Anti-inflammatory properties of cilostazol: Its interruption of DNA binding activity of NF-κB from the Toll-like receptor signaling pathways

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Abstract

Cilostazol, a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase type III with anti-platelet, anti-mitogenic, and vasodilating properties, is widely used to treat ischemic symptoms of peripheral vascular disease. Ample evidence has suggested that cilostazol also exhibits an anti-inflammatory effect, but its anti-inflammatory mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we showed that cilostazol specifically inhibited expression of cytokines, which are induced by nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation, in RAW264.7 macrophage cells stimulated with different Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands. Cilostazol was found to significantly reduce TLR-4 and TLR-3 ligands-stimulated NF-κB transcriptional activity, which was quantified by luciferase reporter assays. However, cilostazol was without effect on IκBα degradation and NF-κB p65 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation after challenge with the TLR-4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cilostazol did not also prevent the LPS-induced increase in phosphorylated levels of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family. On the other hand, using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we demonstrated that cilostazol reduced the LPS-induced transcriptional activities of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α by preventing the recruitment of NF-κB p65 to these gene promoters. When cilostazol was given to mice by oral gavage daily for 7 days, LPS-induced aberrant pro-inflammatory cytokine production and end-organ tissue injury were significantly reduced. The results of this study suggest that cilostazol is capable of directly interrupting DNA binding activity of NF-κB proteins from the TLR signaling pathways. The therapy to specifically intervene in this pathway may be potentially beneficial for the prevention of different inflammatory disorders.

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