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1.  Inhibition of inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase by a mustard gas analog in murine macrophages 
BMC Cell Biology  2006;7:39.
2-Chloroethyl ethyl sulphide (CEES) is a sulphur vesicating agent and an analogue of the chemical warfare agent 2,2'-dichlorodiethyl sulphide, or sulphur mustard gas (HD). Both CEES and HD are alkylating agents that influence cellular thiols and are highly toxic. In a previous publication, we reported that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) enhances the cytotoxicity of CEES in murine RAW264.7 macrophages. In the present investigation, we studied the influence of CEES on nitric oxide (NO) production in LPS stimulated RAW264.7 cells since NO signalling affects inflammation, cell death, and wound healing. Murine macrophages stimulated with LPS produce NO almost exclusively via inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity. We suggest that the influence of CEES or HD on the cellular production of NO could play an important role in the pathophysiological responses of tissues to these toxicants. In particular, it is known that macrophage generated NO synthesised by iNOS plays a critical role in wound healing.
We initially confirmed that in LPS stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages NO is exclusively generated by the iNOS form of nitric oxide synthase. CEES treatment inhibited the synthesis of NO (after 24 hours) in viable LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages as measured by either nitrite secretion into the culture medium or the intracellular conversion of 4,5-diaminofluorescein diacetate (DAF-2DA) or dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA). Western blots showed that CEES transiently decreased the expression of iNOS protein; however, treatment of active iNOS with CEES in vitro did not inhibit its enzymatic activity
CEES inhibits NO production in LPS stimulated macrophages by decreasing iNOS protein expression. Decreased iNOS expression is likely the result of CEES induced alteration in the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signalling pathway. Since NO can act as an antioxidant, the CEES induced down-regulation of iNOS in LPS-stimulated macrophages could elevate oxidative stress. Since macrophage generated NO is known to play a key role in cutaneous wound healing, it is possible that this work has physiological relevance with respect to the healing of HD induced skin blisters.
PMCID: PMC1698482  PMID: 17137498
2.  Inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase and osteoclastic differentiation by Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba extract 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2014;10(Suppl 3):S494-S500.
Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba (ARA) has been used in Korean folk medicine for constipation, dizziness, and anticancer agent. In the present study, we performed to test whether the methanolic extract of ARA has antioxidant and antiosteoclastogenesis activity in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.
Materials and Methods:
Antioxidant capacities were tested by measuring free radical scavenging activity, nitric oxide (NO) levels, reducing power, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in response to lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Antiosteoclastogenesis activity was evaluated by performing tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase assay in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.
The extract exerted significant 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl and NO radical scavenging activity, and it exerted dramatic reducing power. Induction of iNOS and NO by LPS in RAW 264.7 cells was significantly inhibited by the extract, suggesting that the ARA extract inhibits NO production by suppressing iNOS expression. Strikingly, the ARA extracts substantially inhibited the receptor activator of NF-κB ligand-induced osteclastic differentiation of LPS-activated RAW 264.7 cells. The ARA extract contains a significant amount of antioxidant components, including phenolics, flavonoids and anthocyanins.
These results suggest that the methanolic extract of ARA exerts significant antioxidant activities potentially via inhibiting free radicals and iNOS induction, thereby leading to the inhibition of osteoclastogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4189263  PMID: 25298665
Antioxidant; Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba; inducible nitric oxide synthase; nitric oxide; osteolastogenesis; receptor activator of NF-κB ligand
3.  Inhibition of protein synthesis by nitric oxide correlates with cytostatic activity: nitric oxide induces phosphorylation of initiation factor eIF-2 alpha. 
Molecular Medicine  1998;4(3):179-190.
BACKGROUND: Nitric oxide (NO) is cytostatic for proliferating cells, inhibits microbial growth, and down-regulates the synthesis of specific proteins. Studies were undertaken to determine the mechanism by which NO inhibits total protein synthesis and whether the inhibition correlates with established cytostatic activities of NO. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In in vitro experiments, various cell types were exposed to NO using either donors or expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS). The capacity of NO to suppress total protein synthesis, measured by incorporation of 35S-methionine into protein, was correlated with the capacity of NO to suppress cell proliferation, viral replication, or iNOS expression. Phosphorylation of eIF-2 alpha was examined as a possible mechanism for the suppressed protein synthesis by NO. RESULTS: Both NO donors and expression of the iNOS suppressed total protein synthesis in L929 cells and A2008 human ovarian tumor cells in parallel with decreased cell proliferation. Suppressed protein synthesis was also shown to correlate with decreased vaccinia virus proliferation in murine peritoneal macrophages in an iNOS-dependent manner. Furthermore, iNOS expression in pancreatic islets or RAW264.7 cells almost completely inhibited total protein synthesis, suggesting that nonspecific inhibition of protein synthesis may be the mechanism by which NO inhibited the synthesis of specific proteins such as insulin or iNOS itself. This possibility was confirmed in RAW264.7 cells where the inhibition of total protein synthesis correlated with the decreased iNOS protein. The decrease in protein levels occurred without changes in iNOS mRNA levels, implicating an inhibition of translation. Mechanistic studies revealed that iNOS expression in RAW264.7 cells resulted in the phosphorylation of eIF-2 alpha and inhibition of the 80S ribosomal complex formation. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that NO suppresses protein synthesis by stimulating the phosphorylation of eIF-2 alpha. Furthermore, our observations indicate that nonspecific inhibition of protein synthesis may be a generalized response of cells exposed to high levels of NO and that inhibition of protein synthesis may contribute to many of the described cytostatic actions of NO.
PMCID: PMC2230356  PMID: 9562976
4.  3,4-Dihydroxytoluene, a metabolite of rutin, inhibits inflammatory responses in lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages by reducing the activation of NF-κB signaling 
Saussurea involucrata (Kar. et Kir.) (S. involucrate), is a rare traditional Chinese medicinal herb. Rutin and hispidulin as well as their metabolites are flavonoids of the flavonol type that abound in S. involucrata, which has been reported to inhibit nonoxidative advanced glycation end products which was involved in physiological inflammation. This study aims to investigate the role of 3,4-dihydroxytoluene (DHT), a metabolite of rutin, in inflammatory inhibition and its involved mechanism.
This study utilized lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 as inflammatory model. The inhibitory effects of DHT were evaluated by the expression level of several inflammation markers such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in RAW264.7 after LPS treatment. In addition, underlying mechanisms, the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and NF-κB, were also investigated.
Our results showed that DHT significantly suppressed the LPS-induced production of nitric oxide (NO), iNOS, and COX-2 in a dose-dependent manner without cytotoxicity. DHT also reduced the generation of proinflammatory cytokines majorly in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and minor in interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6. In addition, LPS-stimulated I-κBα phosphorylation and degradation followed by translocation of the nuclear factor κB (NF-kB)-p65 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus were attenuated after DHT treatment.
Combined, the results suggest that DHT might exert anti-inflammatory effects in vitro in LPS stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages and is potential in adjuvant treatment in inflammation disease.
PMCID: PMC3900474  PMID: 24417898
Saussurea involucrata; Flavonoid; Anti-inflammation; Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2); Inducible nitric oxide synthase
5.  iNOS activity is critical for the clearance of Burkholderia mallei from infected RAW 264.7 murine macrophages 
Cellular Microbiology  2007;10(2):487-498.
Burkholderia mallei is a facultative intracellular pathogen that can cause fatal disease in animals and humans. To better understand the role of phagocytic cells in the control of infections caused by this organism, studies were initiated to examine the interactions of B. mallei with RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. Utilizing modified kanamycin-protection assays, B. mallei was shown to survive and replicate in RAW 264.7 cells infected at multiplicities of infection (moi) of ≤ 1. In contrast, the organism was efficiently cleared by the macrophages when infected at an moi of 10. Interestingly, studies demonstrated that the monolayers only produced high levels of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, GM-CSF, RANTES and IFN-β when infected at an moi of 10. In addition, nitric oxide assays and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) immunoblot analyses revealed a strong correlation between iNOS activity and clearance of B. mallei from RAW 264.7 cells. Furthermore, treatment of activated macrophages with the iNOS inhibitor, aminoguanidine, inhibited clearance of B. mallei from infected monolayers. Based upon these results, it appears that moi significantly influence the outcome of interactions between B. mallei and murine macrophages and that iNOS activity is critical for the clearance of B. mallei from activated RAW 264.7 cells.
PMCID: PMC2228653  PMID: 17970762
6.  Multi-walled carbon nanotubes induce COX-2 and iNOS expression via MAP Kinase-dependent and -independent mechanisms in mouse RAW264.7 macrophages 
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are engineered graphene cylinders with numerous applications in engineering, electronics and medicine. However, CNTs cause inflammation and fibrosis in the rodent lung, suggesting a potential human health risk. We hypothesized that multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) induce two key inflammatory enzymes in macrophages, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), through activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1,2).
RAW264.7 macrophages were exposed to MWCNTs or carbon black nanoparticles (CBNPs) over a range of doses and time course. Uptake and subcellular localization of MWCNTs was visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Protein levels of COX-2, iNOS, and ERK1,2 (total ERK and phosphorylated ERK) were measured by Western blot analysis. Prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO) levels in cell supernatants were measured by ELISA and Greiss assay, respectively.
MWCNTs, but not CBNPs, induced COX-2 and iNOS in a time- and dose-dependent manner. COX-2 and iNOS induction by MWCNTs correlated with increased PGE2 and NO production, respectively. MWCNTs caused ERK1,2 activation and inhibition of ERK1,2 (U0126) blocked MWCNT induction of COX-2 and PGE2 production, but did not reduce the induction of iNOS. Inhibition of iNOS (L-NAME) did not affect ERK1,2 activation, nor did L-NAME significantly decrease COX-2 induction by MWCNT. Nickel nanoparticles (NiNPs), which are present in MWCNTs as a residual catalyst, also induced COX-2 via ERK-1,2. However, a comparison of COX-2 induction by MWCNTs containing 4.5 and 1.8% Ni did not show a significant difference in ability to induce COX-2, indicating that characteristics of MWCNTs in addition to Ni content contribute to COX-2 induction.
This study identifies COX-2 and subsequent PGE2 production, along with iNOS induction and NO production, as inflammatory mediators involved in the macrophage response to MWCNTs. Furthermore, our work demonstrates that COX-2 induction by MWCNTs in RAW264.7 macrophages is ERK1,2-dependent, while iNOS induction by MWCNTs is ERK1,2-independent. Our data also suggest contributory physicochemical factors other than residual Ni catalyst play a role in COX-2 induction to MWCNT.
PMCID: PMC3485091  PMID: 22571318
Carbon nanotubes; Nanoparticles; Lung inflammation; Macrophages; Prostaglandins; Nitric oxide
7.  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
8.  Anti-inflammatory effects of chicanine on murine macrophage by down-regulating LPS-induced inflammatory cytokines in IκBα/MAPK/ERK signaling pathways 
Schisandra chinensis Baill is a Chinese traditional medicine with multiple pharmacological activities. In this study, chicanine, one of the major lignan compounds of Schiandra chinesis, was investigated for suppressive effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory responses in murine macrophages (RAW 264.7 cells). Chicanine was found to have anti-infammatory properties with the inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) and Prostaglandin E (2) (PGE2) production and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells with no cytotoxic effects. Treatment of RAW 264.7 cells with chicanine down-regulated LPS-induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNFα, IL-1β, MCP-1, G-CSF, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). These inhibitory effects were found with the blockage of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK 1/2), and also IκB-α phosphorylation. These results indicated that anti-inflammatory actions of chicanine in macrophages involved inhibition of LPS-induced TLR4-IκBα/MAPK/ERK signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC3970222  PMID: 24361309
Chicanine; inflammatory cytokines; IκBα; MAPK; ERK
9.  Role of interferon regulatory factor 1 in induction of nitric oxide synthase 
Interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) interacts synergistically with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce transcription of iNOS, the isoform of nitric oxide synthase whose activity is independent of elevated Ca2+ and exogenous calmodulin. To define a cis-acting element mediating IFN- gamma-dependent synergy, we made deletions in iNOS promoter constructs fused to reporter genes, transfected RAW 264.7 macrophages, and treated the cells with IFN-gamma and/or LPS. This analysis implicated the region from positions -951 to -911, a cluster of four enhancer elements known to bind IFN-gamma-responsive transcription factors, including an interferon regulatory factor binding site (IRF-E) at nucleotides -913 to -923. Site-specific substitution of two conserved nucleotides within IRF-E in the context of the full-length iNOS promoter ablated IFN- gamma's contribution to synergistic enhancement of transcription. Electromobility shift assays performed with a probe containing IRF-E revealed the existence of a complex in nuclei of RAW 264.7 macrophages that was present only after treatment with IFN-gamma, which reacted specifically with anti-IRF-1 immunoglobulin G and which included a species migrating at 40-45 kD, consistent with the apparent molecular weight of murine IRF-1. Thus, the synergistic contribution of IFN-gamma to transcription of iNOS in RAW 264.7 macrophages requires that IRF-1 bind to IRF-E in the iNOS promoter. In conjunction with the work of Kamijo et al. (Kamijo, R., H. Harada, T. Matsuyama, M. Bosland, J. Gerecitano, D. Shapiro, J. Le, K. S. Im, T. Kimura, S. Green et al. 1994. Science [Wash. DC]. 263:1612), these findings identify iNOS as the first gene that requires IRF-1 for IFN-gamma-dependent transcriptional regulation.
PMCID: PMC2191666  PMID: 7520478
10.  Expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase by stimulated macrophages correlates with their antihistoplasma activity. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(4):1478-1479.
The antihistoplasma activity of recombinant murine gamma interferon (rMuIFN-gamma)-treated macrophages of the RAW 264.7 cell line depends on the generation of nitric oxide (NO.) from L-arginine. Macrophages of the P388D1 cell line treated with rMuIFN-gamma do not produce NO. or inhibit the intracellular growth of Histoplasma capsulatum. NO. is generated by the inducible enzyme nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) formed by stimulated macrophages. Northern (RNA) blot analysis of RAW 264.7 cells revealed the expression of iNOS mRNA after exposure to rMuIFN-gamma. In contrast, rMuIFN-gamma-treated P388D1 cells did not produce detectable levels of iNOS. These data suggest that the failure of P388D1 cells to generate NO. and to restrict the intracellular growth of H. capsulatum is due to a lack of expression of iNOS following treatment with rMuIFN-gamma.
PMCID: PMC186307  PMID: 7510670
11.  American ginseng preferentially suppresses STAT/iNOS signaling in activated macrophages 
Journal of ethnopharmacology  2009;125(1):145-150.
Aim of the study
Ginseng has been used as general tonic for thousands of years in Asia and becomes a popular herbal medicine all over the world. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying its benefit effects are less explored. Thus, we investigated the effect of a crude extract from Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) on suppression of pro-inflammatory responses in macrophages with a focus on signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling.
Materials and methods
The crude extract of American ginseng that was supplied by the National Research Council of Canada, Institute for National Measurement Standards (NRCC-INMS) was freshly solvated in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) prior to each experiment. RAW264.7 cells, a murine macrophage cell line, were exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce inflammatory responses such as expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2). Proteins were measured by Western blot and mRNA expression was determined by quantitative real time PCR (Q-PCR). Activator protein 1 (AP-1)-, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)- and STAT-mediated transcriptional activities were investigated using luciferase reporter constructs.
American ginseng inhibited LPS-induced iNOS expression; however, it did not affect LPS-induced COX2 expression. While American ginseng had no impact on LPS-induced activation of AP-1 or NF-κB pathways, it dramatically inhibited LPS-induced activation of STAT signaling. Moreover, American ginseng and AG490, an inhibitor of STAT cascade, synergistically suppressed the LPS-induced iNOS expression.
American ginseng selectively inhibits the expression of iNOS via suppression of STAT cascade but not NF-κB and AP1 pathways in inflamed macrophages. Such a preferential suppression of STAT/iNOS cascade by American ginseng might have therapeutic potential for inflammatory diseases with over-activation of iNOS.
PMCID: PMC2790430  PMID: 19505555
Panax. quinquefolius; American ginseng; STAT; Macrophages; Inflammation; iNOS; COX2
12.  EP2 and EP4 receptors on muscularis resident macrophages mediate LPS-induced intestinal dysmotility via iNOS upregulation through cAMP/ERK signals 
Intestinal resident macrophages play an important role in gastrointestinal dysmotility by producing prostaglandins (PGs) and nitric oxide (NO) in inflammatory conditions. The causal correlation between PGs and NO in gastrointestinal inflammation has not been elucidated. In this study, we examined the possible role of PGE2 in the LPS-inducible inducible NO synthase (iNOS) gene expression in murine distal ileal tissue and macrophages. Treatment of ileal tissue with LPS increased the iNOS and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 gene expression, which lead to intestinal dysmotility. However, LPS did not induce the expression of iNOS and COX-2 in tissue from macrophage colony-stimulating factor-deficient op/op mice, indicating that these genes are expressed in intestinal resident macrophages. iNOS and COX-2 protein were also expressed in dextran-phagocytized macrophages in the muscle layer. CAY10404, a COX-2 inhibitor, diminished LPS-dependent iNOS gene upregulation in wild-type mouse ileal tissue and also in RAW264.7 macrophages, indicating that PGs upregulate iNOS gene expression. EP2 and EP4 agonists upregulated iNOS gene expression in ileal tissue and isolated resident macrophages. iNOS mRNA induction mediated by LPS was decreased in the ileum isolated from EP2 or EP4 knockout mice. In addition, LPS failed to decrease the motility of EP2 and EP4 knockout mice ileum. EP2- or EP4-mediated iNOS expression was attenuated by KT-5720, a PKA inhibitor and PD-98059, an ERK inhibitor. Forskolin or dibutyryl-cAMP mimics upregulation of iNOS gene expression in macrophages. In conclusion, COX-2-derived PGE2 induces iNOS expression through cAMP/ERK pathways by activating EP2 and EP4 receptors in muscularis macrophages. NO produced in muscularis macrophages induces dysmotility during gastrointestinal inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3311437  PMID: 22159280
inflammation; intestinal motility; nitric oxide; prostaglandins
13.  Stimulatory Effects of Polysaccharide Fraction from Solanum nigrum on RAW 264.7 Murine Macrophage Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e108988.
The polysaccharide fraction from Solanum nigrum Linne has been shown to have antitumor activity by enhancing the CD4+/CD8+ ratio of the T-lymphocyte subpopulation. In this study, we analyzed a polysaccharide extract of S. nigrum to determine its modulating effects on RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells since macrophages play a key role in inducing both innate and adaptive immune responses. Crude polysaccharide was extracted from the stem of S. nigrum and subjected to ion-exchange chromatography to partially purify the extract. Five polysaccharide fractions were then subjected to a cytotoxicity assay and a nitric oxide production assay. To further analyze the ability of the fractionated polysaccharide extract to activate macrophages, the phagocytosis activity and cytokine production were also measured. The polysaccharide fractions were not cytotoxic, but all of the fractions induced nitric oxide in RAW 264.7 cells. Of the five fractions tested, SN-ppF3 was the least toxic and also induced the greatest amount of nitric oxide, which was comparable to the inducible nitric oxide synthase expression detected in the cell lysate. This fraction also significantly induced phagocytosis activity and stimulated the production of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6. Our study showed that fraction SN-ppF3 could classically activate macrophages. Macrophage induction may be the manner in which polysaccharides from S. nigrum are able to prevent tumor growth.
PMCID: PMC4191994  PMID: 25299340
14.  Malarial pigment haemozoin, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and LPS do not stimulate expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and production of nitric oxide in immuno-purified human monocytes 
Malaria Journal  2007;6:73.
Enhanced production of nitric oxide (NO) following upmodulation of the inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS) by haemozoin (HZ), inflammatory cytokines and LPS may provide protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria by killing hepatic and blood forms of parasites and inhibiting the cytoadherence of parasitized erythrocytes (RBC) to endothelial cells. Monocytes and macrophages are considered to contribute importantly to protective upregulation of iNOS and production of NO. Data obtained with murine phagocytes fed with human HZ and synthetic HZ (sHZ) indicate that supplemental treatment of those cells with IFN-gamma elicited significant increases in protein and mRNA expression of iNOS and NO production, providing a potential mechanism linking HZ phagocytosis and increased production of NO. Purpose of this study was to analyse the effect of P. falciparum HZ and sHZ supplemental to treatment with IFN-gamma and/or a stimulatory cytokine-LPS mix on iNOS protein and mRNA expression in immuno-purified human monocytes.
Adherent immunopurified human monocytes (purity >85%), and murine phagocytic cell lines RAW 264.7, N11 and ANA1 were fed or not with P. falciparum HZ or sHZ and treated or not with IFN-gamma or a stimulatory cytokine-LPS mix. Production of NO was quantified in supernatants, iNOS protein and mRNA expression were measured after immunoprecipitation and Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCT, respectively.
Phagocytosis of HZ/sHZ by human monocytes did not increase iNOS protein and mRNA expression and NO production either after stimulation by IFN-gamma or the cytokine-LPS mix. By contrast, in HZ/sHZ-laden murine macrophages, identical treatment with IFN-gamma and the cytokine-LPS mix elicited significant increases in protein and mRNA expression of iNOS and NOS metabolites production, in agreement with literature data.
Results indicate that human monocytes fed or not with HZ/sHZ were constantly unable to express iNOS and generate NOS metabolites even after stimulation with IFN-gamma or a cytokine-LSP mix that were very active on HZ-fed murine phagocytic lines. Present data do not support the hypothesis that monocytes are mediators of anti-parasitic defence in clinical malaria via activation of iNOS and production of NO, and suggest caution in extrapolating data obtained with murine or hybrid systems to human malaria.
PMCID: PMC1904226  PMID: 17543124
15.  l-Arginine Availability Regulates Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase-Dependent Host Defense against Helicobacter pylori▿  
Infection and Immunity  2007;75(9):4305-4315.
Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach causes an active immune response that includes stimulation of inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) expression. Although NO can kill H. pylori, the bacterium persists indefinitely, suggesting that NO production is inadequate. We determined if the NO derived from iNOS in macrophages was dependent on the availability of its substrate, l-arginine (l-Arg). Production of NO by H. pylori-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells was dependent on the l-Arg concentration in the culture medium, and the 50% effective dose for l-Arg was 220 μM, which is above reported plasma l-Arg levels. While iNOS mRNA induction was l-Arg independent, iNOS protein increased in an l-Arg-dependent manner that did not involve changes in iNOS protein degradation. l-Lysine, an inhibitor of l-Arg uptake, attenuated H. pylori-stimulated iNOS protein expression, translation, NO levels, and killing of H. pylori. While l-Arg starvation suppressed global protein translation, at concentrations of l-Arg at which iNOS protein was only minimally expressed in response to H. pylori, global translation was fully restored and eukaryotic translation initiation factor α was dephosphorylated. H. pylori lacking the gene rocF, which codes for a bacterial arginase, induced higher levels of NO production by increasing iNOS protein levels. When murine gastric macrophages were activated with H. pylori, supraphysiologic levels of l-Arg were required to permit iNOS protein expression and NO production. These findings indicate that l-Arg is rate limiting for iNOS translation and suggest that the levels of l-Arg that occur in vivo do not permit sufficient NO generation by the host to kill H. pylori.
PMCID: PMC1951193  PMID: 17562760
16.  Echinacea increases arginase activity and has anti-inflammatory properties in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells indicative of alternative macrophage activation 
Journal of ethnopharmacology  2008;122(1):76-85.
The genus Echinacea is a popular herbal immunomodulator. Recent reports indicate that Echinacea products inhibit nitric oxide (NO) production in activated macrophages. In the present study we determined the inhibitory effects of alcohol extracts and individual fractions of alcohol extracts of Echinacea on NO production, and explored the mechanism underlying the pharmacological anti-inflammatory activity. The alcohol extracts of three medicinal Echinacea species, E. angustifolia, E. pallida and E. purpurea, significantly inhibited NO production by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated the RAW 264.7 macrophage cell line, among them E. pallida was the most active. The Echinacea-mediated decrease in NO production was unlikely due to a direct scavenging of NO because the extracts did not directly inhibit NO released from an NO donor, sodium nitroprusside. An immunoblotting assay demonstrated that the extract of E. pallida inhibited inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression in LPS-treated macrophages. The enzymes iNOS and arginase metabolize a common substrate, L-arginine, but produce distinct biological effects. While iNOS is involved in inflammatory response and host defense, arginase participates actively in anti-inflammatory activation. Arginase activity of RAW 264.7 cells stimulated with 8-bromo-cAMP was significantly increased by alcohol extracts of all three Echinacea species. The polar fraction containing caffeic acid derivatives enhanced arginase activity, while the lipophilic fraction containing alkamides exhibited a potential of inhibiting NO production and iNOS expression. These results suggest that the anti-inflammatory activity of Echinacea might be due to multiple active metabolites, which work together to switch macrophage activation from classical activation towards alternative activation.
PMCID: PMC2668539  PMID: 19111603
Echinacea; Alcohol extract; Anti-inflammatory; Macrophage; Nitric oxide; Inducible nitric oxide synthase; Arginase
17.  Antitumor and Immunostimulating Activities of Elfvingia applanata Hot Water Extract on Sarcoma 180 Tumor-bearing ICR Mice 
Mycobiology  2012;40(1):47-52.
Elfvingia applanata, a medicinal mushroom belonging to Basidiomycota, has been used in the effort to cure cancers of the esophagus and stomach, and is also known to have inhibitory effects on hepatitis B virus infection. The hot water soluble fraction (as Fr. HW) was extracted from fruiting bodies of the mushroom. In vitro cytotoxicity tests showed that hot water extract was not cytotoxic against cancer cell lines such as Sarcoma 180, HT-29, HepG2, and TR at concentrations of 10~2,000 µg/mL. Intraperitoneal injection with Fr. HW resulted in a life prolongation effect of 45.2% in mice previously inoculated with Sarcoma 180. Treatment of Fr. HW resulted in a 2.53-fold increase in the numbers of murine spleen cells at a concentration of 50 µg/mL, compared with control. Incubation of murine spleen cells with Fr. HW at a concentration of 500 µg/mL resulted in improved immune-potwntiating activity of B lymphocytes through an 8.3-folds increase in alkaline phosphatase activity, compared with control. Fr. HW generated 12.5 µM of nitric oxide (NO) when cultured with RAW 264.7, a mouse macrophage cell line, at the concentration of 50 µg/mL, while lipopolysaccharide, a positive control, produced 15.2 µM of NO. Therefore, the results suggested that antitumor activities of Fr. HW from E. applanata might, in part, be due to host mediated immunostimulating activity.
PMCID: PMC3385145  PMID: 22783134
Anticancer activity; Elfvingia applanata; Hot water extract; Immunostimulating
18.  Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Inotilone from Phellinus linteus through the Inhibition of MMP-9, NF-κB, and MAPK Activation In Vitro and In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e35922.
Inotilone was isolated from Phellinus linteus. The anti-inflammatory effects of inotilone were studied by using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cells and λ-carrageenan (Carr)-induced hind mouse paw edema model. Inotilone was tested for its ability to reduce nitric oxide (NO) production, and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. Inotilone was tested in the inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) [extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), p38], and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 protein expressions in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. When RAW264.7 macrophages were treated with inotilone together with LPS, a significant concentration-dependent inhibition of NO production was detected. Western blotting revealed that inotilone blocked the protein expression of iNOS, NF-κB, and MMP-9 in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages, significantly. Inotilone also inhibited LPS-induced ERK, JNK, and p38 phosphorylation. In in vivo tests, inotilone decreased the paw edema at the 4th and the 5th h after Carr administration, and it increased the activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). We also demonstrated that inotilone significantly attenuated the malondialdehyde (MDA) level in the edema paw at the 5th h after Carr injection. Inotilone decreased the NO and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) levels on serum at the 5th h after Carr injection. Western blotting revealed that inotilone decreased Carr-induced iNOS, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), NF-κB, and MMP-9 expressions at the 5th h in the edema paw. An intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection treatment with inotilone diminished neutrophil infiltration into sites of inflammation, as did indomethacin (Indo). The anti-inflammatory activities of inotilone might be related to decrease the levels of MDA, iNOS, COX-2, NF-κB, and MMP-9 and increase the activities of CAT, SOD, and GPx in the paw edema through the suppression of TNF-α and NO. This study presents the potential utilization of inotilone, as a lead for the development of anti-inflammatory drugs.
PMCID: PMC3348146  PMID: 22590514
19.  Antibacterial and dermal toxicological profiles of ethyl acetate extract from Crassocephalum bauchiense (Hutch.) Milne-Redh (Asteraceae) 
The emergence in recent years of numerous resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria to a range of formerly efficient antibiotics constitutes a serious threat to public health. Crassocephalum bauchiense, a medicinal herb found in the West Region of Cameroon is used to treat gastrointestinal infections as well as liver disorders. The ethyl acetate extract from the leaves of C. bauchiense was evaluated for its antibacterial activity as well as acute and sub-acute toxicities.
The plant extract was prepared by maceration in ethyl acetate. Its phytochemical screening was done by standard methods. The broth microdilution method was used to evaluate the in vitro antibacterial activity. The in vivo antibacterial activity of a gel formulation (0.05, 1 and 2% w/v) of this extract was evaluated using a Staphylococcus aureus-induced dermatitis in a murine model. Selected haematological and biochemical parameters were used to evaluate the dermal sub-acute toxicity of the extract in rats.
Phytochemical screening of the C. bauchiense extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, phenols, tannins and sterols. In vitro antibacterial activities were observed against all the tested microorganisms (MIC = 0.04-6.25 mg/ml). Formulated extract-gel (2% w/v) and gentamycin (reference drug) eradicated the microbial infection after five days of treatment. A single dermal dose of this extract up to 32 g/kg body weight (bw) did not produce any visible sign of toxicity. Also, daily dermal application of the C. bauchiense extract gel formulation for 28 days did not show any negative effect, instead some biochemical parameters such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT and AST), low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides were significantly (p < 0.05) affected positively.
These results indicate that the C. bauchiense ethyl acetate extract can be used safely for the treatment of some bacterial infections.
PMCID: PMC3116471  PMID: 21615960
20.  Gamma interferon-induced, nitric oxide-mediated inhibition of vaccinia virus replication. 
Journal of Virology  1995;69(2):910-915.
Gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) production in the murine macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cells were previously shown to inhibit the replication of the poxviruses vaccinia virus (VV) and ectromelia virus and herpes simplex virus type 1. In the current study, we performed biochemical analyses to determine the stage in the viral life cycle blocked by IFN-gamma-induced NO. Antibodies specific for temporally expressed viral proteins, a VV-specific DNA probe, and transmission electron microscopy were used to show that the cytokine-induced NO inhibited late protein synthesis, DNA replication, and virus particle formation but not expression of the early proteins analyzed. Essentially similar results were obtained with hydroxyurea and cytosine arabinoside, inhibitors of DNA replication. Enzymatically active iNOS was detected in the lysates of IFN-gamma-treated but not in untreated RAW 264.7 cells. The IFN-gamma-treated RAW 264.7 cells which express iNOS not only were resistant to productive infection but also efficiently blocked the replication of VV in infected bystander cells of epithelial origin. This inhibition was arginine dependent, correlated with nitric production in cultures, and was reversible by the NOS inhibitor N omega-monomethyl-L-arginine.
PMCID: PMC188659  PMID: 7529336
21.  Macrophage-derived heme-oxygenase-1: expression, regulation, and possible functions in skin repair. 
Molecular Medicine  2001;7(7):488-498.
BACKGROUND: Expression and enzymatic activity of heme oxygenase (HO) has been implicated in the development, as well as in the resolution, of inflammatory conditions. Because inflammation is central to tissue repair, we investigated the presence and potential functions of HO in an excisional model of normal and diabetes-impaired wound repair in mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression of HO-1 during cutaneous healing was analyzed by RNase protection assay, Western blot, and immunohistochemical techniques in a murine model of excisional repair. Furthermore, we determined HO-1-dependent release of proinflammatory cytokines from RAW 264.7 macrophages by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS: Upon injury, we observed a rapid and strong increase in HO-1 mRNA and protein levels at the wound site. By contrast to normal repair, late stages of diabetes-impaired repair were associated with elevated HO-1 expression. Besides a few keratinocytes of the hyperproliferative epithelium, immunohistochemistry revealed infiltrating macrophages as the predominant and major source of HO-1 at the wound site. In vitro studies demonstrated the potency of exogenous and also endogenous nitric oxide (NO) to strongly induce HO-1 expression in RAW 264.7 macrophages. However, L-NIL-mediated enzymatic inhibition of inducible NO-synthase (iNOS) at the wound site in vivo was not paralleled by decreased HO-1 levels. In vitro inhibition of HO-1 enzymatic activity by tin protoporphyrin IX (SnPPIX) in RAW 264.7 macrophages markedly attenuated tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), but strongly increased interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) release in RAW 264.7 macrophages in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: The observed injury-mediated increase in HO-1 mRNA and protein at the wound site was due to infiltrating HO-1 expressing monocytic cells. Macrophage-derived HO-1 expression was not under regulatory control by NO in skin repair. We provide evidence that HO-1 might exert a regulatory role in macrophage-derived cytokine release.
PMCID: PMC1950056  PMID: 11683374
22.  Transforming growth factor beta 1 and gamma interferon provide opposing signals to lipopolysaccharide-activated mouse macrophages. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(9):3625-3632.
Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are potent inducers of macrophage activation, leading to the production of a number of proinflammatory mediators. Although several cytokines that prime macrophages for enhanced LPS-triggered responses have been identified, far less is known regarding the role that cytokines play in down-regulating macrophage responses to LPS. This study was designed to determine the effects of recombinant transforming growth factor beta 1 (rTGF-beta 1) on macrophage activation by LPS. Pretreatment of either mouse peritoneal macrophages or cells of the RAW 264.7 macrophage-like cell line with rTGF-beta 1 inhibited their ability to produce both tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and nitric oxide (NO) in response to LPS. These inhibitory effects were reversed by increasing the concentration of LPS or by priming cells with optimal concentrations of recombinant gamma interferon (rIFN-gamma). Pretreatment of cells with rTGF-beta 1 had only a modest inhibitory effect on the expression of TNF-alpha mRNA. By contrast, the expression of mRNA for the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which is responsible for NO production in activated macrophages, was significantly inhibited by rTGF-beta 1 pretreatment. Thus, rTGF-beta 1-dependent suppression of macrophage TNF-alpha biosynthesis was manifest at a posttranscriptional level, whereas the inhibition of NO production correlated with a direct effect on iNOS gene expression. Importantly, both of these suppressive effects of rTGF-beta 1 were reversed by exposing the cells to priming concentrations of rIFN-gamma. As with NO production, immunocytochemical analysis of iNOS expression in LPS-stimulated macrophages revealed that rIFN-gamma and rTGF-beta 1 had antagonistic effects, with the former increasing, and the latter reducing, the number of iNOS-expressing cells induced by LPS. These data suggest that a balance between the priming effects of IFN-gamma and the inhibitory effects of TGF-beta 1 can determine the overall level of macrophage activation induced by LPS.
PMCID: PMC303011  PMID: 8063378
23.  Anesthetic Propofol Reduces Endotoxic Inflammation by Inhibiting Reactive Oxygen Species-regulated Akt/IKKβ/NF-κB Signaling 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17598.
Anesthetic propofol has immunomodulatory effects, particularly in the area of anti-inflammation. Bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces inflammation through toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 signaling. We investigated the molecular actions of propofol against LPS/TLR4-induced inflammatory activation in murine RAW264.7 macrophages.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Non-cytotoxic levels of propofol reduced LPS-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and NO as determined by western blotting and the Griess reaction, respectively. Propofol also reduced the production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-10 as detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Western blot analysis showed propofol inhibited LPS-induced activation and phosphorylation of IKKβ (Ser180) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB (Ser536); the subsequent nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 was also reduced. Additionally, propofol inhibited LPS-induced Akt activation and phosphorylation (Ser473) partly by reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation; inter-regulation that ROS regulated Akt followed by NF-κB activation was found to be crucial for LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophages. An in vivo study using C57BL/6 mice also demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties against LPS in peritoneal macrophages.
These results suggest that propofol reduces LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophages by inhibiting the interconnected ROS/Akt/IKKβ/NF-κB signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC3050912  PMID: 21408125
24.  Arginase II Inhibited Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Cell Death by Regulation of iNOS and Bcl-2 Family Proteins in Macrophages 
Molecules and Cells  2013;35(5):396-401.
Arginase II catalyzes the conversion of arginine to urea and ornithine in many extrahepatic tissues. We investigated the protective role of arginase II on lipopolysaccharide-mediated apoptosis in the macrophage cells. Adenoviral gene transfer of full length of arginase II was performed in the murine macrophage cell line RAW264.7. The role of arginase II was investigated with cell viability, cytoplasmic histone-associated DNA fragmentation assay, arginase activity, nitric oxide production, and Western blot analysis. Arginase II is localized in mitochondria of macrophage cells, and the expression of arginase II was increased by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS significantly increased cell death which was inhibited by AMT, a specific inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor. In contrast, LPS-induced cell death and nitric oxide production were increased by 2-boronoethyl-L-cysteine, a specific inhibitor of arginase. Adenoviral overexpression of arginase II significantly inhibited LPS-induced cell death and cytoplasmic histone-associated DNA fragmentation. LPS-induced iNOS expression and poly ADP-ribose polymerase cleavage were significantly suppressed by arginase II overexpression. Furthermore, arginase II overexpression resulted in a decrease in the Bax protein level and the reverse induction of Bcl-2 protein. Our data demonstrated that inhibition of NO production by arginase II may be due to arginine depletion as well as iNOS suppression though its reaction products. Moreover, arginase II plays a protective role of LPS-induced apoptosis in RAW264.7 cells.
PMCID: PMC3887864  PMID: 23639968
Arginase II; Bax; lipopolysaccharide; macrophage; nitric oxide
25.  Anti-Inflammatory Effects of 81 Chinese Herb Extracts and Their Correlation with the Characteristics of Traditional Chinese Medicine 
Inducible nitrogen oxide synthase (iNOS) is the primary contributor of the overproduction of nitric oxide and its inhibitors have been actively sought as effective anti-inflammatory agents. In this study, we prepared 70% ethanol extracts from 81 Chinese herbs. These extracts were subsequently evaluated for their effect on nitrogen oxide (NO) production and cell growth in LPS/IFNγ-costimulated and unstimulated murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells by Griess reaction and MTT assay. Extracts of Daphne genkwa Zucc, Caesalpinia sappan L., Iles pubescens Arn, Forsythia suspensa (Thunb.) Vahl, Zingiber officinale Rosc, Inula japonica Thunb., and Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort markedly inhibited NO production (inhibition > 90% at 100 μg/mL). Among active extracts (inhibition > 50% at 100 μg/mL), Rubia cordifolia L., Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Iles pubescens Arn, Nigella glandulifera Freyn et Sint, Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi, and Scutellaria barbata D. Don displayed no cytotoxicity to unstimulated RAW246.7 cells while increasing the growth of LPS/IFNγ-costimulated cells. By analyzing the correlation between their activities and their Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) characteristics, herbs with pungent flavor displayed potent anti-inflammatory capability. Our study provides a series of potential anti-inflammatory herbs and suggests that herbs with pungent flavor are candidates of effective anti-inflammatory agents.
PMCID: PMC3950587  PMID: 24696703

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