In this study, we compared selected silymarin components, such as quercetin (QE), 2,3-dehydrosilybin (DHS) and silybin (SB), with the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin (IND) in terms of their wound healing potential. In view of the fact that pathological cutaneous wound healing is associated with persistent inflammation, we studied their anti-inflammatory activity against inflammation induced by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We investigated the regulation of crucial pro-inflammatory transcription factors—nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1)—as well as the expression of downstream inflammatory targets by Western blotting, real-time PCR (RT-PCR), electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), and/or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in vitro using primary normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF). We demonstrated the greater ability of DHS to modulate the pro-inflammatory cytokines production via the NF-κB and AP-1 signaling pathways when compared to other tested substances. The prolonged exposure of LPS-challenged human dermal fibroblasts to DHS had both beneficial and detrimental consequences. DHS diminished interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion but induced the significant upregulation of IL-8 mRNA associated with NF-κB and AP-1 activation. The observed conflicting results may compromise the main expected benefit, which is the acceleration of the healing of the wound via a diminished inflammation.
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