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Puerarin is a natural product isolated from Puerarin lobata and has various pharmacological effects, including anti-hyperglycemic and anti-allergic properties. In the present study, we investigated the effect of puerarin against advanced glycation end products (AGEs)-induced inflammation in mouse mesangial cells. Puerarin acts by inducing the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Puerarin was able to enhance phosphorylation of protein kinase C (PKC) δ, but not PKC α/β II, in a time-dependent manner. Induction of HO-1 expression by puerarin was suppressed by GF109203X, a general inhibitor of PKC, and by rottlerin, a specific inhibitor of PKC δ. However, induction was not suppressed by Gö6976, a selective inhibitor for PKC α/β II. Additionally, the knockdown of endogenous PKC δ by small interfering RNA (siRNA) resulted in the inhibition of HO-1 expression and Akt phosphorylation. Puerarin increased antioxidant response element (ARE)-Luciferase activity in a dose- and time-dependent manner in transfected mouse mesangial cells. Mutation of the ARE sequence abolished puerarin-induced HO-1 expression. Furthermore, puerarin treatments resulted in a marked increase in NF-E2 related factor-2 (Nrf-2) translocation, leading to up-regulation of HO-1 expression. However, transfection of Nrf-2 specific siRNA abolished HO-1 expression. Pretreatment with puerarin inhibited the expressions of COX-2, MMP-2 and MMP-9. But, these effects were reversed by ZnPP, an inhibitor of HO-1. Taken together, our results demonstrate that puerarin-induced expression of HO-1 is mediated by the PKC δ-Nrf-2-HO-1 pathway and inhibits N-carboxymethyllysine (CML)-induced inflammation in mouse mesangial cells.