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J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Sep;23(9):1184-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.06.013. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

The açaí flavonoid velutin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent: blockade of LPS-mediated TNF-α and IL-6 production through inhibiting NF-κB activation and MAPK pathway.

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USDA Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.


Recent studies have shown that some flavonoids are modulators of proinflammatory cytokine production. In this study, velutin, a unique flavone isolated from the pulp of açaí fruit (Euterpe oleracea Mart.), was examined for its effects in reducing lipopolysaccharide-induced proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 production in RAW 264.7 peripheral macrophages and mice peritoneal macrophages. Three other structurally similar and well-studied flavones, luteolin, apigenin and chrysoeriol, were included as controls and for comparative purposes. Velutin exhibited the greatest potency among all flavones in reducing TNF-α and IL-6 production. Velutin also showed the strongest inhibitory effect in nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation (as assessed by secreted alkaline phosphatase reporter assay) and exhibited the greatest effects in blocking the degradation of inhibitor of NF-κB as well as in inhibiting mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 and JNK phosphorylation; all of these are important signaling pathways involved in production of TNF-α and IL-6. The present study led to the discovery of a strong anti-inflammatory flavone, velutin. This compound effectively inhibited the expression of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 in low micromole levels by inhibiting NF-κB activation and p38 and JNK phosphorylation.

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