International immunopharmacology

Valnemulin downregulates nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2, and cytokine production via inhibition of NF-kappaB and MAPK activity.

PMID 19293003


Valnemulin is a pleuromutilin antibiotic used in clinics for the treatment of various infections. We studied the in vitro anti-inflammatory effects of valnemulin and associated signal transduction mechanisms in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. We found that valnemulin inhibited nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and increased interleukin-10 (IL-10) production. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein expression were also inhibited by valnemulin. We further observed that valnemulin prevented the LPS-induced NF-kappaB translocation from the cytoplasm into the nucleus. Valnemulin also blocked phosphorylation of three mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs): extracellular signal receptor-activated kinase (ERK) 1/2, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Our data indicate that valnemulin may have therapeutic anti-inflammatory effects independent of its antibacterial activity.