Protopine reduces the inflammatory activity of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated murine macrophages

  • Received : 2011.09.29
  • Accepted : 2011.10.13
  • Published : 2012.02.29


Protopine is an isoquinoline alkaloid contained in plants in northeast Asia. In this study, we investigated whether protopine derived from Hypecoum erectum L could suppress lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory responses in murine macrophages (Raw 264.7 cells). Protopine was found to reduce nitric oxide (NO), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and prostaglandin $E_2$ ($PGE_2$) production by LPS-stimulated Raw 264.7 cells, without a cytotoxic effect. Pre-treatment of Raw 264.7 cells with protopine reduced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These inhibitory effects were caused by blocking phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAP kinases) and also blocking activation of a nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-${\kappa}B$).


Cyclooxygenase-2;Cytokine;Inflammation;Macrophage;Nitric oxide;Protopine


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