Anti-inflammatory effect and potential mechanism of betulinic acid onλ-carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Oct ;118:109347. Epub 2019 Aug 16. PMID: 31545273
λ-Carrageenan (Carr), a seaweed polysaccharide, is used as a proinflammatory agent in research. Betulinic acid (BA), a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid, exerts immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-malarial and anti-HIV effects. The aim of this study was to investigate whether BA exerts anti-inflammatory effect against Carr-induced paw edema in mice, and how BA could mediate the expression of inflammation-associated MAPK-COX-2-PGEsignal pathway. BA pretreatment significantly reduced the inflammatory response to Carr-induced paw edema, especially at 4 h after injection. BA reduced the serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-5, IL-6, GM-CSF, KC, MCP-1 and PGEin Carr-treated mice, and increased those of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-12. It also increased SOD, CAT and GSH-Px activities, and GSH content, and reduced MDA content in the liver of Carr-treated mice. Besides, BA reduced neutrophil infiltration in the basal and subcutaneous layers of the paw of Carr-treated mice, decreased the expression of COX-2 protein, and reduced the phosphorylation of JNK, p38 and ERK1/2. These results indicated that the protective effect of BA on Carr-induced paw edema might be due to its alleviation of inflammatory response and inhibition of oxidative stress, possibly by inhibiting MAPK-COX-2-PGEsignaling pathway activation.