Nodakenin suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in macrophage cells by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 and nuclear factor-κB pathways and protects mice from lethal endotoxin shock.J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2012; 342(3):654-64JP
Nodakenin, a coumarin isolated from the roots of Angelicae gigas, has been reported to possess neuroprotective, antiaggregatory, antibacterial, and memory-enhancing effects. In the present study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of nodakenin by examining its in vitro inhibitory effects on inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and proinflammatory cytokines in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages and mouse peritoneal macrophages and its in vivo effects on LPS-induced septic shock in mice. Our results indicate that nodakenin concentration-dependently inhibits iNOS and COX-2 at the protein, mRNA, and promoter binding levels, and these inhibitions cause attendant decreases in the production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E₂ (PGE₂). Furthermore, we found that nodakenin inhibits the production and mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1β induced by LPS. Molecular data revealed that nodakenin suppressed the transcriptional activity and translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) by inhibiting inhibitory κB-α degradation and IκB kinase-α/β phosphorylation. In addition, nodakenin was found to significantly inhibit the LPS-induced binding of transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 to tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) by reducing TRAF6 ubiquitination. Pretreatment with nodakenin reduced the serum levels of NO, PGE₂, and proinflammatory cytokines and increased the survival rate of mice with LPS-induced endotoxemia. Taken together, our data suggest that nodakenin down-regulates the expression of the proinflammatory iNOS, COX-2, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β genes in macrophages by interfering with the activation of TRAF6, thus preventing NF-κB activation.