Isoliquiritigenin suppresses IL-1β induced apoptosis and inflammation in chondrocyte-like ATDC5 cells by inhibiting NF-κB and exerts chondroprotective effects on a mouse model of anterior cruciate ligament transection.
Int J Mol Med. 2017 Dec ;40(6):1709-1718. Epub 2017 Oct 9. PMID: 29039445
Isoliquiritigenin (ISL), a natural flavonoid extracted from licorice, has been demonstrated to exert attenuation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway and anti-inflammatory activity in a wide variety of cells. In the present study, the authors first evaluated the effects of ISL on cartilage degeneration in interleukin-1β (IL-1β)-stimulated chondrocyte-like ATDC5 cells and in a mouse model of osteoarthritis (OA). The data of a cell counting kit-8 and flow cytometry assay indicated that ISL suppressed the inhibitory effect of IL-1β on cell viability. The mRNA and protein expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-13 were significantly decreased, while the expression of collagen II wasincreased, as indicated by RT-qPCR and western blot analysis following the chondrocyte-like ATDC5 cells were co-intervened with IL-1β and ISL for 48 h. Also, ISL attenuated protein expressions level of pro-apoptotic Bax, cleaved-caspase-3 and cleaved-caspase-9 and promoted expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2. Moreover, ISL inhibited NF-κB p65 phosphorylation induced by IL-1β. In addition, ISL also increased improved the thickness of hyaline cartilage and the production of proteoglycans in the cartilage matrix in a mouse OA model. These results indicated that ISL exerted anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects on IL-1β-stimulated chondrocyte-like ATDC5 cells, which may be associated with the downregulation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. In this way, the data supported the conclusion that ISL may be a novel potential preventive agent suitable for use in OA therapy.