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1.  Dietary phenethylisothiocyanate attenuates bowel inflammation in mice 
BMC Chemical Biology  2010;10:4.
Background
Phenethylisothiocyanate (PEITC) is produced by Brassica food plants. PEO is a PEITC Essential Oil containing >95% natural PEITC. PEITC is known to produce various health benefits but its effect in alleviation of ulcerative colitis signs is unknown.
Results
In two efficacy studies (acute and chronic) oral administration of PEO was effective at remitting acute and chronic signs of ulcerative colitis (UC) in mice. Disease activity, histology and biochemical characteristics were measured in the treated animals and were compared with appropriate controls. PEO treatment significantly improved body weights and stool consistency as well as decreased intestinal bleeding. PEO treatment also reduced mucosal inflammation, depletion of goblet cells and infiltration of inflammatory cells. Attenuation of proinflammatory interleukin1β production was observed in the colons of PEO-treated animals. Expression analyses were also carried out for immune function related genes, transcription factors and cytokines in lipopolysaccharide-activated mouse macrophage cells. PEO likely affects an intricate network of immune signaling genes including a novel concentration dependent reduction of total cellular Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) as well as nuclear phosphorylated-STAT1 (activated form of STAT1). A PEO-concentration dependent decrease of mRNA of C-X-C motif ligand 10 (a STAT1 responsive chemokine) and Interleukin 6 were also observed.
Conclusions
PEO might be a promising candidate to develop as a treatment for ulcerative colitis patients. The disease attenuation by PEO is likely associated with suppression of activation of STAT1 transcription and inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
doi:10.1186/1472-6769-10-4
PMCID: PMC2881005  PMID: 20423518
2.  MyD88-dependent and independent pathways of Toll-Like Receptors are engaged in biological activity of Triptolide in ligand-stimulated macrophages 
BMC Chemical Biology  2010;10:3.
Background
Triptolide is a diterpene triepoxide from the Chinese medicinal plant Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F., with known anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive and anti-cancer properties.
Results
Here we report the expression profile of immune signaling genes modulated by triptolide in LPS induced mouse macrophages. In an array study triptolide treatment modulated expression of 22.5% of one hundred and ninety five immune signaling genes that included Toll-like receptors (TLRs). TLRs elicit immune responses through their coupling with intracellular adaptor molecules, MyD88 and TRIF. Although it is known that triptolide inhibits NFκB activation and other signaling pathways downstream of TLRs, involvement of TLR cascade in triptolide activity was not reported. In this study, we show that triptolide suppresses expression of proinflammatory downstream effectors induced specifically by different TLR agonists. Also, the suppressive effect of triptolide on TLR-induced NFκB activation was observed when either MyD88 or TRIF was knocked out, confirming that both MyD88 and TRIF mediated NFκB activation may be inhibited by triptolide. Within the TLR cascade triptolide downregulates TLR4 and TRIF proteins.
Conclusions
This study reveals involvement of TLR signaling in triptolide activity and further increases understanding of how triptolide activity may downregulate NFκB activation during inflammatory conditions.
doi:10.1186/1472-6769-10-3
PMCID: PMC2873377  PMID: 20385024

Results 1-2 (2)