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Life Sci. 2012 May 22;90(19-20):799-807. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2012.04.015. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Sulfuretin, a major flavonoid isolated from Rhus verniciflua, ameliorates experimental arthritis in mice.

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  • 1Department of Oral Biochmistry, Wonkwang University School of Dentistry, 460 Iksan-daero, Iksan, Jeonbuk 570-749, Republic of Korea.



Sulfuretin, a major flavonoid isolated from Rhus verniciflua, is known to have anti-inflammatory effects. However, the mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory effect of sulfuretin on rheumatoid arthritis have not been elucidated. In this study we investigated whether sulfuretin treatment modulates the severity of arthritis in an experimental model.


We evaluated the effects of sulfuretin on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-treated human rheumatoid fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) in vitro and on collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice in vivo.


In vitro experiments demonstrated that sulfuretin suppressed the chemokine production, matrix metalloproteinase secretion, and cell proliferation induced by tumor necrosis factor-α in rheumatoid FLS. In addition, sulfuretin inhibited the osteoclast differentiation induced by macrophage colony-stimulating factor and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand in bone marrow macrophages. In mice with CIA, early intervention with sulfuretin prevented joint destruction, as evidenced by a lower cumulative disease incidence and an absence of diverse disease features based on hind paw thickness, radiologic and histopathologic findings, and inflammatory cytokine levels. In mice with established arthritis, sulfuretin treatment significantly reduced synovial inflammation and joint destruction. The in vitro and in vivo protective effects of sulfuretin were mediated by inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway.


These results suggest that using sulfuretin to block the NF-κB pathway in rheumatoid joints reduces both inflammatory responses and joint destruction. Therefore, sulfuretin may have therapeutic value in preventing or delaying the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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