Immunomodulatory Activity of Water Extract of Ulmus macrocarpa in Macrophages Kwon, Da Hye; Kang, Hye-Joo; Choi, Yung Hyun; Chung, Kyung Tae; Lee, Jong Hwan; Kang, Kyung Hwa; Hyun, Sook Kyung; Kim, Byung Woo; Hwang, Hye Jin;
The root bark of Ulmus macrocarpa has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases such as edema, infection and inflammation. Nevertheless, the biological activities and underlying mechanisms of the immunomodulatory effects remain unclear. In this study, as part of our ongoing screening program to evaluate the immunomodulatory potential of new compounds from traditional medicinal resources, we investigated the effects of U. macrocarpa water extract (UME) on immune modulation in a murine RAW 264.7 macrophage model. As immune response parameters, the productions of as nitric oxide (NO) and cytokines such tumor necrotic factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-10 were evaluated. Although the release of IL-1β remained unchanged in UME-treated RAW 264.7 macrophages, the productions of NO, TNF-α and IL-10 were significantly increased, along with the increased expression of inducible NO synthase, TNF-α and IL-10 expression at concentrations with no cytotoxicity. UME treatment also induced the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), and phosphorylation of Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) indicating that UME activated macrophages through the activation of NF-κB, phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and MAPKs signaling pathways in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Furthermore, pre-treatment with UME significantly attenuated the production of NO, but not TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-10, in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells suggesting that UME may be useful in preventing inflammatory diseases mediated by excessive production of NO. These findings suggest that the beneficial therapeutic effects of UME may be attributed partly to its ability to modulate immune functions in macrophages.
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