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J Mol Neurosci. 2014 Apr;52(4):577-85. doi: 10.1007/s12031-013-0113-6. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Anti-inflammatory effect of acetylpuerarin on eicosanoid signaling pathway in primary rat astrocytes.

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Department of Pharmacology, Shandong University School of Medicine, No. 44, Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan, Shandong, 250012, People's Republic of China.


Astrocytes activation has been implicated in the inflammatory responses underlying brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases including bacterial infections, cerebral ischemia, and Parkinson's diseases. Acetylpuerarin is a newly modified isoflavone based on puerarin that has neuroprotective and antioxidant effects. In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory action of acetylpuerarin in regulating the eicosanoids generation and its underlying molecular mechanisms in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites in primary rat astrocytes. The results showed that acetylpuerarin concentration dependently inhibited the LPS-induced production of AA metabolites such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and leukotriene C4 (LTC4), and acetylpuerarin significantly attenuated the expression and immunoreactivity of group V secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) protein induced by LPS in astrocytes. Furthermore, in astrocytes pretreated with acetylpuerarin, the time course of phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and of cytosolic PLA2 alpha (cPLA2α) and expression of transcription factors, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), was markedly truncated. Acetylpuerarin concentration dependently abolished the LPS-induced expressions of AA-metabolizing enzymes including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and lipooxygenase-5 (LOX-5). This study indicates that acetylpuerarin inhibited LPS-induced AA-metabolizing enzymes and AA metabolites in astrocytes via downregulation expression of group V sPLA2 and phosphorylation of ERK1/2, cPLA2α, and NF-κB. These findings reveal, in part, the molecular basis underlying the anti-inflammatory properties of acetylpuerarin.

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