Pinocembrin attenuates allergic airway inflammation via inhibition of NF-κB pathway in mice
Pinocembrin, one of the primary flavonoids in propolis, possesses many biological activities, including anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation and immunoregulation. This study aimed to evaluate whether pinocembrin could attenuate ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic airway inflammation in mice and to explore the possible mechanism. BALB/c mice sensitized and challenged with OVA were administered intraperitoneally with pinocembrin. Airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness were examined. T-helper type (Th) 2 cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) in serum were determined. The activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) p65 were also measured. Our results showed that pinocembrin resulted in significant inhibition of pathophysiological signs of allergic asthma, including increased pulmonary eosinophilia infiltration, mucus hypersecretion and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Treatment with pinocembrin significantly reduced Th2 cytokines interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-13 in BALF, and OVA-specific IgE in serum. Moreover, pinocembrin treatment suppressed phosphorylation of inhibitor-κBα (IκBα) and NF-κB subunit p65 activation in lung tissue of OVA-sensitized mice. These data suggest that pinocembrin may inhibit allergic airway inflammation, and providing potential benefits in the treatment of inflammatory disease.