Chrysoeriol ameliorates TPA-induced acute skin inflammation in mice and inhibits NF-κB and STAT3 pathways

Jia Ying Wu, Ying Jie Chen, Lu Bai, Yu Xi Liu, Xiuqiong Fu, Pei Li Zhu, Jun Kui Li, Ji Yao Chou, Cheng Le Yin, Ya Ping Wang, Jing Xuan Bai, Ying Wu, Zheng Zhi Wu, Zhiling Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Chrysoeriol is a flavone found in diverse dietary and medicinal herbs such as Lonicerae Japonicae Flos (the dried flower bud or newly bloomed flower of Lonicera japonica Thunb.). These herbs are commonly used for treating inflammatory diseases. Herbal extracts containing chrysoeriol have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. Some of these extracts can inhibit signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling in cancer cells. Purpose: This study aimed to determine whether chrysoeriol has anti-inflammatory effects and whether NF-κB and STAT3 pathways are involved in the effects. Study Design and Methods: A TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate)-induced ear edema mouse model and LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells were used to evaluate the effects of chrysoeriol. Griess reagent was used to measure the production of nitric oxide (NO). Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were employed to detect protein levels. RT-qPCR analyses were used to detect mRNA levels. Haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was employed to examine the pathological conditions in animal tissues. Results: In the mouse model, chrysoeriol ameliorated acute skin inflammation, evidenced by reduced ear thickness, ear weight and number of inflammatory cells in inflamed ear tissues. The compound lowered protein levels of phospho-p65 (Ser536), phospho-STAT3 (Tyr705), inducible nitric oxide synthases (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in mouse swollen ears. In LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, chrysoeriol also lowered levels of these proteins. In addition, chrysoeriol decreased the production of NO and prostaglandin E2; inhibited the phosphorylation of inhibitor of κB (Ser32), p65 (Ser536) and Janus kinase 2 (Tyr1007/1008); decreased nuclear localization of p50, p65 and STAT3; and down-regulated mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α that are transcriptionally regulated by NF-κB and STAT3 in the cell model. Conclusion: We for the first time demonstrated that chrysoeriol ameliorates TPA-induced ear edema in mice, and that inhibition of JAK2/STAT3 and IκB/p65 NF-κB pathways are involved in the anti-inflammatory effects of chrysoeriol. This study provides chemical and pharmacological justifications for the use of chrysoeriol-containing herbs in treating inflammatory diseases, and provides pharmacological groundwork for developing chrysoeriol as a novel anti-inflammatory agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153173
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chrysoeriol
  • Inflammation
  • Mouse ear edema
  • NF-κB
  • STAT3


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