Using a wild yam (Dioscorea japonica), we previously found novel anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects via the downregulation of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase (mPGES)-1. One of the substances in wild yam is a steroidal saponin, diosgenin. We demonstrated that diosgenin suppressed COX-2 in human non-small-cell lung carcinoma A549 cells via nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) translocation and the effects were reversed by a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, RU486. In lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mouse liver injury, COX-2 and mPGES-1 were induced and localized in sinusoidal macrophages and endothelial cells; however, diosgenin administration significantly suppressed Ptgs2 and Ptges expression and decreased COX-2 and mPGES-1 immunopositive cells in the sinusoids. Multiple immunohistochemical analyses showed that diosgenin had an effect on COX-2 and mPGES-1, particularly in the macrophages. Thus, we showed that diosgenin downregulated COX-2 and mPGES-1 via the glucocorticoid receptor and suppressed COX-2 and mPGES-1 in the macrophages of LPS-induced acute mouse liver injury.
Keywords: Cyclooxygenase-2; Liver injury; Microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1; Steroidal saponin.
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