Int Immunopharmacol 2012 Apr 3;12(4):657-65. Epub 2012 Feb 3.
Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor DE, Malaysia.
The increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases has prompted investigation into innovative therapeutics over the last two decades. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the therapeutic choices to control and suppress the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. However, NSAIDs-associated gastropathy has hampered their long term usage despite their clinical advancement. On the natural end of the treatment spectrum, our group has shown that cardamonin (2',4'-dihydroxy-6'-methoxychalcone) isolated from Alpinia rafflesiana exerts potential anti-inflammatory activity in activated macrophages. Therefore, we further explored the anti-inflammatory property of cardamonin as well as its underlying mechanism of action in IFN-γ/LPS-stimulated microglial cells. In this investigation, cardamonin shows promising anti-inflammatory activity in microglial cell line BV2 by inhibiting the secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators including nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The inhibition of NO and PGE(2) by cardamonin are resulted from the reduced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2), respectively. Meanwhile the suppressive effects of cardamonin on TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 were demonstrated at both protein and mRNA levels, thus indicating the interference of upstream signal transduction pathway. Our results also validate that cardamonin interrupts nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signalling pathway via attenuation of NF-κB DNA binding activity. Interestingly, cardamonin also showed a consistent suppressive effect on the cell surface expression of CD14. Taken together, our experimental data provide mechanistic insights for the anti-inflammatory actions of cardamonin in BV2 and thus suggest a possible therapeutic application of cardamonin for targeting neuroinflammatory disorders.