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Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2000 Jan;30(1):65-71.

On the role of hydroxyl radical and the effect of tetrandrine on nuclear factor--kappaB activation by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate.

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Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia 25605, USA.


Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) is considered to be an important target for therapeutic intervention because of its role in the regulation of proinflammatory and profibrotic mediators. The present study examined the role of hydroxyl (*OH) radical and the effect of tetrandrine, an alkaloid extracted from the Chinese medicinal herb Stephania tetrandra, on NF-kappaB activation by a tumor promoter, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) in human lymphoid T cells (ie, Jurkat cells). Exogenous superoxide dismutase (SOD) enhanced the NF-kappaB activation by PMA, while catalase blocked it. Formate, a scavenger of *OH radical, also was inhibitory, as was deferoxamine, a metal chelator. These data suggest an important role of *OH radical in PMA-induced NF-kappaB activation. Incubation of the cells with tetrandrine prior to the stimulation of the cells was found to inhibit PMA-induced NF-kappaB activation. Tetrandrine activity was so potent that 50 microM of tetrandrine was sufficient to inhibit activation of NF-kappaB completely. Electron spin resonance (ESR) spin trapping was used to investigate the antioxidant action of tetrandrine using 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO) as a spin trap. Tetrandrine is an antioxidant for both *OH and superoxide (O2-)radicals. The reaction rate constant of tetrandrine with *OH is 1.4 x 10(10) M(-1)sec(-1), which is comparable with several well established antioxidants, such as ascorbate, glutathione, and cysteine. The Fenton reaction (Fe(II) + H2O2-->Fe(III) + *OH + OH-) and xanthine/xanthine oxidase were used as sources of *OH and O2- radicals. The free radical scavenging activity of tetrandrine is responsible for its inhibition of PMA-induced NF-kappaB activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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