to the Generation of the Tumor Promoting Microenvironment 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2010;49(9):837-848.
Ample evidence has shown key roles of inflammation in tumor promotion and carcinogenesis, and tumor-associated macrophages are known to promote tumor growth and dissemination. Programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4) is a novel tumor suppressor, and although various studies have revealed that the functions and expression mechanisms of Pdcd4 in tumor promotion, those in regard to inflammation remain unclear. In the present study, we examined whether inflammatory stimuli regulate Pdcd4 expression. 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) suppressed expression of pdcd4 mRNA in human monocytic cell lines (U937, THP-1). Similarly, the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) downregulated pdcd4 level in mouse RAW264.7 and peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, conditioned medium from LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages suppressed pdcd4 mRNA in RAW264.7 macrophages, and findings obtained with recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and TNF-α-specific siRNA suggested that TNF-α partly mediates LPS-triggered Pdcd4 downregulation via an autocrine mechanism. Specific inhibitors of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) and c-jun N-terminus kinase (JNK) restored LPS-abolished pdcd4 mRNA. Consistently, in MCF7 mammary carcinoma cells, conditioned medium from TPA-differentiated/activated U937 cells suppressed pdcd4 mRNA. Additionally, knockdown of pdcd4 in RAW264.7 macrophages using siRNA significantly enhanced LPS-induced TNF-α protein production, and interferon-γ, CC chemokine ligand (Ccl) 1, Ccl20, and interleukin-10 mRNA expression. These results suggest that Pdcd4 suppresses the induction of these inflammatory mediators. Taken together, loss of Pdcd4 in macrophages may be a critical step in establishing the inflammatory environment while that in tumor cells contributes to tumor progression.
PMCID: PMC3472367  PMID: 20607724
Pdcd4; TNF-α; inflammation
25.  Anti-inflammatory effects of oroxylin A on RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages induced with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid 
Oroxylin A (5,7-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-2-phenylchromen-4-one; Baicalein 6-methyl ether) is an active flavonoid compound originally isolated from Scutellaria radix, which has been used to treat pulmonary infection in Korea, China, and Japan. Oroxylin A is known to possess dopamine reuptake inhibitor activity. However, the effects of oroxylin A on virus-induced macrophages has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, the anti-inflammatory effects of oroxylin A on double-stranded RNA-induced macrophages were examined. Production of nitric oxide (NO), various cytokines, as well as calcium release and the mRNA expression of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) in dsRNA polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PIC)-induced RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages were evaluated. Oroxylin A restored the cell viability in PIC-induced RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages at concentrations of up to 50 µM. Additionally, oroxylin A significantly inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO), interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, interferon gamma-induced protein 10, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (CSF), granulocyte macrophage-CSF, leukemia inhibitory factor (IL-6 class cytokine), lipopolysaccharide-induced CXC chemokine (LIX), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1β, MIP-2, Regulated on Activation, Normal T Expressed and Secreted, tumor necrosis factor-α, and vascular endothelial growth factor as well as calcium release and the mRNA expression of STAT1 in PIC-induced RAW 264.7 cells (P<0.05). Thus, the present results suggest that oroxylin A has anti-inflammatory properties, associated with its inhibition of NO, cytokines, chemokines and growth factors in PIC-induced macrophages via the calcium-STAT pathway.
PMCID: PMC4906705  PMID: 27347031
oroxylin A; double stranded-RNA; inflammation; macrophages; nitric oxide; cytokine; calcium; signal transducer and activated transcription 1

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