Sclareol (1) is a natural fragrance compound used widely in the cosmetic and food industries. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages and the λ-carrageenan-induced edema mouse paw model were applied to examine the anti-inflammatory potential of 1 and its possible molecular mechanisms. The experimental results obtained demonstrated that this compound inhibited cell growth, nitric oxide (NO) production, and the expression of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) proteins in LPS-stimulated macrophages. Compound 1 also reduced paw edema, the tissue content of NO, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), malondialdehyde (MDA), iNOS and COX-2 protein expression, and neutrophil infiltration within the tissues after λ-carrageenan stimulation. The present study suggests that the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of 1 might be related to a decrease of inflammatory cytokines and an increase of antioxidant enzyme activity.
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