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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Immunology - Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Pharmacology - Physiology

Artemisinin Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Proinflammatory Responses by Inhibiting NF-?B Pathway in Microglia Cells
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Author: Cansheng Zhu et al.

by Cansheng Zhu, Zhaojun Xiong, Xiaohong Chen, Fuhua Peng, Xueqiang Hu, Yanming Chen, Qing Wang

Microglial activation plays an important role in neuroinflammation, which contributes to neuronal damage, and inhibition of microglial activation may have therapeutic benefits that could alleviate the progression of neurodegeneration. Recent studies have indicated that the antimalarial agent artemisinin has the ability to inhibit NF-?B activation. In this study, the inhibitory effects of artemisinin on the production of proinflammatory mediators were investigated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated primary microglia. Our results show that artemisinin significantly inhibited LPS-induced production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and nitric oxide (NO). Artemisinin significantly decreased both the mRNA and the protein levels of these pro-inflammatory cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and increased the protein levels of I?B-a, which forms a cytoplasmic inactive complex with the p65-p50 heterodimeric complex. Artemisinin treatment significantly inhibited basal and LPS-induced migration of BV-2 microglia. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed increased NF-?B binding activity in LPS-stimulated primary microglia, and this increase could be prevented by artemisinin. The inhibitory effects of artemisinin on LPS-stimulated microglia were blocked after I?B-a was silenced with I?B-a siRNA. Our results suggest that artemisinin is able to inhibit neuroinflammation by interfering with NF-?B signaling. The data provide direct evidence of the potential application of artemisinin for the treatment of neuroinflammatory diseases.
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