Anti-inflammatory activity of Motherwort (Leonurus sibiricus L.)

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009 Jun;31(2):209-13. doi: 10.1080/08923970802135443.


Motherwort (MW), a Korean folk medicine, has been applied to treat inflammatory disease. However, its effect on inflammatory cytokine release from mast cells is not well known. We investigated the anti- inflammatory effect of MW on the secretion of inflammatory cytokine such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 in human mast cell line (HMC-1). MW was treated in vitro before activation of HMC-1 cells with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) plus calcium ionophore A23187. MW had no cytotoxic effects on HMC-1 cell viability. MW (1 mg/ml) inhibited PMA plus A23187-stimulated gene expression and production of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8. Stimulation with PMA plus A23187 induced NF-kappaB activation in HMC-1 cells, which was inhibited by MW (1 mg/ml). MW inhibited secretion of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 possibly by inhibiting NF-kappaB activation. These results indicate that MW may be helpful in regulating inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Calcimycin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Leonurus / metabolism*
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Calcimycin
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate