Anti-inflammatory properties of Honokiol in activated primary microglia and astrocytes

J Neuroimmunol. 2018 Oct 15:323:78-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2018.07.013. Epub 2018 Jul 25.


Honokiol has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Activation of glial cells plays an essential role in neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we show that Honokiol reduces the inflammatory response to LPS of primary cultures of microglia and astrocytes through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators (iNOS, IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α) and the simultaneous stimulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10). Expression of KLF4 was induced in microglia and astrocytes after treatment with LPS and this response was mitigated by Honokiol. These findings extend our understanding of the anti-inflammatory properties of Honokiol on central glial cells and support its use as a therapeutic compound in neuroinflammatory disorders.

Keywords: Astrocytes; Honokiol; IL-10; IL-1β; KLF4; Microglia; Neuroinflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / metabolism*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Inflammation Mediators / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Kruppel-Like Factor 4
  • Lignans / metabolism*
  • Lignans / pharmacology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Klf4 protein, rat
  • Kruppel-Like Factor 4
  • Lignans
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • honokiol