FlexPro MD® (FP-MD), a novel multi-ingredient dietary supplement formulation, has been demonstrated to relieve knee joint pain in humans. However, the mechanisms of action responsible for the activity of FP-MD have not been elucidated. In this study, we show the anti-inflammatory effects of FP-MD in RAW264.7 macrophage cells and mice challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). FP-MD significantly inhibited the mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and IL-1β. In contrast, it elevated the mRNA levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. FP-MD markedly reduced LPS-induced phosphorylation levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 and inhibitor of κB-α (IκB-α). Importantly, the anti-inflammatory effects of FP-MD were demonstrated in mice with LPS-induced inflammatory arthritis in which FP-MD significantly reduced the expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory markers. Thus, this study suggests that FP-MD has anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting NF-κB that may offer a molecular basis for its pain relief property.
Keywords: NF-κB; astaxanthin; cytokines.