Paeoniflorin diminishes ConA-induced IL-8 production in primary human hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells in the involvement of ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015 May ;62:93-100. Epub 2015 Mar 3. PMID: 25748730
Liver diseases are closely associated with elevated levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8), suggesting the ability to inhibit IL-8 production could enhance the treatment of liver diseases. Paeoniflorin is a major active constituent of dried Paeoniae Radix Alba root (Baishao in Chinese) which is widely used in China to treat liver diseases. We examined the effects and underlying mechanisms of paeoniflorin on IL-8 production in primary human hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (HHSECs). Concanavalin A (ConA) at 20μg/mL produced a 5.2-fold increase in IL-8 mRNA by 8h, and a 14.2-fold rise in IL-8 levels by 16 h. Inhibition of MEK (ERK kinase) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) by PD98059 and U0126, or inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) by LY294002 blocked both ConA-induced IL-8 mRNA expression and IL-8 secretion. Paeoniflorin reduced ConA-induced IL-8 mRNA expression and IL-8 release by 57.9% and 52.8%, respectively, and also decreased ConA-stimulated phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt, suggesting paeoniflorin inhibits IL-8 expression and release by inhibiting the ERK1/2 andAkt pathways. Combining paeoniflorin with U0126 or LY294002 at low doses showed supra-additive inhibition of not only phospho-ERK1/2 and phospho-Akt by 46.4% and 35.0%, but also IL-8 release by 42.4% and 36.1% and IL-8 mRNA expression by 43.5% and 31.8%, respectively. In conclusion, paeoniflorin most likely contributes to the therapy for liver disease by exerting anti-inflammatory effects on HHSECs through blocking IL-8 secretion via downregulation of ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation.