Triptolide inhibits murine-inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by down-regulating lipopolysaccharide-induced activity of nuclear factor-kappa B and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase

Young-Ho Kim, Sang-Han Lee, Jai-Youl Lee, Sang-Won Choi, Jong-Wook Park, Taeg Kyu Kwon
European Journal of Pharmacology 2004 June 21, 494 (1): 1-9
Triptolide (PG490) is a natural, biologically active compound extracted from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii. It has been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. In Raw 264.7 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic inflammation, triptolide inhibits nitric oxide (NO) production in a dose-dependent manner and abrogates inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene expression. To investigate the mechanism by which triptolide inhibits murine iNOS gene expression, we examined activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAP kinases) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) in these cells. Addition of triptolide inhibited phosphorylation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) but not that of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) or p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. In addition, triptolide significantly inhibited the DNA binding activity of NF-kappa B. Taken together, these results suggest that triptolide acts to inhibit inflammation through inhibition of NO production and iNOS expression through blockade of NF-kappa B and JNK activation.

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