Nitric oxide (NO) is a crucial molecule in inflammatory diseases and is synthesized from L-arginine by a specific enzyme, NO synthase (NOS). The expression of inducible NOS (iNOS) is activated in macrophages by various stimuli, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a wall component of gram-negative bacteria. LPS binds to toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on the macrophage surface and activates several downstream signaling pathways, including mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathways. This study investigated whether sargaquinoic acid isolated from Sargassum siliquastrum might have anti-inflammatory activity and interfere with NO production in macrophages by disrupting LPS-induced signaling. This study was conducted in vitro using RAW264.7 murine macrophages. LPS-stimulated cells were treated with sargaquinoic acid, and the effects on NO production, iNOS expression, and involvement of the NF-κB signaling pathway were investigated by Griess assay, western blotting, and confocal microscopy. The results demonstrated that sargaquinoic acid inhibited the production of NO and the expression of the iNOS protein in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Moreover, sargaquinoic acid inhibited the degradation of inhibitory-κB protein (IκB)-α and the nuclear translocation of NF-κB, a key transcription factor for the regulation of iNOS expression. Also, sargaquinoic acid influenced the phosphorylation of JNK1/2 MAPK, except ERK1/2 and p38 MAPKs, stimulated by LPS. These results suggest that sargaquinoic acid specifically prevents NO production in macrophages via the blockade of NF-κB activation and may thus have therapeutic applications in various inflammatory diseases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (NRF-C1-2011-0021039).
- Nitric oxide
- Nuclear factor-κB
- RAW264.7 macrophage
- Sargaquinoic acid