Ursolic acid isolated from the seed of Cornus officinalis ameliorates colitis in mice by inhibiting the binding of lipopolysaccharide to Toll-like receptor 4 on macrophages

Se-Eun Jang, Jin-Ju Jeong, Supriya R Hyam, Myung Joo Han, Dong-Hyun Kim
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2014 October 8, 62 (40): 9711-21
Ursolic acid, which was isolated from an ethanol extract of Cornus officinalis seed, potently inhibited nuclear factor κ light-chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated peritoneal macrophages. Therefore, we investigated the anti-inflammatory mechanism of ursolic acid in LPS-stimulated macrophages and colitic mice. Ursolic acid inhibited phosphorylation of interleukin 1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK)1, TAK1, inhibitor of nuclear factor κB kinase subunit β (IKKβ), and IκBα as well as activation of NF-κB and MAPKs in LPS-stimulated macrophages. Ursolic acid suppressed LPS-stimulated interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, and inducible NO synthetase (iNOS) expression as well as PGE2 and NO levels. Ursolic acid not only inhibited the Alexa Fluor 488-conjugated LPS-mediated shift of macrophages but also reduced the intensity of fluorescent LPS bound to the macrophages transiently transfected with or without MyD88 siRNA. However, ursolic acid did not suppress NF-κB activation in peptidoglycan-stimulated macrophages. Oral administration of ursolic acid significantly inhibited 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colon shortening and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in mice. Ursolic acid also suppressed TNBS-induced COX-2 and iNOS expression as well as NF-κB activation in colon tissues. Ursolic acid (20 mg/kg) also inhibited TNBS-induced IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α by 93, 86, and 85%, respectively (p < 0.05). However, ursolic acid reversed TNBS-mediated downregulation of IL-10 expression to 79% of the normal control group (p < 0.05). On the basis of these findings, ursolic acid may ameliorate colitis by regulating NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways via the inhibition of LPS binding to TLR4 on immune cells.

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