ZENG Qiang 1 , 2 , Chun-Hay Ko 1 , 2 , 3 , Wing-Sum Siu 1 , 2 , LI Kai-Kai 1 , 2 , Chun-Wai Wong 1 , 2 , HAN Xiao-Qiang 1 , 2 , 3 , YANG Liu 4 , Clara Bik-San Lau 1 , 2 , 3 , HU Jiang-Miao , 4 , Ping-Chung Leung , 1 , 2 , 3
20 July 2018
Dendrobii Caulis (DC), named ‘Shihu’ in Chinese, is a precious herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It is widely used to nourish stomach, enhance body fluid production, tonify “Yin” and reduce heat. More than thirty Dendrobium species are used as folk medicine. Some compounds from DC exhibit inhibitory effects on macrophage inflammation. In the present study, we compared the anti-inflammatory effects among eight Dendrobium species. The results provided evidences to support Dendrobium as folk medicine, which exerted its medicinal function partially by its inhibitory effects on inflammation. To investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of Dendrobium species, mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 was activated by lipopolysaccharide. The nitric oxide (NO) level was measured using Griess reagent while the pro-inflammatory cytokines were tested by ELISA. The protein expressions of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) phosphorylation were evaluated by Western blotting analysis. Among the eight Dendrobium species, both water extracts of D. thyrsiflorum B.S.Williams (DTW) and D. chrysotoxum Lindl (DCHW) showed most significant inhibitory effects on NO production in a concentration-dependent manner. DTW also significantly reduced TNF-α, MCP-1, and IL-6 production. Further investigations showed that DTW suppressed iNOS and COX-2 expression as well as ERK and JNK phosphorylation, suggesting that the inhibitory effects of DTW on LPS-induced macrophage inflammation was through the suppression of MAPK pathways. In conclusion, D. thyrsiflorum B.S.Williams was demonstrated to have potential to be used as alternative or adjuvant therapy for inflammation.