Numerous derivatives of kojic acid have been synthesised to expand its immunopharmacological uses. Kojic acid is known to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-melanogenesis effects. We found that (5-hydroxy-4-oxo-4H-pyran-2-yl)methyl 6-hydroxynaphthalene-2-carboxylate (MHNC) strongly suppressed the production of nitric oxide (NO) in an initial screening experiment. In this study, we explored the in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activity of MHNC and its inhibitory mechanisms using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 cells and HCl/EtOH-treated ICR mice. MHNC dose-dependently diminished the secretion of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin (PG)E2 in LPS-treated RAW264.7 cells. This compound also suppressed the upregulation of mRNA levels for the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 genes. Additionally, the transcriptional activation of these genes was inhibited by MHNC through the suppression of the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB subunits (p65 and p50), as determined by a luciferase reporter assay. Interestingly, MHNC treatment was found to suppress a series of upstream signalling cascades consisting of IκBα, AKT, PDK1, Src, and Syk for NF-κB activation. Furthermore, a direct enzyme assay with purified Src and Syk and luciferase assays using Src and Syk overexpression indicated that these enzymes were directly inhibited by MHNC. Finally, MHNC (20 mg/kg) prevented inflammatory symptoms of the stomach in mice treated with HCl/EtOH by reducing phospho-IκBα levels. Taken together, our data suggest that MHNC may negatively modulate in vitro and in vivo inflammatory responses via the direct suppression of Syk/Src and NF-κB.
- (5-Hydroxy-4-oxo-4H-pyran-2-yl)methyl 6-hydroxynaphthalene-2-carboxylate
- Anti-inflammatory effect