Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), classified as condensed tannins, have significant antioxidation, anti-inflammation and anti-cancer effects. This study was performed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of OPCs and the mechanism underlying these effects in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated bovine mammary epithelial cells (MAC-T). Real-time PCR and ELISA assays indicated that OPC treatment at 1, 3 and 5 μg/ml significantly reduced the mRNA and protein, respectively, of oxidant indicators cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) (p < 0.05) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) (p < 0.01) as well as inflammation cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 (p < 0.01), IL-1β (p < 0.01) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) (p < 0.05) in LPS-induced MAC-T cells. Moreover, OPCs downregulated LPSinduced phosphorylation of p65 and inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) (IκB) in the NF-κB signaling pathway (p < 0.01), and they inhibited p65 translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus as revealed by immunofluorescence test and western blot. Additionally, OPCs decreased phosphorylation of p38, extracellular signal regulated kinase and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase in the MAPK signaling pathway (p < 0.01). In conclusion, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of OPCs involve NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways, thus inhibiting expression of pro-inflammatory factors and oxidation indicators. These findings provide novel experimental evidence for the further practical application of OPCs in prevention and treatment of bovine mastitis.
Keywords: MAC-T cell; MAPK; NF-κB; Oligomeric proanthocyanidins; anti-inflammation.