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Biol Pharm Bull. 2011;34(6):817-23.

Inactivation of cystein-aspartic acid protease (caspase)-1 by saikosaponin A.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


This work investigates the anti-inflammatory mechanism of saikosaponin A (SA), a major component of Bupleurum falcatum LINNE. SA significantly inhibited phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) plus A23187-induced the production and expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in human mast cell (HMC)-1 cells. SA suppressed PMA plus A23187-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and p38. When HMC-1 cells were treated with SA, translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB/Rel A into nucleus and degradation of inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) in cytoplasm were inhibited. SA decreased PMA plus A23187-induced cysteine-aspartic acid protease (caspase)-1 activity. IL-1β production was also inhibited by SA. Finally, SA significantly decreased the number of nasal rubs and serum TNF-α level in the ovalbumin-sensitized allergic rhinitis mouse model. The underlying mechanism involves, at least in part, inactivation of caspase-1, which provides new evidence for therapeutic application of SA to target inflammatory processes.

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