Effects of blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caeruleaL.) extract on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of blue honeysuckle extract (BHE), which contains high level of phenolic compounds, on endotoxin-induced uveitis (EIU). Male Lewis rats were randomly divided into 5 groups with 14 rats in each (eight rats for collection of aqueous humor, six rats for histologic examination). EIU was induced by a footpad injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). 1, 10, or 100 mg of BHE was injected intravenously immediately after LPS injection. The aqueous humor was collected at 24 h after LPS injection, the number of infiltrating cells, protein concentration, nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and prostaglandin (PG)-E2 levels in the aqueous humor were determined. Some eyes were enucleated for histologic examination and immunohistochemical analysis. Immunohistochemical staining with a monoclonal antibody against activated nuclear factor (NF)-κB was performed to evaluate the effect of BHE on NF-κB activation. To further clarify the anti-inflammatory effect, RAW264.7 cells (a mouse macrophage cell line) were stimulated with LPS in the presence or absence of BHE and its major phenolics, cyanidin 3-glucoside (C3G), cyanidin 3-rutinoside (C3R), chlorogenic acid (CA). Expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were analyzed by Western blot method. BHE treatment significantly reduced the inflammatory cell infiltration, the protein concentration, the levels of NO, TNF-α and PGE2 in the aqueous humor and improved histologic status of the ocular tissue. The number of activated NF-κB-positive cells was lower in the iris-ciliary body treated with BHE at 3 h after LPS injection. BHE significantly suppressed the production of NO, PGE2 and TNF-α in the culture medium as well as the expression of iNOS and COX-2 by LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells in a dose-dependent fashion. C3G, C3R and CA showed no or weak inhibitory effects on the level of inflammatory mediators and the expression of iNOS and COX-2. These results suggest that BHE attenuates the degree of inflammation in eyes with EIU by inhibiting the NF-κB dependent signaling pathway and the subsequent production of proinflammatory mediators.

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