Drug-induced anti-inflammatory response in A549 cells, as detected by Raman spectroscopy: a comparative analysis of the actions of dexamethasone and p-coumaric acid
Corticosteroids are widely used as effective treatments for the control of chronic inflammatory diseases. However, because their long-term administration carries serious consequences, there is a need to investigate alternative therapies to reduce or even replace their use. In this regard, phenolic compounds have been presented as an alternative for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. p-Coumaric acid, a natural phenolic compound found throughout nature, exhibits antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Herein, using a combination of Raman spectroscopy with principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis, the inflammatory process induced by cigarette smoke extract (CSE) in epithelial cells treated with either a corticosteroid or p-coumaric acid was monitored in vitro. Our findings showed that p-coumaric acid had a significant anti-inflammatory effect in CSE-activated epithelial cells, and thus may be a useful alternative to corticosteroids for the treatment of airway inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, multivariate analysis of the cell spectral data indicated that the mechanisms of action of the two drugs occur through different routes.