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Int Immunopharmacol. 2007 Dec 15;7(13):1825-33. Epub 2007 Oct 1.

Prodigiosin isolated from Hahella chejuensis suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced NO production by inhibiting p38 MAPK, JNK and NF-kappaB activation in murine peritoneal macrophages.

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Division of Immunopharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon City, Kyunggi-do, 440-746, Republic of Korea.


Prodigiosin was isolated from marine bacteria Hahella chejuensis which has been recently discovered from Marado, Cheju Island, Republic of Korea. Immunosuppressive properties have been reported for prodigiosin members such as undecylprodigiosin, metacycloprodigiosin, prodigiosin and its synthetic analogue PNU156804 (PNU). However, the effect of this agent on macrophage function has not been characterized in detail. In the present study, we examined the effects of prodigiosin on the production of inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide (NO) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated murine macrophage. When thioglycollate-elicited macrophages pre-exposed to prodigiosin (1-100 ng/ml) were stimulated with LPS, pretreatment with prodigiosin resulted in the inhibition of NO production and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein and mRNA expression in a concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6 was not altered. Inhibition of iNOS protein expression appears to be at the transcriptional level, since prodigiosin decreased LPS-induced NF-kappaB activity through preventing the degradation of IkBalpha, with significant inhibition achieved following pretreatment with prodigiosin. However, prodigiosin did not exert any effect on AP-1 activity. Prodigiosin blocked phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK), but not that of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2). These results indicate that the inhibition of these signaling molecules expression was correlated with the reduced production of NO in macrophages. Taken together, the present data suggest that prodigiosin reduces NO production and iNOS expression by inhibiting LPS-triggered p38 MAPK and JNK phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activation, thereby implicating a mechanism by which prodigiosin may exert its immunosuppressive effects.

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