6-Shogaol suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced up-expression of iNOS and COX-2 in murine macrophages

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Ginger, the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, is a traditional medicine with carminative effect, antinausea, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of 6-shogaol and a related compound, 6-gingerol, on the induction of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in murine RAW 264.7 cells activated with LPS. Western blotting and reverse transcription-PCR analyses demonstrated that 6-shogaol significantly blocked protein and mRNA expression of inducible NOS (iNOS) and COX-2 in LPS-induced macrophages. The in vivo anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated by a topical 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) application to mouse skin. When applied topically onto the shaven backs of mice prior to TPA, 6-shogaol markedly inhibited the expression of iNOS and COX-2 proteins. Treatment with 6-shogaol resulted in the reduction of LPS-induced nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) subunit and the dependent transcriptional activity of NFκB by blocking phosphorylation of inhibitor κB (IκB)α and p65 and subsequent degradation of IκBα. Transient transfection experiments using NFκB reporter constructs indicated that 6-shogaol inhibits the transcriptional activity of NFκB in LPS-stimulated mouse macrophages. We found that 6-shogaol also inhibited LPS-induced activation of PI3K/Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, but not p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Taken together, these results show that 6-shogaol downregulates inflammatory iNOS and COX-2 gene expression in macrophages by inhibiting the activation of NFκB by interfering with the activation PI3K/Akt/IκB kinases IKK and MAPK.

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