The citrus flavone nobiletin reduces pro-inflammatory and pro-labour mediators in fetal membranes and myometrium: implications for preterm birth.
PLoS One. 2014 ;9(9):e108390. Epub 2014 Sep 19. PMID: 25238390
Carrington J Morwood
Spontaneous preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death and of neurological disabilities in survivors. A significant proportion of spontaneous preterm births are associated with infection. Infection activates inflammation which induces a cascade of events that leads to myometrial contractions and rupture of fetal membranes. In non-gestational tissues, the citrus flavone nobiletin has been shown to exert potent anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, in this study, we sought to determine the effect of nobiletin on pro-inflammatory mediators in human fetal membranes and myometrium. Human fetal membranes and myometrium were treated with bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the absence or presence of nobiletin. In addition, the effect of nobiletin in fetal membranes taken from spontaneous preterm deliveries with and without infection (i.e. histological chorioamnionitis) was also examined. In human fetal membranes and myometrium, nobiletin significantly decreased LPS-stimulated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8) and MMP-9 expression and pro-MMP-9 secretion. Additionally, nobiletin significantly decreased COX-2 expression and subsequent prostaglandin (PG) E2 production. Notably, nobiletin was also able to reduce the expression and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and MMP-9in fetal membranes taken from women after spontaneous preterm birth. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that nobiletin can reduce infection-induced pro-inflammatory mediators in human fetal membranes and myometrium. These in vitro studies further support the increasing volume and quality of evidence that high fruit and vegetable intake in pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.