Archives of pharmacal research

Validation of cyclooxygenase-2 as a direct anti-inflammatory target of 4-O-methylhonokiol in zymosan-induced animal models.

PMID 25074039


4-O-methylhonokiol (MH) is known to inhibit inflammation by partially understood mechanisms. Here, the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of MH were examined using enzymatic, cellular, and animal assays. In enzymatic assays, MH inhibited COX-2 activity with an IC50 of 0.062xa0μM, and also COX-1 with an IC50 of 2.4xa0μM. In cellular assays, MH was immunotoxic above 10xa0μM. At non-toxic concentrations (below 3xa0μM), MH strongly inhibited COX-2-mediated prostaglandin production with an IC50 of 0.1xa0μM, whereas did not or slightly affect other functions of B cells, T cells, dendritic cells, and macrophages. In an animal model, MH inhibited the increase in footpad thickness and popliteal lymph node weight in zymosan-injected mice. When analyzed the draining pLNs of zymosan-injected mice on day 5, MH inhibited the overall inflammatory responses. However, MH inhibited cyclooxygenase (COX)-2-mediated prostaglandin production without affecting tumor necrosis factor-α production in inflamed tissues within 6xa0h after zymosan injection. In summary, our data suggest that COX-2 may be a direct anti-inflammatory target of MH in vitro and in vivo.

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