Title

The medicinal fungus Antrodia cinnamomea suppresses inflammation by inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome

ORCiD

David M. Ojcius: 0000-0003-1461-4495

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Ethnopharmacology

ISSN

0378-8741

Volume

155

Issue

1

DOI

10.1016/j.jep.2014.04.053

First Page

154

Last Page

164

Publication Date

8-8-2014

Abstract

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Antrodia cinnamomea – a medicinal fungus that is indigenous to Taiwan – has been used as a health tonic by aboriginal tribes and the Asian population. Recent studies indicate that Antrodia cinnamomea extracts exhibit hepato-protective, anti-hypertensive, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, and anti-cancer effects on cultured cells and laboratory animals. This study aims to explore the anti-inflammatory activity of an Antrodia cinnamomea ethanol extract (ACEE) and elucidate its underlying mechanisms of action using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-primed, ATP-stimulated human THP-1 macrophages.

Materials and methods: The effects of ACEE on cell viability were studied using the MTT assay. The expressions of genes, proteins, and pro-inflammatory cytokines were measured by quantitative real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting and ELISA, respectively. The ACEE was further investigated for its effects on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production using ROS detection kit.

Results: Our results showed that ACEE significantly inhibits ATP-induced secretion of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-18 (IL-18) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) by LPS-primed macrophages. ACEE also suppresses the transcription and activation of caspase-1, which is responsible for the cleavage and activation of IL-1β and IL-18. Of note, ACEE not only reduces expression of the inflammasome component NLRP3 and the purinergic receptor P2X7R but also inhibits ATP-induced ROS production and caspase-1 activation. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of ACEE correlate with reduced activation of the MAPK and NF-κB pathways.

Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that Antrodia cinnamomea suppresses the secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 associated with inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome in macrophages. These findings suggest that ACEE may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.