Glabridin suppresses intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression in tumor necrosis factor-alpha-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells by blocking sphingosine kinase pathway: implications of Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and nuclear factor-kappaB/Rel signaling pathways

Jong Soon Kang, Yeo Dae Yoon, Mi Hwa Han, Sang-Bae Han, Kiho Lee, Ki Hoon Lee, Song-Kyu Park, Hwan Mook Kim
Molecular Pharmacology 2006, 69 (3): 941-9
(R)-4-(3,4-Dihydro-8,8-dimethyl)-2H,8H-benzo[1,2-b:3,4-b'] dipyran-3yl)-1,3-benzenediol (glabridin) is known to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardiovascular protective activities. In the present study, we report the inhibitory effect of glabridin on intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression in tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Glabridin inhibited THP-1 cell adhesion to HUVECs stimulated by TNF-alpha and cell surface expression of ICAM-1 in TNF-alpha-stimulated HUVECs. The mRNA expression of adhesion molecules, including ICAM-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and E-selectin, was also suppressed by glabridin. Further study demonstrated the inhibitory effect of glabridin on nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB/Rel DNA binding, inhibitory factor-kappaB alpha (IkappaB alpha), and IkappaB beta degradation, IkappaB kinase activation, and p65 nuclear translocation in TNF-alpha-stimulated HUVECs. Treatment of a variety of cell lines with glabridin revealed that inhibitory effect of glabridin on NF-kappaB/Rel activation is not cell type-specific, and both inducible and constitutive NF-kappaB/Rel activation was suppressed by glabridin treatment. Moreover, TNF-alpha-induced phosphorylation of Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was blocked by glabridin treatment in HUVECs. Glabridin also suppressed sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P)-induced cell surface expression and mRNA expression of ICAM-1. Further study demonstrated that TNF-alpha-induced sphingosine kinase activity was inhibited by glabridin, and the inhibitory effect of glabridin on TNF-alpha-induced ICAM-1 expression was reversed by addition of exogenous S1P. Together, our results indicate that the inhibitory effect of glabridin on ICAM-1 expression might be mediated, at least in part, by inhibiting sphingosine kinase pathway and subsequent inhibition of signaling pathways, including Akt, ERK, and NF-kappaB/Rel signaling pathway.

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