Scutellarein Inhibits LPS-Induced Inflammation through NF-κB/MAPKs Signaling Pathway in RAW264.7 Cells

Molecules. 2022 Jun 12;27(12):3782. doi: 10.3390/molecules27123782.


Inflammation is a severe topic in the immune system and play a role as pro-inflammatory mediators. In response to such inflammatory substances, immune cells release cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is known as an endotoxin in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, and it catalyzes inflammation by stimulating the secretion of inflammatory-mediated cytokines such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) by stimulated immune cells. Among the pathways involved in inflammation, nuclear factor kappa (NF-кB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are important. NF-kB is a diploid composed of p65 and IkBα and stimulates the pro- gene. MAPKs is a family consisting of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38, JNK and p38 play a role as proinflammatory mediators. Thus, we aim to determine the scutellarein (SCU) effect on LPS stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Furthermore, since scutellarein has been shown to inhibit the SARS coronavirus helicase and has been used in Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory disorders like COVID-19, it would be required to examine scutellarein's anti-inflammatory mechanism. We identified inflammation-inducing substances using western blot with RAW264.7 cells and SCU. And we discovered that was reduced by treatment with SCU in p-p65 and p-IκBα. Also, we found that p-JNK and p-ERK were also decreased but there was no effect in p-p38. In addition, we have confirmed that the iNOS was also decreased after treatment but there is no change in the expression of COX-2. Therefore, this study shows that SCU can be used as a compound to treat inflammation.

Keywords: LPS-induced inflammation; MAPK; NF-кB; scutellarein (SCU).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apigenin
  • COVID-19*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / adverse effects
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B* / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Apigenin
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • scutellarein

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (grant no. 2020R1A2B5B01001807).