Downregulation of pro-inflammatory mediators by a water extract of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill fruit in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2013; 36(2):256-264ET
Schisandra chinensis has a long-standing history of medicinal use as a tonic, a sedative, an anti-tussive, and an anti-aging drug. Nevertheless, the antagonistic effects of S. chinensis against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated responses have not yet been studied. In this study, we investigated whether water extract of S. chinensis fruit (WESC) has the ability to attenuate the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. WESC inhibited the expression of LPS-induced pro-inflammatory mediators, namely, NO, PGE2, and TNF-α. Furthermore, gene expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and TNF-α was inhibited both at mRNA and protein synthesis levels, without any cytotoxic effect. Moreover, WESC significantly suppressed LPS-induced DNA-binding activity of NF-κB by inhibiting degradation of IκBα. It was found that pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), a specific NF-κB inhibitor, downregulates the expression of these pro-inflammatory genes to be closely regulated by NF-κB activity. Furthermore, we found that WESC retains dephosphorylation of Akt in response to LPS, and consequently suppressed the DNA-binding activity of NF-κB in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. LY294002, a specific Akt inhibitor, attenuated LPS-induced pro-inflammatory gene expression via suppression of NF-κB activity. Taken together, our results indicate that WESC downregulates the expression of pro-inflammatory genes involved in the synthesis of NO, PGE2, and TNF-α in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells by suppressing Akt-dependent NF-κB activity.