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Hispolon inhibition of inflammatory apoptosis through reduction of iNOS/NO production via HO-1 induction in macrophages

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: <i>Phellinus linteus</i> (Berkeley & Curtis), a well-known medical fungus, has long been used as a traditional medicine in Oriental countries to treat various diseases, and hispolon (HIS) is one of its bioactive components. HIS is known to possess potent antineoplastic and antiviral properties; however, its effect on inflammatory apoptosis is still undefined. MATERIALS AND METHODS: RAW264.7 macrophages were incubated with HIS for 30 min followed by LPS, LTA, or PGN stimulation for 12h. The expression of indicated proteins AP-1 and NF-kappaB transcriptional activities was examined by Western blotting using specific antibodies. Levels of NO and ROS were examined by Griess reaction, and DCHF-DA staining via flow cytometric analysis, respectively. AP-1 and NF-kappaB transcriptional activities were detected by luciferase reporter assay. Knockdown of HO-1 protein expression was performed by transfection of macrophages with HO-1 siRNA. Pharmacological inhibitors including ROS scavenger NAC, JNK inhibitor SP600125, NF-kappaB inhibitor BAY117082 were applied for mechanism study. RESULTS: HIS showed concentration-dependent inhibition of LPS, LTA, and PGN-induced iNOS protein expressions and NO production by RAW264.7 macrophages. Accordingly, HIS protected RAW264.7 cells from LPS-, LTA-, and PGN-induced apoptosis. Increased HO-1 by HIS was detected at both protein and mRNA levels along with an increase in intracellular peroxide, and this was inhibited by the translational inhibitor, cycloheximide (CHX), the transcriptional inhibitor, actinomycin D (Act D), and the reactive oxygen species scavenger, N-acetylcysteine (NAC). A mechanistic study indicated that inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) protein phosphorylation, and activator protein (AP)-1 and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation were involved in the anti-inflammatory actions of HIS in macrophages. A structure-activity relationship analysis showed that HIS expressed the most potent effect of inhibiting iNOS and apoptosis elicited by LPS, LTA, and PGN with a significant increase in HO-1 protein in macrophages. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence supporting HIS prevention of inflammatory apoptosis via blocking NO production and inducing HO-1 protein expression in macrophages is provided, and the hydroxyl at position C3 is a critical substitution for the anti-inflammatory actions of HIS.

Yang, L. Y., et al. (2014). “Hispolon inhibition of inflammatory apoptosis through reduction of iNOS/NO production via HO-1 induction in macrophages.” J Ethnopharmacol 156: 61-72.