Strigolactones: a plant phytohormone as novel anti-inflammatory agents†
Strigolactones (SLs) are a novel class of plant hormones with enormous potential for the prevention and treatment of inflammation. To further investigate the anti-inflammatory activities of SLs, a representative SL, GR24, and the reductive products of its D-ring were synthesized and their anti-inflammatory activities were fully evaluated on both in vitro and in vivo models. Among these compounds, the two most active optical isomers (2a and 6a) demonstrated strong inhibitory activity on the release of inflammatory cytokines, including nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) by blocking the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways; they also greatly inhibited the migration of neutrophils and macrophages in fluorescent protein labeled zebrafish larvae. These results identified the promising anti-inflammatory effects of SLs, and suggested that both the absolute configuration of SL and the α,β-unsaturated D-ring structure are essential for the observed anti-inflammatory activity.