14.08.2023 | Original Article
Sesquiterpene from Artemisia argyi seed extracts: A new anti-acute peritonitis agent that suppresses the MAPK pathway and promotes autophagy
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To find novel anti-inflammatory drugs, we screened anti-inflammatory compounds from 18 different types of Artemisia argyi seed extracts. The in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activities of the screened compounds and their mechanisms were characterized. We first detected the cytotoxic effect of the compounds on RAW264.7 cells and the inhibitory effect on LPS-induced NO release. It was found that sesquiterpenoids CA-2 and CA-4 had low cytotoxic and strong NO inhibitory activity with an IC50 of 4.22 ± 0.61 μM and 2.98 ± 0.23 μM for NO inhibition, respectively. Therefore, compound CA-4 was studied in depth. We found that compound CA-4 inhibited LPS-induced pro-inflammatory factor production and M1 macrophage differentiation in RAW264.7 cells. Additionally, CA-4 inhibited the expression of p-ERK1/2, p-JNK, iNOS, and COX-2 by blocking the MAPK signaling pathway. CA-4 also promoted the expression of autophagy-related proteins such as LC3 II and Beclin-1 by inhibiting activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, and promoted the generation of autophagosomes. Finally, CA-4 significantly inhibited the degree of inflammation in mice with acute peritonitis, showing good anti-inflammatory activity in vivo. Consequently, compound CA-4 may be a promising drug for the treatment of acute inflammatory diseases and provide new ideas for the synthesis of novel anti-inflammatory compounds.