Anti-inflammatory effect of tetrahydrocoptisine from Corydalis impatiens is a function of possible inhibition of TNF-α, IL-6 and NO production in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated peritoneal macrophages through inhibiting NF-κB activation and MAPK pathway

Weifeng Li, Huimin Huang, Yanmin Zhang, Ting Fan, Xia Liu, Wei Xing, Xiaofeng Niu
European Journal of Pharmacology 2013 September 5, 715 (1): 62-71
The extracts or constituents from Corydalis impatiens are known to have many pharmacological activities. Tetrahydrocoptisine (THC), a protoberberine compound from Corydalis impatiens, was found to possess a potent anti-inflammatory effect in different acute or chronic inflammation model animals. Pretreatment with THC (i.p.) inhibited the paw and ear edema in the carrageenan-induced paw edema assay and xylene-induced ear edema assay, respectively. In the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced systemic inflammation model, THC significantly inhibited serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) release in mice. To clarify its possible molecular mechanisms underlying this anti-inflammatory effect, we investigated the effect of THC on LPS-induced responses in peritoneal macrophages. Our data demonstrated that THC significantly inhibited LPS-induced TNF-α, interleukin-6(IL-6) and nitric oxide (NO) production. THC inhibited the production of TNF-α and IL-6 by down-regulating LPS-induced IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA expression. Furthermore, it attenuated the phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) as well as the expression of nuclear factor kappa B(NF-κB), in a concentration-dependent manner. Taken together, our data suggest that THC is an active anti-inflammatory constituent by inhibition of TNF-α, IL-6 and NO production possibly via down-regulation of NF-κB activation, phospho-ERK1/2 and phospho-p38MAPK signal pathways.

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