Suppression of inducible cyclooxygenase and inducible nitric oxide synthase by apigenin and related flavonoids in mouse macrophages

Yu Chih Liang, Ying Tang Huang, Shu Huei Tsai, Shoei Yn Lin-Shiau, Chieh Fu Chen, Jen Kun Lin

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461 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prostaglandins biosynthesis and nitric oxide production have been implicated in the process of carcinogenesis and inflammation. In this study, we investigated the effect of various flavonoids and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on the activities of inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Apigenin, genistein and kaempferol were markedly active inhibitors of transcriptional activation of COX-2, with IC50 <15 μM. In addition, apigenin and kaempferol were also markedly active inhibitors of transcriptional activation of iNOS, with IC50 <15 μM. Of those compounds tested, apigenin was the most potent inhibitor of transcriptional activation of both COX-2 and iNOS. Western and northern blot analyses demonstrated that apigenin significantly blocked protein and mRNA expression of COX-2 and iNOS in LPS-activated macrophages. Transient transfection experiments showed that LPS caused an ~4-fold increase in both COX-2 and iNOS promoter activities, these increments were suppressed by apigenin. Moreover, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) experiments indicated that apigenin blocked the LPS-induced activation of nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB). The inhibition of NF-kB activation occurs through the prevention of inhibitor kB (IkB) degradation. Transient transfection experiments also showed that apigenin inhibited NF-kB-dependent transcriptional activity. Finally, we showed that apigenin could inhibit the IkB kinase activity induced by LPS or interferon-γ. The results of further studies suggest that suppression of transcriptional activation of COX-2 and iNOS by apigenin might mainly be mediated through inhibition of IkB kinase activity. This study suggests that modulation of COX-2 and iNOS by apigenin and related flavonoids may be important in the prevention of carcinogenesis and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1945-1952
Number of pages8
JournalCarcinogenesis
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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