|Chamomile: An anti-inflammatory agent inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by blocking RelA/p65 activity
Authors: Natarajan Bhaskaran, Sanjeev Shukla, Janmejai K. Srivastava, Sanjay Gupta
Department of Urology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Chamomile has long been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of inflammation-related disorders. In this study we investigated the inhibitory effects of chamomile on nitric oxide (NO) production and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and explored its potential anti-inflammatory mechanisms using RAW 264.7 macrophages. Chamomile treatment inhibited LPS-induced NO production and significantly blocked IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα-induced NO levels in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Chamomile caused reduction in LPS-induced iNOS mRNA and protein expression. In RAW 264.7 macrophages, LPS-induced DNA binding activity of RelA/p65 was significantly inhibited by chamomile, an effect that was mediated through the inhibition of IKKβ, the upstream kinase regulating NF-κB/Rel activity, and degradation of inhibitory factor-κB. These results demonstrate that chamomile inhibits NO production and iNOS gene expression by inhibiting RelA/p65 activation and supports the utilization of chamomile as an effective anti-inflammatory agent.