Cornuside is a secoiridoid glucoside compound extracted from the fruits of Cornus officinalis. Cornuside has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties; however, its potential therapeutic effects on diabetic nephropathy (DN) have not been completely explored. In this study, we established an in vitro model of DN through treating mesangial cells (MMCs) with glucose. MMCs were then treated with different concentrations of cornuside (0, 5, 10, and 30 μM). Cell viability was determined using cell counting kit-8 and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine assays. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-1β were examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were performed to detect the expression of AKT and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)-associated genes. We found that cornuside treatment significantly reduced glucose-induced increase in MMC viability and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, cornuside inhibited glucose-induced phosphorylation of AKT and NF-κB inhibitor alpha, decreased the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and cyclin D1, and increased the expression of p21. Our study indicates that the anti-inflammatory properties of cornuside in DN are due to AKT and NF-κB inactivation in MMCs.
Keywords: Complementary therapies; Diabetic nephropathies; Glucose; Growth; Inflammation.