Apigenin-7-O-β-d-glucuronide inhibits LPS-induced inflammation through the inactivation of AP-1 and MAPK signaling pathways in RAW 264.7 macrophages and protects mice against endotoxin shock
Apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide (AG), an active flavonoid derivative isolated from the agricultural residue of Juglans sigillata fruit husks, possesses multiple pharmacological activities, including anti-oxidant, anti-complement, and aldose reductase inhibitory activities. To date, no report has identified the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of AG. This study was therefore designed to characterize the molecular mechanisms of AG on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory cytokines in RAW 264.7 cells and on endotoxin-induced shock in mice. AG suppressed the release of nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages in a dose-dependent manner without affecting cell viability. Additionally, AG suppressed LPS-induced mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and TNF-α. AG treatment decreased the translocation of c-Jun into the nucleus, and decreased activator protein-1 (AP-1)-mediated luciferase activity through the inhibition of both p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. Consistent with the in vitro observations, AG protected mice from LPS-induced endotoxin shock by inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine production. Taken together, these results suggest that AG may be used as a source of anti-inflammatory agents as well as a dietary complement for health promotion.