Author(s): Hegde P, Maddur MS, Friboulet A, Bayry J, Kaveri SV
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Abstract Viscum album (VA) preparations are extensively used as complementary therapy in cancer and are shown to exert anti-tumor activities which involve the cytotoxic properties, induction of apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis and several other immunomodulatory mechanisms. In addition to their application in cancer therapy, VA preparations have also been successfully utilized in the treatment of several inflammatory pathologies. Owing to the intricate association of inflammation and cancer and in view of the fact that several anti-tumor phytotherapeutics also exert a potent anti-inflammatory effect, we hypothesized that VA exerts an anti-inflammatory effect that is responsible for its therapeutic benefit. Since, inflammatory cytokine-induced cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) play a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effect of VA on regulation of cyclo-oxygenase expression and PGE2 biosynthesis by using human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549 cells) as a model. A549 cells were stimulated with IL-1β and treated with VA preparation (VA Qu Spez) for 18 hours. PGE2 was analysed in the culture supernatants by enzyme immunoassay. Expression of COX-2 and COX-1 proteins was analyzed by immunoblotting and the expression of COX-2 mRNA was assessed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. We found that VA Qu Spez inhibit the secretion of IL-1β-induced PGE2 in a dose-dependent manner. Further, we also show that this inhibitory action was associated with a reduced expression of COX-2 without modulating the COX-1 expression. Together these results demonstrate a novel anti-inflammatory mechanism of action of VA preparations wherein VA exerts an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting cytokine-induced PGE2 via selective inhibition of COX-2.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy