Leong PK, Wong HS, Chen J, Chan WM, Leung HY, Ko KM
Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear water bay, Hong Kong.
Schisandrin A (Sch A) and schisandrin B (Sch B) are active components of Schisandrae Fructus. We compared the biochemical mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory action of Sch A and Sch B, using cultured lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages and concanavalin (ConA)-stimulated mouse splenocytes. Pre-incubation with Sch A or Sch B produced an anti-inflammatory action in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, as evidenced by the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory c-Jun N-terminal kinases/p38 kinase/nuclear factor-κB signaling pathway as well as the suppression of various pro-inflammatory cytokines and effectors, with the extent of inhibition by Sch A being more pronounced. The greater activity of Sch A in anti-inflammatory response was associated with a greater decrease in cellular reduced glutathione (GSH) level and a greater increase in glutathione S-transferase activity than corresponding changes produced by Sch B. However, upon incubation, only Sch B resulted in the activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like factor 2 and the induction of a significant increase in the expression of thioredoxin (TRX) in RAW264.7 cells. The Sch B-induced increase in TRX expression was associated with the suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and effectors in LPS-stimulated macrophages. Studies in a mouse model of inflammation (carrageenan-induced paw edema) indicated that while long-term treatment with either Sch A or Sch B suppressed the extent of paw edema, only acute treatment with Sch A produced a significant degree of inhibition on the inflammatory response. Although only Sch A decreased the cellular GSH level and suppressed the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cell proliferation in ConA-simulated splenocytes in vitro, both Sch A and Sch B treatments, while not altering cellular GSH levels, suppressed ConA-stimulated splenocyte proliferation ex vivo. These results suggest that Sch A and Sch B may act differentially on activating GST/ depleting cellular GSH and inducing an antioxidant response involved in their anti-inflammatory actions.