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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 344-350

Safrole-induced expression of proinflammatory responses is associated with phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase family and the nuclear factor-κB/inhibitor of κB pathway in macrophages


1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
2 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Hospital; Institute of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
3 Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Public Health, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan
4 Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan
5 Department of Pharmacy, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital; Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Yu-Hsiang Kuan
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, 110, Section 1, Jianguo North Road, Taichung
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_78_20

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Objective: Safrole, also called shikimol and Sassafras, is the carcinogenic and phenylpropanoid compound extracted from Sassafras tree and anise, betel, and camphor. Moreover, a high concentration of safrole can be occur in the saliva because of betel nut or areca quid chewing which a common habit observed in Southern and Southeastern Asia. Notably, macrophages are crucial phagocytic cells of the immune system. Nonetheless, to date, no evidence has been reported regarding safrole-induced proinflammatory response and the corresponding mechanism in macrophages. Materials and Methods: In the present study, the cytokines expression, NO generation, protein phosphorylation, and expression were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Griess reagent, and Western blot assay, respectively. Results: In this study, we determined that safrole induces the generation of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and IL-6 in RAW264.7 macrophages in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, inhibitor of κB (IκB) degradation was caused by safrole in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, the phosphorylation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, including p38 MAPK, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase, was induced by safrole began to increase at 10 μM and attained a plateau at 100 μM. Conclusion: These results indicated that safrole induces the expression of proinflammatory responses in macrophages through the NF-κB/IκB pathway and its upstream factor, MAPK family phosphorylation.


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