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Molecules 2017, 22(5), 679; doi:10.3390/molecules22050679

Immune-Stimulatory Effects of Althaea rosea Flower Extracts through the MAPK Signaling Pathway in RAW264.7 Cells

1
Department of Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Chungju, Chungbuk 27478, Korea
2
Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University, Chungju, Chungbuk 27478, Korea
3
Division of Food and Bio Science, Konkuk University, Chungju 27478, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dong-Kug Choi, Palanivel Ganesan and Derek J. McPhee
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2607 KB, uploaded 25 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Althaea rosea (Linn.) is a medicinal plant from China and Korea that has been traditionally used to control inflammation, to stop bedwetting and as a mouthwash in cases of bleeding gums. Its flowers are employed medicinally for their emollient, demulcent and diuretic properties, which make them useful in chest complaints. Furthermore, a flower extract decoction is used to improve blood circulation, for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, haemorrhages, etc. However, the possible mechanisms of the immune-stimulatory effect remains to be elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the role of Althaea rosea flower (ARF) extracts in the immune-stimulatory effect of macrophages and the underlying mechanisms of action. ARF water extract (ARFW) could dose-dependently increase NO production and cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α). We also found that ARFW significantly increased the expression of iNOS and COX-2 proteins in RAW264.7 cells. Consistent with these results, MAPK protein (JNK, ERK, p38) expression levels were induced after treatment with ARFW. Additionally, ARFW showed a marked increase in the phosphorylation level of IκBα and subsequent IκBα degradation allowing NF-κB nuclear translocation. These results suggest that the immune-stimulatory effect of A. rosea flower extracts is mediated through the translocation of NF-κB p65 subunit into the nucleus from the cytoplasm and subsequent activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) and other mediators (iNOS and COX-2), which occurs mainly through MAPK signalling pathway. Thus, we suggest that ARFW could be considered as a potential therapeutic agent useful in the development of immune-stimulatory compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: Althaea rosea; RAW264.7 cells; immune-stimulatory effect Althaea rosea; RAW264.7 cells; immune-stimulatory effect
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Kim, Y.-S.; Kim, E.-K.; Nawarathna, W.P.A.S.; Dong, X.; Shin, W.-B.; Park, J.-S.; Moon, S.-H.; Park, P.-J. Immune-Stimulatory Effects of Althaea rosea Flower Extracts through the MAPK Signaling Pathway in RAW264.7 Cells. Molecules 2017, 22, 679.

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