Biomolecules & Therapeutics
Anti-Inflammatory Activities of (+)-Afzelechin against Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammation
In-Chul Lee1 and Jong-Sup Bae2,*
1Department of Cosmetic Science and Technology, Seowon University, Cheongju 28674,
2College of Pharmacy, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-53-950-8570, Fax: +82-53-950-8557
Received: November 16, 2023; Revised: November 29, 2023; Accepted: December 7, 2023; Published online: June 7, 2024.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

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In this study, we investigated the potential protective effects of (+)-afzelechin (AZC), a natural compound that is derived from Bergenia ligulata, on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory responses. AZC is known to have antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, and cardiovascular protective properties. However, knowledge regarding the therapeutic potential of AZC against LPS-induced inflammatory responses is limited. Thus, we investigated the protective attributes of AZC against inflammatory damage caused by LPS exposure. We examined the effects of AZC on heme oxygenase (HO)-1, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in LPS-activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). In addition, the effects of AZC on the expression of iNOS, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-1β were analyzed in the lung tissues of LPSinjected mice. Data revealed that AZC promoted the production of HO-1, inhibited the interaction between luciferase and nuclear factor (NF)-κB, and reduced the levels of COX-2/PGE2 and iNOS/NO, thereby leading to a decrease in the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-1 phosphorylation. Moreover, AZC facilitated the nuclear translocation of Nrf2, increased the binding activity between Nrf2 and the antioxidant response elements (AREs), and lowered the expression of IL-1β in the LPS-treated HUVECs. In the animal model, AZC significantly reduced the expression of iNOS in the lung tissue structure and the TNF-α level in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. These findings demonstrate that AZC possesses anti-inflammatory properties that regulate iNOS through the inhibition of both NF-κB expression and p-STAT-1. Consequently, AZC has potential as a future candidate for the development of new clinical substances for the treatment of pathological inflammation.
Keywords: (+)-Afzelechin, Endothelium, iNOS, p-STAT-1

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