Biomolecular evidence of anti-inflammatory effects by Clematis mandshurica Ruprecht root extract in rodent cells

Chul Won Lee, Sang Mi Park, Youn Sook Kim, Kyung Hwan Jegal, Jong Rok Lee, Il Je Cho, Sae Kwang Ku, Ji Yeon Lee, Yong-Tae Ahn, Yonghae Son, Seong A Ju, Sang Chan Kim, Won G An
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014 September 11, 155 (2): 1141-55

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Clematis mandshurica Ruprecht root is widely used in Asia as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. This research investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of Clematis mandshurica Ruprecht root extract (CRE) using RAW 264.7 macrophage cells and carrageenan- (CA-) induced rat paw edema.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in the culture supernatant, mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, iNOS and COX-2, protein expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in the extract were assayed. In addition, the effect of CRE on acute inflammation in vivo was observed using CA-induced rat hind paw edema assay. The changes on the histopathology and histomorphometry of hind paw skins-dorsum and ventrum pedis were observed using CA-treated rats.

RESULTS: Treatment with CRE (0.25, 0.5, and 1 mg/mL) resulted in inhibited levels of protein expression of lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced iNOS, COX-2, NF-κB, and MAPKs (ERK, JNK, and p38) as well as production of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, NO, and PGE2 induced by LPS. Consistent with these results, CRE reduced the LPS-induced expressions of these cytokines, iNOS and COX-2 at the mRNA levels in a dose-dependent manner. In particular, results of the CA-induced rat hind paw edema assay showed an anti-edema effect of CRE. In addition, treatment with CRE resulted in dose-dependent inhibition of CA-induced increases of skin thickness, mast cell degranulation, and infiltrated inflammatory, TNF-α, IL-1β, iNOS, and COX-2-positive cells in both dorsum and ventrum pedis skin, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that CRE exhibits anti-inflammatory activities via decreasing production of pro-inflammatory mediators through suppression of the pathways of NF-κB and MAPKs in LPS-induced macrophage cells. In addition, results of the CA-induced rat hind paw edema assay show an anti-edema effect of CRE. Our findings also support the traditional use of CRE in the inflammatory symptoms of rheumatic arthritis and acute icteric hepatitis. Thus, CRE may have therapeutic potential for a variety of inflammation-mediated diseases and may be developed into potent anti-inflammatory drugs.

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