Anti-inflammatory action of methanol extract of Carthamus tinctorius involves in heme oxygenase-1 induction.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 27 ;133(2):524-30. Epub 2010 Oct 20. PMID: 20969944
Min Soo Jun
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The methanol extracts of Carthamus tinctorius (MEC) have long been used in traditional medicine as anti-inflammatory agent, however, the molecular mechanism by which MEC shows anti-inflammatory action is not investigated.
AIM OF THE STUDY: Induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) by many medicinal herbs has been reported excellent anti-inflammatory action. Thus, the aim of the study is to explore whether anti-inflammatory action of MEC is related with HO-1 induction in RAW 264.7 cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present study was designed to investigate as to MEC induces HO-1 expression so that it reduces inflammation by suppression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in cells activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
RESULTS: Expression of HO-1 protein by MEC in macrophages was increased in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Treatment with MEC significantly inhibited upregulation of both iNOS and COX-2 in LPS-activated macrophages and consequently reduced production of NO and PGE(2), respectively. The reduced expression of iNOS and COX-2 by MEC was reversed by siHO-1 RNA transfection. In addition, NF-E2-related factor (Nrf2) was translocated from cytosol to nucleus by MEC. The binding of NF-κB as well as NF-κB luciferase activity was also significantly diminished by MEC. Finally, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-mediated VCAM-1 expression in endothelial cell was significantly inhibited by MEC.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results show that MEC induces HO-1 expression via Nrf2 translocation and inhibits NF-κB activity, which may be responsible for anti-inflammatory action. Therefore, we propose that anti-inflammatory action of MEC involves at least HO-1 induction.