(+)-Nootkatone and (+)-valencene from rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus increase survival rates in septic mice due to heme oxygenase-1 induction.
ABSTRACT The rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus have been used as traditional folk medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. However, the mechanism by which extract of rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus (ECR) elicits anti-inflammation has not been extensively investigated so far. The aim of the present study was to test whether heme oxygenase (HO)-1 induction is involved in the anti-inflammatory action of ECR.
Induction of HO-1 and inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)/NO production by ECR and its 12 constituents (3 monoterpenes, 5 sesquiterpenes, and 4 aromatic compounds) were investigated using RAW264.7 cells in vitro. In addition, anti-inflammatory action of ECR and its two active ingredients (nookkatone, valencene) were confirmed in sepsis animal model in vivo.
ECR increased HO-1 expression in a concentration-dependent manner, which was correlated with significant inhibition of iNOS/NO production in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. Among 12 compounds isolated from ECR, mostly sesquiterpenes induced stronger HO-1 expression than monoterpenes in macrophage cells. Nootkatone and valencene (sesquiterpenes) significantly inhibited iNOS expression and NO production in LPS-simulated RAW264.7 cells. Inhibition of iNOS expression by nootkatone, valencene, and ECR were significantly reduced in siHO-1 RNA transfected cells. Furthermore, all three showed marked inhibition of high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) in LPS-activated macrophages and increased survival rates in cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis in mice.
Taken together, we concluded that possible anti-inflammatory mechanism of ECR is, at least, due to HO-1 induction, in which sesquiterpenes such as nootkatone and valencene play a crucial role.