Background: Inflammation has been found to be associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's and dementia. Attenuation of microglia-induced inflammation is a strategy that impedes the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.
Methods: We used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to simulate murine microglia cells (BV2 cells) as an experimental model to mimic the inflammatory environment in the brain. In addition, we examined the anti-inflammatory ability of corylin, a main compound isolated from Psoralea corylifolia L. that is commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine. The production of nitric oxide (NO) by LPS-activated BV2 cells was measured using Griess reaction. The secretion of proinflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) by LPS-activated BV2 cells was analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor containing pyrin domain 3 (NLRP3), apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-activation and recruitment domain (ASC), caspase-1, IL-1β and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in LPS-activated BV2 cells was examined by Western blot.
Results: Our experimental results demonstrated that corylin suppressed the production of NO and proinflammatory cytokines by LPS-activated BV2 cells. In addition, corylin inhibited the expression of iNOS and COX-2, attenuated the phosphorylation of ERK, JNK and p38, decreased the expression of NLRP3 and ASC, and repressed the activation of caspase-1 and IL-1β by LPS-activated BV2 cells.
Conclusion: Our results indicate the anti-inflammatory effects of corylin acted through attenuating LPS-induced inflammation and inhibiting the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome in LPS-activated BV2 cells. These results suggest that corylin might have potential in treating brain inflammation and attenuating the progression of neurodegeneration diseases.
Keywords: Anti-inflammation; Corylin; MAPK signaling pathway; Microglia; NLRP3 inflammasome.