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Biogerontology. 2007 Oct;8(5):545-54. Epub 2007 May 8.

Suppression of age-related inflammatory NF-kappaB activation by cinnamaldehyde.

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College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, San 30, Jangjun-dong, Gumjung-gu, Busan 609-735, Korea.


Redox sensitive, pro-inflammatory nuclear transcription factor NF-kappaB plays a key role in both inflammation and aging processes. In a redox state disrupted by oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory genes are upregulated by the activation of NF-kappaB through diverse kinases. Thus, the search and characterization of new substances that modulate NF-kappaB are of recent research interest. Cinnamaldehyde (CNA) is the major component of cinnamon bark oil, which has been widely used as a flavoring agent in foodstuffs such as beverages and ice cream. In the present study, CNA was examined for its molecular modulation of inflammatory NF-kappaB activation via the redox-related NIK/IKK and MAPK pathways through the reduction of oxidative stress. Results show that age-related NF-kappaB activation upregulated NF-kappaB targeting genes, inflammatory iNOS, and COX-2, all of which were inhibited effectively by CNA. Our study further shows that CNA inhibited the activation of NF-kappaB via three signal transduction pathways, NIK/IKK, ERK, and p38 MAPK. Our results indicate that CNA's antioxidative effect and the restoration of redox balance were responsible for its anti-inflammatory action. Thus, the significance of the current study is the new information revealing the anti-inflammatory properties of CNA and the role it plays in the regulation of age-related alterations in signal transduction pathways.

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