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Immunol Lett. 2005 Feb 15;97(1):101-6.

Sesamin inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine production by suppression of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kappaB.

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Department of Education and Research, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, 160 Chung Kang Road, sec 3, Taichung 40705, Taiwan, ROC.


Sesame seed oil increases the survival after cecal ligation and puncture in mice and the increased IL-10 levels with non-lethal lipopolysaccharides (LPS) challenge. We showed that sesamin and sesamolin, major lignans of sesame oil, regulated LPS-induced nitric oxide production in the murine microglia and BV-2 cell line. In this study, we studied the effect of sesamin on cytokine production by LPS stimulation. The result showed that sesamin significantly inhibited LPS-stimulated IL-6 mRNA and protein, and to a lesser degree TNF-alpha, in BV-2 microglia. Sesamin and sesamolin also reduced LPS-activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activations. Furthermore, SB203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 MAP kinase, specifically inhibited LPS-induced IL-6 production. These results suggest that sesamin inhibited LPS-induced IL-6 production by suppression of p38 MAPK signal pathway and NF-kappaB activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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