The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

Distinct effects of imperatorin on allergic rhinitis: imperatorin inhibits caspase-1 activity in vivo and in vitro.

PMID 21730010


Because imperatorin (IPT), the furanocoumarins exhibits anti-inflammatory activity, we reasoned that IPT might modulate the allergic rhinitis (AR). The aim of this study was to analyze the regulation of AR by IPT. Here, we show the effect and mechanism of IPT in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced AR model. The number of rubs after the OVA challenge in the OVA-sensitized mice was significantly higher than that in the OVA-unsensitized mice. The increased number of rubs was inhibited by the oral administration of IPT. The increased levels of IgE and histamine in the OVA-sensitized mice were reduced by IPT administration. The levels of interferon-γ were enhanced, whereas the levels of interleukin (IL)-4 were reduced on the spleen tissue of the IPT-administered AR mice. Protein levels of IL-1β, macrophage inflammatory protein-2, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and cyclooxygenase-2 were reduced by IPT administration in the nasal mucosa of the OVA-sensitized mice. In the IPT-administered mice, the number of eosinophils and mast cells infiltration increased by OVA-sensitization were also decreased. In addition, IPT inhibited caspase-1 activity in the same nasal mucosa tissue. In activated human mast cells, the receptor-interacting protein 2 (RIP2), IκB kinase (IKK)-β, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)/RelA, and caspase-1 activation were increased, but increased RIP2, IKK-β, NF-κB/RelA, and caspase-1 activation were inhibited by the treatment of IPT. In addition, IPT inhibited caspase-1 activity and IL-1β production in IgE-stimulated bone marrow-derived mast cells. We can conclude that IPT exerts significant effects by regulating of caspase-1 activation in AR animal and in vitro models.

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Imperatorin, ≥98% (HPLC), powder