Ethnopharmacological relevance: [corrected] Mitragyna speciosa Korth (Rubiaceae) is one of the medicinal plants used traditionally to treat various types of diseases especially in Thailand and Malaysia. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in its crude form are well documented. In this study, the cellular mechanism involved in the anti-inflammatory effects of mitragynine, the major bioactive constituent, was investigated.
Materials and methods: The effects of mitragynine on the mRNA and protein expression of COX-1 and COX-2 and the production of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) were investigated in LPS-treated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to assess the mRNA expression of COX-1 and COX-2. Protein expression of COX-1 and COX-2 were assessed using Western blot analysis and the level of PGE(2) production was quantified using Parameter™ PGE(2) Assay (R&D Systems).
Results: Mitragynine produced a significant inhibition on the mRNA expression of COX-2 induced by LPS, in a dose dependent manner and this was followed by the reduction of PGE(2) production. On the other hand, the effects of mitragynine on COX-1 mRNA expression were found to be insignificant as compared to the control cells. However, the effect of mitragynine on COX-1 protein expression is dependent on concentration, with higher concentration of mitragynine producing a further reduction of COX-1 expression in LPS-treated cells.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that mitragynine suppressed PGE(2) production by inhibiting COX-2 expression in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Mitragynine may be useful for the treatment of inflammatory conditions.
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