The anti-inflammatory effects of methylsulfonylmethane on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in murine macrophages

Biol Pharm Bull. 2009 Apr;32(4):651-6. doi: 10.1248/bpb.32.651.


Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), also known as dimethyl sulfone and methyl sulfone, is an organic sulfur-containing compound that occurs naturally in a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and animals, including humans. In the present study, we demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of MSM in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine macrophages, RAW264.7 cells. MSM significantly inhibited the release of nitric oxide and prostaglandin E(2) by alleviating the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Furthermore, the levels of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were decreased by MSM treatment in cell culture supernatants. Further study indicated that the translocation of the p65 subunit of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB to the nucleus was inhibited by MSM treatment in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, in which it helped block degradation of inhibitor of NF-kappaB. In addition, in vivo studies demonstrated that topical administration of MSM at 500-1250 microg/ear resulted in similar inhibitory activities in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate-induced mouse ear edema. Collectively, theses results indicate that MSM inhibits LPS-induced release of pro-inflammatory mediators in murine macrophages through downregulation of NF-kappaB signaling.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / pharmacology*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Female
  • I-kappa B Proteins / metabolism
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Lipopolysaccharides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity*
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Sulfones / pharmacology*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Transcription Factor RelA / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • I-kappa B Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Nitrites
  • Sulfones
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Nitric Oxide
  • dimethyl sulfone
  • Dinoprostone
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide