Hypophyllanthin (HYP) and niranthin (NIR) are major lignans in Phyllanthus spp. and have been shown to possess strong anti-inflammatory activity. In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects and the underlying molecular mechanisms of HYP and NIR in in vitro cellular model of LPS-induced U937 macrophages. The effects of HYP and NIR on the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) were measured by using ELISA, Western blot, and qRT-PCR. The expressions of signaling molecules related to nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase-Akt (PI3K-Akt) signaling pathways were examined. The role of NF-κB, MAPKs, and Akt signaling pathways was confirmed by using specific inhibitors (BAY 11-7082, U0126, SB202190, SP600125, and LY294002) mediated suppression of TNF-α and COX-2 production. HYP and NIR significantly inhibited the protein and gene levels of COX-2 as well as the downstream signaling products of PGE2, TNF-α, and IL-1β. HYP and NIR also suppressed the inhibitors of kappa B (IκB), IkB kinases (Ikkα/β), NF-κB phosphorylation, and IκB degradation. HYP suppressed the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and p38 while NIR only suppressed JNK and ERK but did not have effect on p38. These results demonstrate that HYP and NIR downregulated COX-2, TNF-α, and IL-1β gene expressions in U937 macrophages by interfering with the activation of NF-κB, MAPKs, and Akt. In conclusion, these lignans have potential to be developed as anti-inflammatory agents targeting the NF-κB, MAPK, and PI3K-Akt pathways.
Inflammation – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 9, 2018
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