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LPS-induced iNOS expression in N9 microglial cells is suppressed by geniposide via ERK, p38 and nuclear factor-κB signaling pathways

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Activated microglia producing reactive nitrogen species, inflammatory factors, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other neurovirulent factors, can lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Certain compounds can inhibit the activation of microglia. However, the mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of geniposide on the production of ROS and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated N9 murine microglial cells through the p38, ERK1/2 and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways. After the N9 cells were pre-treated with the vehicle or geniposide and exposed to LPS for the time indicated, the MTT conversion test was used to assess cell viability. Suitable concentrations were chosen and adjusted according to the experiments. Extracellular nitric oxide (NO) release was measured by Griess reaction. The formation of ROS and intracellular NO was evaluated by fluorescence imaging. NOS activities were determined using commercially available kits. The morphology of the N9 cells was examined by hematoxylin and eosin staining. The expression of iNOS mRNA was examined by RT-PCR. The protein levels of iNOS, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), ERK1/2 and NF-κB, inhibitory factor-κB-α (IκB-α) were determined by western blot analysis. The results showed that geniposide attenuated the activation of N9 cells and inhibited the overproduction of NO, intracellular ROS and the expression of iNOS induced by LPS in the cells. In addition, geniposide blocked the phosphorylation of p38, ERK1/2 and inhibited the drop-off of IκB induced by LPS in the cells. These data indicate that geniposide has therapeutic potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, and that it exerts its effects by inhibiting inflammation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Zhejiang 310022, P.R. China 2: Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, School of Public Health, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, P.R. China 3: Institute of Life Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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