A synthetic diosgenin primary amine derivative attenuates LPS-stimulated inflammation via inhibition of NF-κB and JNK MAPK signaling in microglial BV2 cells

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Diosgenin, a precursor of steroid hormones in plants, is known to exhibit diverse pharmacological activities including anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, (3β, 25R)-spirost-5-en-3-oxyl (2-((2((2-aminoethyl)amino)ethyl)amino)ethyl) carbamate (DGP), a new synthetic diosgenin derivative incorporating primary amine was used to investigate its anti-inflammatory effects and underlying mechanisms of action in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated microglial BV2 cells. Pretreatment with DGP resulted in significant inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, and down-regulation of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in LPS-stimulated microglial BV2 cells. In addition, DGP decreased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). The inhibitory effects of DGP on these inflammatory mediators in LPS-stimulated microglial BV2 cells were regulated by NF-κB signaling through blocking p65 nuclear translocation and NF-κB p65/DNA binding activity. DGP also blocked the phosphorylation of c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK), but not p38 kinase or extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK). The NF-κB inhibitor JSH-23 and JNK-specific inhibitor SP600125 significantly decreased NO production and IL-6 release in LPS-stimulated BV2 cells, respectively. The overall results demonstrate that DGP has anti-inflammatory effects on LPS-stimulated BV2 cells via inhibition of NF-κB and JNK activation, suggesting that DGP is a potential prophylactic agent in various neurodegenerative disorders.

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