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Phytother Res. 2018 Dec;32(12):2510-2519. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6190. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Phyllanthin from Phyllanthus amarus inhibits LPS-induced proinflammatory responses in U937 macrophages via downregulation of NF-κB/MAPK/PI3K-Akt signaling pathways.

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Drug and Herbal Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
School of Pharmacy, Taylor's University, Lakeside Campus, Subang Jaya, Malaysia.


Phyllanthin, a lignan from Phyllanthus species, has been reported to possess potent immunosuppressive properties on immune cells and on adaptive and innate immune responses in animal models. Herein, we investigated the inhibitory effects of phyllanthin isolated from Phyllanthus amarus on nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and PI3K-Akt signal transducing pathways in LPS-activated U937 cells. The lipopolysaccharide-stimulated excess production of prostaglandin was significantly suppressed by phyllanthin via the mechanisms linked to the modulatory effects of cyclooxygenase 2 protein and gene expression. Phyllanthin also significantly inhibited the release and mRNA expression of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha). Phyllanthin also significantly downregulated the phosphorylation of IκBα, NF-κB (p65), and IKKα/β and suppressed the activation of JNK, ERK, p38MAPK, and Akt in a concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, phyllanthin downregulated the expression of upstream signaling molecules including MyD88 and toll-like receptor 4 that are essential for the activation of NF-κB, MAPKs, and PI3K-Akt signal transducing pathways. Based on these observations, phyllanthin may exert their suppressive effects on inflammatory process by mediating the release of inflammatory signaling molecules via the NF-κB, MAPKs, and PI3K-Akt signal transducing pathways. Thus, phyllanthin holds a great promise as a potential anti-inflammatory agent to treat various inflammatory diseases.


MAPKs; NF-кB; PI3K-Akt; inflammation; macrophages; phyllanthin


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