Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Luteolin exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by blocking the activity of heat shock protein 90 in macrophages.

PMID 24321097


Septic diseases represent the prevalent complications in intensive care units. Luteolin, a plant flavonoid, has potent anti-inflammatory properties; however, the molecular mechanism beneath luteolin mediated immune modulation remains unclear. Here in vitro investigations showed that luteolin dose-dependently inhibited LPS-triggered secretion and relocation of high mobility group B-1 (HMGB1) and LPS-induced production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and nitric oxide (NO) in macrophages. The mechanism analysis demonstrated that luteolin reduced the release of HMGB1 through destabilizing c-Jun and suppressed HMGB1-induced aggravation of inflammatory cascade through reducing Akt protein level. As an inhibitor of Hsp90, luteolin destabilized Hsp90 client protein c-Jun and Akt. In vivo investigations showed that luteolin effectively protected mice from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lethality. In conclusion, the present study suggested that luteolin may act as a potential therapeutic reagent for treating septic diseases.