Cucurbitacin E ameliorates lipopolysaccharide-evoked injury, inflammation and MUC5AC expression in bronchial epithelial cells by restraining the HMGB1-TLR4-NF-κB signaling.
Mol Immunol. 2019 Oct ;114:571-577. Epub 2019 Sep 13. PMID: 31525576
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of airway affecting people from childhood to old age, and is characterized by airway epithelial dysfunction. Cucurbitacin E (CuE), a tetracyclic triterpene isolated from Cucurbitaceae plants, has been recently proved to exert anti-inflammation and immunology regulation activities. Nevertheless, its roles in asthma remains poorly defined. In the current study, CuE had little cytotoxicity on cell viability of human bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B. Moreover, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure inhibited cell viability and induced cell apoptosis, which was reversed following CuE pretreatment. Additionally, CuE administration suppressed LPS-induced inflammatory cytokine production, including TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8. Simultaneously, supplementation with CuE decreased the transcripts and releases of mucin 5AC (MUC5AC) in LPS-treated BEAS-2B cells. Intriguingly, CuE inhibited LPS-evoked activation of the high-mobility group box1 (HMGB1)-TLR4-NF-κB signaling by reducing the expression of HMGB1,TLR4 and p-p65 NF-κB. Notably, restoring this pathway by elevating HMGB1 expression largely offset the protective function of CuE against LPS-triggered cell injury, inflammatory response and MUC5AC expression. Consequently, these findings highlight that CuE can ameliorate human bronchial epithelial cell insult and inflammation under LPS-simulated asthmatic conditions by blocking the HMGB1-TLR4-NF-κB signaling, thereby supporting its usefulness as a promising therapeutic agent against asthma.