Paeonol suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory cytokines in macrophage cells and protects mice from lethal endotoxin shock

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Paeonol (2′-hydroxy-4′-methoxyacetophenone) is the main phenolic compound of the radix of Paeonia suffruticosa which has been used as traditional Chinese medicine. In this study, we primarily investigated the anti-inflammatory effects and the underlying mechanisms of paeonol in RAW macrophage cells; and based on these effects, we assessed the protective effects of paeonol on lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxemia in mice. The in vitro study showed that paeonol regulated the production of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 via inactivation of IκBα, ERK1/2, JNK, and p38 MAPK. In mouse model of lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxemia, pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are significantly regulated, and thus the survival rates of lipolysaccharide-challenged mice are improved by paeonol (150, 200, or 250 mg/kg). Therefore, paeonol has a beneficial activity against lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in RAW 264.7 cell and mouse models.

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