Botanical Extracts from Rosehip (Rosa canina), Willow Bark (Salix alba), and Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica) Suppress IL-1β-Induced NF-κB Activation in Canine Articular Chondrocytes

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012:2012:509383. doi: 10.1155/2012/509383. Epub 2012 Mar 14.


The aim of this study was to characterize the anti-inflammatory mode of action of botanical extracts from rosehip (Rosa canina), willow bark (Salix alba), and nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) in an in vitro model of primary canine articular chondrocytes. Methods. The biological effects of the botanical extracts were studied in chondrocytes treated with IL-1β for up to 72 h. Expression of collagen type II, cartilage-specific proteoglycan (CSPG), β1-integrin, SOX-9, COX-2, and MMP-9 and MMP-13 was examined by western blotting. Results. The botanical extracts suppressed IL-1β-induced NF-κB activation by inhibition of IκBα phosphorylation, IκBα degradation, p65 phosphorylation, and p65 nuclear translocation. These events correlated with downregulation of NF-κB targets including COX-2 and MMPs. The extracts also reversed the IL-1β-induced downregulation of collagen type II, CSPG, β1-integrin, and cartilage-specific transcription factor SOX-9 protein expression. In high-density cultures botanical extracts stimulated new cartilage formation even in the presence of IL-1β. Conclusions. Botanical extracts exerted anti-inflammatory and anabolic effects on chondrocytes. The observed reduction of IL-1β-induced NF-κB activation suggests that further studies are warranted to demonstrate the effectiveness of plant extracts in the treatment of OA and other conditions in which NF-κB plays pathophysiological roles.