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Triptolide exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic as well as anabolic effects and suppresses TLR expression and MAPK activity in IL-1β treated human intervertebral disc cells


Klawitter, M; Quero, L; Klasen, J; Liebscher, T; Nerlich, A; Boos, N; Wuertz, K (2012). Triptolide exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic as well as anabolic effects and suppresses TLR expression and MAPK activity in IL-1β treated human intervertebral disc cells. European Spine Journal, 21 Suppl:S850-S859.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines seem to play a pivotal role in the development of back pain in a subpopulation of patients with degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) disease. As current treatment options are mostly limited to surgical interventions or conservative treatment, anti-inflammatory substances might offer a novel, more target-orientated therapeutic approach. Triptolide (TPL), a natural substance found in the Chinese medicinal herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook, has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory effects in various cells, but no studies exist so far for the IVD. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of TPL on human IVD cells by analyzing changes in gene expression and underlying molecular mechanisms.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to investigate the anti-inflammatory, anabolic and anti-catabolic effect of TPL, dose-dependency experiments (n = 5) and time course experiments (n = 5) were performed on IL-1β prestimulated human IVD cells and changes in gene expression of IL-6/-8, TNF-α, PGE2S, MMP1/2/3/13, aggrecan and collagen-I/-II were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The molecular mechanisms underlying the effects observed upon TPL treatment were investigated by analyzing involvement of Toll-like receptors TLR2/4 (real-time RT-PCR, n = 5), NF-κB, MAP kinases p38, ERK and JNK (immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry, n = 4) as well as RNA polymerase II (immunoblotting, n = 3).
RESULTS: Results showed that 50 nM TPL exhibited an anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic and anabolic effect on the mRNA level for IL-6/-8, PGE2S, MMP1/2/3/13, aggrecan, collagen-II and TLR2/4, with most pronounced changes after 18 h for proinflammatory cytokines and MMPs or 30 h for TLRs and matrix proteins. However, we also observed an up-regulation of TNF-α at higher concentrations. The effects of TPL did not seem to be mediated via an inhibition of NF-κB or a decrease of RNA polymerase II levels, but TPL influenced activity of MAP kinases p38 and ERK (but not JNK) and expression of TLR2/4.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, TPL may possess promising potential for the treatment of inflammation-related discogenic back pain in vitro, but its analgetic effect will need to be confirmed in an appropriate in vivo animal model.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines seem to play a pivotal role in the development of back pain in a subpopulation of patients with degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) disease. As current treatment options are mostly limited to surgical interventions or conservative treatment, anti-inflammatory substances might offer a novel, more target-orientated therapeutic approach. Triptolide (TPL), a natural substance found in the Chinese medicinal herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook, has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory effects in various cells, but no studies exist so far for the IVD. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of TPL on human IVD cells by analyzing changes in gene expression and underlying molecular mechanisms.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to investigate the anti-inflammatory, anabolic and anti-catabolic effect of TPL, dose-dependency experiments (n = 5) and time course experiments (n = 5) were performed on IL-1β prestimulated human IVD cells and changes in gene expression of IL-6/-8, TNF-α, PGE2S, MMP1/2/3/13, aggrecan and collagen-I/-II were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The molecular mechanisms underlying the effects observed upon TPL treatment were investigated by analyzing involvement of Toll-like receptors TLR2/4 (real-time RT-PCR, n = 5), NF-κB, MAP kinases p38, ERK and JNK (immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry, n = 4) as well as RNA polymerase II (immunoblotting, n = 3).
RESULTS: Results showed that 50 nM TPL exhibited an anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic and anabolic effect on the mRNA level for IL-6/-8, PGE2S, MMP1/2/3/13, aggrecan, collagen-II and TLR2/4, with most pronounced changes after 18 h for proinflammatory cytokines and MMPs or 30 h for TLRs and matrix proteins. However, we also observed an up-regulation of TNF-α at higher concentrations. The effects of TPL did not seem to be mediated via an inhibition of NF-κB or a decrease of RNA polymerase II levels, but TPL influenced activity of MAP kinases p38 and ERK (but not JNK) and expression of TLR2/4.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, TPL may possess promising potential for the treatment of inflammation-related discogenic back pain in vitro, but its analgetic effect will need to be confirmed in an appropriate in vivo animal model.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 12:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:03
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0940-6719
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-011-1919-y
PubMed ID:21789526

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