The p38 MAPK inhibitor JLU1124 inhibits the inflammatory response induced by lipopolysaccharide through the MAPK-NF-κB pathway in RAW264.7 macrophages

Xiao-ning Li, Jing Su, Lu Zhao, Jing-bao Xiang, Wanhe Wang, Fei Liu, Hong-yan Li, Jia-teng Zhong, Xu Bai, Lian-kun Sun
International Immunopharmacology 2013, 17 (3): 785-92
Our previous results showed that JLU1124 is a potent p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor. Compared to the classic p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580, JLU1124 inhibits p38 phosphorylation at low concentrations without cytotoxicity on cells. p38 MAPK is a known target for inflammation treatment. Thus, we became interested in whether JLU1124 has anti-inflammatory effects. We used LPS stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages as a model of inflammation to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of JLU1124. Our results showed that p38 phosphorylation, the production of nitric oxide (NO), interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, the mRNA and protein levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 were enhanced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). At concentrations of less than 10 μmol/L, JLU1124 inhibits p38 phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner and significantly suppresses LPS-induced production of NO, IL-6 and TNF-α, and decreases the expressions of iNOS and COX-2 in RAW264.7 macrophages which indicate that JLU1124 has anti-inflammatory effects. However, JLU1124 has no significant effect on the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase which was involved in inflammation. Furthermore, our results showed that JLU1124 inhibits NF-κB inhibitor (IκB)α phosphorylation, nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity of NF-κB induced by LPS which may be through suppression of Akt phosphorylation. In conclusion, our study indicates that JLU1124 efficiently inhibits p38 phosphorylation and has anti-inflammatory effects in LPS-treated RAW264.7 macrophages. The anti-inflammatory mechanism of JLU1124 is mainly through decreasing Akt phosphorylation and inhibiting IκBα phosphorylation, thus suppressing NF-κB activation and nuclear translocation.

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