Glucose degradation is aberrantly increased in hyperglycemia, which causes various harmful effects on the liver. Glyoxalase-1 (Glo-1) is a ubiquitous cellular enzyme that participates in the detoxification of methylglyoxal (MGO), a cytotoxic byproduct of glycolysis that induces protein modification (advanced glycation end-products, AGEs) and inflammation. Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effect of indole-4-carboxaldehyde (ST-I4C), which was isolated from the edible seaweed Sargassum thunbergii
, on MGO-induced inflammation in HepG2 cells, a human hepatocyte cell line. ST-I4C attenuated the MGO-induced expression of inflammatory-related genes, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IFN-γ by activating nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) without toxicity in HepG2 cells. In addition, ST-I4C reduced the MGO-induced AGE formation and the expression of the receptor for AGE (RAGE). Interestingly, both the mRNA and protein expression levels of Glo-1 increased following ST-I4C treatment, and the decrease in Glo-1 mRNA expression caused by MGO exposure was rescued by ST-I4C pretreatment. These results suggest that ST-I4C shows anti-inflammatory activity against MGO-induced inflammation in human hepatocytes by preventing an increase in the pro-inflammatory gene expression and AGE formation. Therefore, it represents a potential therapeutic agent for the prevention of hepatic steatosis.
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