Flavonoids are widely distributed in many fruits and plants, and it has been shown that most flavonoids have anti-inflammatory activity; however, the mechanisms of how the flavonoids exhibit their anti-inflammatory activity have not been clarified. We therefore focus on flavonoids Apigenin, Luteolin and Fisetin because of their related structure. We found that these compounds significantly inhibited TNFα-induced NF-κB transcriptional activation; however, they had no effect on the degradation of IκB proteins and the nuclear translocation and DNA binding activity of NF-κB p65. Interestingly, the suppression of NF-κB activation by these flavonoids is due to inhibition of the transcriptional activation of NF-κB, since the compounds markedly inhibited the transcriptional activity of GAL4-NF-κB p65 fusion protein. In addition, while Apigenin and Luteolin slightly inhibited TNFα-induced JNK activation, they had no effect on TNFα-induced activation of ERK and p38. Unexpectedly, Fisetin enhanced and sustained activation of ERK and JNK but not p38 in response to TNFα. Strikingly, TNFα-induced expression of CCL2/MCP-1 and CXCL1/KC was significantly inhibited by Apigenin and Luteolin but not Fisetin. Furthermore, the administration of Apigenin and Luteolin markedly inhibited acute carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice; however, Fisetin failed to have an effect. These observations strongly suggest that the slight structural difference in flavonoids may cause a defective effect of Fisetin on these inflammatory responses, and this may be due to the differences in their direction of the effect on the activation pathways of MAP kinases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy