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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Mar 21;302(4):860-4.

Ergothioneine inhibits oxidative stress- and TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappa B activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells.

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ELEGI and Colt Research Laboratory, Respiratory Medicine Unit, Wilkie Building, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK.


Oxidants and inflammatory mediators such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) activate transcription factors such as NF-kappa B. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a ubiquitous inflammatory chemokine that mediates a multitude of inflammatory events in the lung. Ergothioneine is a naturally occurring thiol compound, which possesses antioxidant property. The aim of this study was to determine whether ergothioneine can inhibit the hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))- and TNF-alpha-mediated activation of NF-kappa B and the release of IL-8 in human alveolar epithelial cells (A549). Treatment of A549 cells with H(2)O(2) (100 microM) and TNF-alpha (10 ng/ml) significantly increased NF-kappa B activation using a reporter assay. Ergothioneine inhibited both H(2)O(2)- and TNF-alpha-mediated activation of NF-kappa B. Both H(2)O(2) and TNF-alpha significantly increased IL-8 release, which was inhibited by pre-treatment of A549 cells with ergothioneine compared to the control untreated cells. Ergothioneine also abolished the transcriptional activation of IL-8 in an IL-8-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter system, transfected into A549 cells. This indicates a molecular mechanism for the anti-inflammatory effects of ergothioneine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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