Suppression of age-related inflammatory NF-kappaB activation by cinnamaldehyde

Biogerontology. 2007 Oct;8(5):545-54. doi: 10.1007/s10522-007-9098-2. Epub 2007 May 8.


Redox sensitive, pro-inflammatory nuclear transcription factor NF-kappaB plays a key role in both inflammation and aging processes. In a redox state disrupted by oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory genes are upregulated by the activation of NF-kappaB through diverse kinases. Thus, the search and characterization of new substances that modulate NF-kappaB are of recent research interest. Cinnamaldehyde (CNA) is the major component of cinnamon bark oil, which has been widely used as a flavoring agent in foodstuffs such as beverages and ice cream. In the present study, CNA was examined for its molecular modulation of inflammatory NF-kappaB activation via the redox-related NIK/IKK and MAPK pathways through the reduction of oxidative stress. Results show that age-related NF-kappaB activation upregulated NF-kappaB targeting genes, inflammatory iNOS, and COX-2, all of which were inhibited effectively by CNA. Our study further shows that CNA inhibited the activation of NF-kappaB via three signal transduction pathways, NIK/IKK, ERK, and p38 MAPK. Our results indicate that CNA's antioxidative effect and the restoration of redox balance were responsible for its anti-inflammatory action. Thus, the significance of the current study is the new information revealing the anti-inflammatory properties of CNA and the role it plays in the regulation of age-related alterations in signal transduction pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrolein / analogs & derivatives*
  • Acrolein / pharmacology
  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / drug effects
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / physiology
  • Flavoring Agents / pharmacology
  • I-kappa B Kinase / drug effects
  • I-kappa B Kinase / physiology
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / drug effects
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / drug effects
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavoring Agents
  • NF-kappa B
  • Acrolein
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • cinnamaldehyde