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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Jan 18;2018:6346734. doi: 10.1155/2018/6346734. eCollection 2018.

Inhibitory Effect and Mechanism of Arctium lappa Extract on NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation.

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Department of Applied Life Science, Graduate School, Konkuk University, Chungju, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biotechnology, College of Biomedical & Health Science, Research Institute of Inflammatory Diseases, 268 Chungwon-daero, Chungju, Republic of Korea.
Department of Food Science and Engineering, Seowon University, Cheongju, Republic of Korea.


Arctium lappa (A. lappa), Compositae, is considered a potential source of nutrition and is used as a traditional medicine in East Asian countries for centuries. Although several studies have shown its biological activities as an anti-inflammatory agent, there have been no reports on A. lappa with regard to regulatory role in inflammasome activation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of A. lappa extract (ALE) on NLRP3 inflammasome activation and explore the underlying mechanisms. We found that ALE inhibited IL-1β secretion from NLRP3 inflammasome activated bone marrow derived macrophages but not that secreted by NLRC4 and AIM2 inflammasomes activation. Mechanistic studies revealed that ALE suppressed the ATPase activity of purified NLRP3 and reduced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) generated during NLRP3 activation. Therefore, the inhibitory effect of ALE on NLRP3 inflammasome might be attributed to its ability to inhibit the NLRP3 ATPase function and attenuated the mROS during inflammasome activation. In addition, ALE significantly reduced the LPS-induced increase of plasma IL-1β in mouse peritonitis model. These results provide evidence of novel anti-inflammatory mechanisms of A. lappa, which might be used for therapeutic applications in the treatment of NLRP3 inflammasome-associated inflammatory disorders.

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