The increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases has prompted investigation into innovative therapeutics over the last two decades. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the therapeutic choices to control and suppress the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. However, NSAIDs-associated gastropathy has hampered their long term usage despite their clinical advancement. On the natural end of the treatment spectrum, our group has shown that cardamonin (2',4'-dihydroxy-6'-methoxychalcone) isolated from Alpinia rafflesiana exerts potential anti-inflammatory activity in activated macrophages. Therefore, we further explored the anti-inflammatory property of cardamonin as well as its underlying mechanism of action in IFN-γ/LPS-stimulated microglial cells. In this investigation, cardamonin shows promising anti-inflammatory activity in microglial cell line BV2 by inhibiting the secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators including nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The inhibition of NO and PGE(2) by cardamonin are resulted from the reduced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2), respectively. Meanwhile the suppressive effects of cardamonin on TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 were demonstrated at both protein and mRNA levels, thus indicating the interference of upstream signal transduction pathway. Our results also validate that cardamonin interrupts nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signalling pathway via attenuation of NF-κB DNA binding activity. Interestingly, cardamonin also showed a consistent suppressive effect on the cell surface expression of CD14. Taken together, our experimental data provide mechanistic insights for the anti-inflammatory actions of cardamonin in BV2 and thus suggest a possible therapeutic application of cardamonin for targeting neuroinflammatory disorders.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.