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Toxicol Lett. 2011 Oct 30;206(3):268-75. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2011.08.010. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) attenuates the inflammatory response in the in vitro intestinal Caco-2 cell model.

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  • 1Life Science Institute, Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.


This study aimed to investigate dose effects of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) (0.05-1%) on the intestinal inflammatory response in confluent- and differentiated-Caco-2 cells stimulated with interleukin (IL)-1β or a pro-inflammatory cocktail for 24 h. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity was assayed by incubating inflamed cells with arachidonic acid and then measuring prostaglandin-E(2) (PGE(2)) produced. Soluble mediators (IL-8, IL-6, macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and COX-2-derived PGE(2)) were quantified by enzyme immunoassays and mRNA expression of 33 proteins by high throughput TaqMan Low Density Array. Data showed that DMSO decreased induced IL-6 and MCP-1 secretions in a dose-dependent manner (P<0.05), but not IL-8; these effects were cell development- and stimulus- independent. Moreover, in IL-1β-stimulated confluent-cells, DMSO dose-dependently reduced COX-2-derived PGE(2) (P<0.05). DMSO at 0.5% decreased significantly mRNA levels of 14 proteins involved in the inflammatory response (including IL-6, IL-1α, IL-1β, and COX-2). Thus, DMSO at low concentrations (0.1-0.5%) exhibits anti-inflammatory properties in the in vitro intestinal Caco-2 cell model. This point is important to be taken into account when assessing anti-inflammatory properties of bioactive compounds requiring DMSO as vehicle, such as phenolic compounds, in order to avoid miss-interpretation of the results.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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