Anthraquinone compounds are one of the abundant polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. However, the in vivo anti-inflammatory activity and molecular mechanisms of anthraquinones have not been fully elucidated. We investigated the activity of anthraquinones using acute inflammatory and nociceptive experimental conditions. Anthraquinone-2-carboxylic acid (9,10-dihydro-9,10-dioxo-2-anthracenecarboxylic acid, AQCA), one of the major anthraquinones identified from Brazilian taheebo, ameliorated various inflammatory and algesic symptoms in EtOH/HCl-and acetylsalicylic acid-(ASA-) induced gastritis, arachidonic acid-induced edema, and acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing without displaying toxic profiles in body and organ weight, gastric irritation, or serum parameters. In addition, AQCA suppressed the expression of inflammatory genes such as cyclooxygenase-(COX-) 2 in stomach tissues and lipopolysaccharide-(LPS-) treated RAW264.7 cells. According to reporter gene assay and immunoblotting analyses, AQCA inhibited activation of the nuclear factor-(NF-) B and activator protein-(AP-) 1 pathways by suppression of upstream signaling involving interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK1), p38, Src, and spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk). Our data strongly suggest that anthraquinones such as AQCA act as potent anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive components in vivo, thus contributing to the immune regulatory role of fruits and herbs.
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© 2016 Jae Gwang Park et al.