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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2019; 23(6): 493-499

Published online November 1, 2019 https://doi.org/10.4196/kjpp.2019.23.6.493

Copyright © The Korean Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology.

Rhodanthpyrone A and B play an anti-inflammatory role by suppressing the nuclear factor-κB pathway in macrophages

Kyeong Su Kim1,#, Chang Yeob Han2,#, Young Taek Han3, and Eun Ju Bae4,*

1College of Pharmacy, Woosuk University, Wanju 55338, 2Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan 54538, 3College of Pharmacy, Dankook University, Cheonan 31116, 4College of Pharmacy, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea

Correspondence to:Eun Ju Bae
E-mail: ejbae7@jbnu.ac.kr

Received: July 15, 2019; Revised: September 9, 2019; Accepted: September 10, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Macrophage-associated inflammation is crucial for the pathogenesis of diverse diseases including metabolic disorders. Rhodanthpyrone (Rho) is an active component of Gentiana rhodantha, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammation. Although synthesis procedures of RhoA and RhoB were reported, the biological effects of the specific compounds have never been explored. In this study, the anti-inflammatory activity and mechanisms of action of RhoA and RhoB were studied in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages. Pretreatment with RhoA and RhoB decreased inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 expressions in RAW 264.7 cells and in thioglycollate-elicited mouse peritoneal macrophages. In addition, it downregulated transcript levels of several inflammatory genes in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells, including inflammatory cytokines/chemokines (Tnfa, Il6, and Ccl2) and inflammatory mediators (Nos2 and Ptgs2). Macrophage chemotaxis was also inhibited by treatment with the compounds. Mechanistic studies revealed that RhoA and RhoB suppressed the nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathway, but not the canonical mitogen activated protein kinase pathway, in LPS-stimulated condition. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of RhoA and RhoB on inflammatory gene expressions was attenuated by treatment with an NF-κB inhibitor. Our findings suggest that RhoA and RhoB play an anti-inflammatory role at least in part by suppressing the NF-κB pathway during macrophage-mediated inflammation.

Keywords: Inflammation, Lipopolysaccharide, Macrophages, NF-κB pathway, Rhodanthpyrone