Kushenol C (KC) is a prenylated flavonoid isolated from the roots of Sophora flavescens aiton.
Little is known about its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress activities. Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress effects of KC in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP)-induced oxidative stress in HaCaT cells. The results demonstrated that KC dose-dependently suppressed the production of inflammatory mediators, including NO, PGE2
, IL-6, IL1β, MCP-1, and IFN-β in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. The study demonstrated that the inhibition of STAT1, STAT6, and NF-κB activations by KC might have been responsible for the inhibition of NO, PGE2
, IL-6, IL1β, MCP-1, and IFN-β in the LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. KC also upregulated the expression of HO-1 and its activities in the LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. The upregulation of Nrf2 transcription activities by KC in the LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages was demonstrated to be responsible for the upregulation of HO-1 expression and its activity in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. In HaCaT cells, KC prevented DNA damage and cell death by upregulating the endogenous antioxidant defense system involving glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and catalase, which prevented reactive oxygen species production from tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP)-induced oxidative stress in HaCaT cells. The upregulated activation of Nrf2 and Akt in the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway by KC was demonstrated to be responsible for the anti-oxidative stress activity of KC in HaCaT cells. Collectively, the study suggests that KC can be further investigated as a potential anti-inflammatory candidate for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
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