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Mol Med Rep. 2017 Jan;15(1):117-124. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2016.6005. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

Traditional medicine, Sobokchukeo‑Tang, modulates the inflammatory response in adipocytes and macrophages.

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KM Fundamental Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea.
Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pharmacology, Chungnam National University College of Pharmacy, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea.


Sobokchukeo-Tang (ST) is a well-known formula that is used for treating primary dysmenorrhea caused by blood stasis syndrome (BSS) in Korea and China. The current study investigated the anti‑inflammatory and anti‑adipogenesis effects of ST on adipocytes and macrophages. The anti‑inflammatory efficacy of ST was evaluated in RAW 264.7 cells and differentiated THP‑1 cells. To induce inflammation, the cells were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 1 µg/ml). Following the induction of inflammation, the levels of proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin‑6 (IL‑6) and tumor necrosis factor‑α (TNF‑α) in the cell supernatant were detected using enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay. 3T3‑L1 preadipocytes differentiated into adipocytes in response to insulin, isobutyl‑1‑methylxanthine and dexamethasone (MDI). To confirm the anti‑adipogenesis efficacy of ST, we investigated Oil Red O staining was performed, triglyceride (TG) and leptin secretion were measured, and the protein expression of lipid metabolism‑associated factors was determined. ST significantly inhibited TNF‑α and IL‑6 production in the LPS‑treated RAW 264.7 cells compared with LPS stimulation alone. In addition, the concentrations of IL‑6 and TNF‑α were significantly inhibited by ST in LPS‑treated THP‑1 cells. Lipid accumulation was reduced by ST, similarly to the positive control treatment, SB203580. In the ST‑treated group, the TG and leptin concentrations were inhibited by up to 50 and 83%, respectively, compared with MDI induction only. The ST‑treated group reduced the protein expression of peroxisome proliferator‑activated receptor‑γ and CCAAT/enhancer‑binding protein α compared with MDI induction only. The results of the present study demonstrated that ST exerts anti‑inflammatory effects on LPS‑treated mouse and human macrophage cell lines. ST inhibited adipogenesis in MDI‑induced 3T3‑L1 adipocytes, as indicated by the significant reduction in TG and leptin concentrations without cytotoxicity. Thus, ST may be useful as a therapeutic agent for preventing lipid‑associated diseases, including obesity and atherosclerosis.

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