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Arch Pharm Res. 2009 Jan;32(1):79-89. doi: 10.1007/s12272-009-1121-5. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

YL-I-108, a synthetic chalcone derivative, inhibits lipopolysaccharide-stimulated nitric oxide production in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages: involvement of heme oxygenase-1 induction and blockade of activator protein-1.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Wonkwang University, Jeonbuk, Korea.


Chalcones, a group of phenolic compounds, exhibit potent anti-inflammatory properties. In the present study, we synthesized chalcone derivative, YL-I-108 ((E)-1-(2-methoxy-4,6-bis(methoxymethoxy)phenyl)-3-(3-nitrophenyl)prop-2-en-1-one), and examined its effect on the production of pro-inflammatory mediators. Treatment of RAW 264.7 macrophages with YL-I-108 potently inhibited nitrite production stimulated by LPS. YL-I-108 treatment also markedly inhibited expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Treatment of cells with YL-I-108 significantly inhibited LPS-stimulated activator protein-1 (AP-1)-dependent reporter gene expression, whereas nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activity was not affected, indicating that down-regulation of iNOS expression by YL-I-108 is attributed by blockade of AP-1. In addition, YL-I-108 treatment led to an increase in heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mRNA and protein expression, accompanied with the increased expression of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Treatment with SnPP, a selective HO-1 inhibitor, reversed YL-I-108-mediated suppression of nitrite production, suggesting that HO-1 induction is implicated in the suppression of NO production by YL-I-108. In contrast, SnPP treatment did not reverse YL-I-108-mediated suppression of AP-1 activation, suggesting that AP-1 inhibition by YL-I-108 is independent of HO-1 induction. Together, these results indicate that YL-I-108 suppresses NO production in LPS-stimulated macrophages via simultaneous induction of HO-1 expression and blockade of AP-1 activation.

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