Next Article in Journal
Inhibition of Burkholderia multivorans Adhesion to Lung Epithelial Cells by Bivalent Lactosides
Previous Article in Journal
Two New Daucane Sesquiterpenoids from Daphne aurantiaca
Molecules 2012, 17(9), 10052-10064; doi:10.3390/molecules170910052

Formononetin Attenuates IL-1β-Induced Apoptosis and NF-κB Activation in INS-1 Cells

1,2,†, 1,†, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2 and 1,*
1 Key Laboratory of Human Functional Genomics of Jiangsu Province, Clinical Diabetes Centre of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, Jiangsu, China 2 Department of Endocrinology, Zhongda Hospital, Institute of Diabetes, Southeast University, No.87 Dingjiaqiao Road, Nanjing 210009, Jiangsu, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 July 2012 / Revised: 18 July 2012 / Accepted: 3 August 2012 / Published: 24 August 2012
Download PDF [358 KB, uploaded 18 June 2014]


Several studies suggest that the inflammation plays a role in the pathogenesis of some glucose disorders in adults. Exposure of pancreatic β-cells to cytokines, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), is thought to contribute to β-cell apoptosis. One important event triggered by IL-1β is induction of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), an enzyme that catalyzes intracellular generation of the cytotoxic free radical NO. Recent work have suggested that formononetin, as an O-methylated isoflavone found in a number of plants and herbs like Astragalus membranaceus, inhibited some pro-inflammatory cytokine production in macrophages. However, the roles of formononetin in pancreatic beta cells have not been fully established. The aim of the present study was to assess possible in vitro effects of formononetin on cell apoptosis induced by IL-1β in the rat insulinoma cell line, INS-1. Our results demonstrate that formononetin significantly prevents IL-1β-increased INS-1 cell death and blocks cytokine-induced apoptotic signaling (the reduction of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and caspase-3 activity). Formononetin also inhibited the activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), which is a significant transcription factor for iNOS, so as to decease nitric oxide (NO) formation in a dose dependent manner in vitro. Our observations indicated that formononetin could protect against pancreatic β-cell apoptosis caused by IL-1β and therefore could be used in the future as a new drug improving diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: INS-1; NF-κB; iNOS; formononetin; apoptosis INS-1; NF-κB; iNOS; formononetin; apoptosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Y.; Zhu, Y.; Gao, L.; Yin, H.; Xie, Z.; Wang, D.; Zhu, Z.; Han, X. Formononetin Attenuates IL-1β-Induced Apoptosis and NF-κB Activation in INS-1 Cells. Molecules 2012, 17, 10052-10064.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert