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Li R.,Anhui Medical University | Li R.,Key Laboratory for Bioactivity of Natural Medicine of Anhui Province | Cai L.,Anhui Medical University | Ren D.-Y.,Anhui Medical University | And 7 more authors.
International Immunopharmacology | Year: 2012

In our previous study, we have demonstrated that 7, 3′-dimethoxy hesperetin (DMHP), an active derivative of hesperidin, showed pro-apoptotic effect on synoviocytes in vitro. The present study was to investigate the potential therapeutic effect of DMHP on adjuvant arthritis (AA) in rat and its possible mechanisms. Freund's complete adjuvant was used to induce AA in rats. DMHP were administered intragastrically once a day from days 12 to 21 after AA induction. Secondary paw swelling, arthritis index, and pathological assessments were observed. IL-6 production in serum and IL-6 mRNA expression in synovium was detected by ELISA and real-time RT-PCR respectively. The expression of mRNA (JAK2, STAT3) and protein (JAK2, p-JAK2, STAT3, p-STAT3) in synovium were determined. We found that DMHP significantly inhibited hind paw swelling and arthritis index, and ameliorated pathological changes of ankle joint in AA rats. DMHP suppressed the level of IL-6 in serum and the expression of IL-6 mRNA in synovium of AA rats in a dose-dependent manner. DMHP apparently decreased mRNA expression of JAK2 and STAT3 as well as protein expression of p-JAK2 and p-STAT3 in the synovium of the AA rats. Correlation analysis indicated that p-JAK2 or p-STAT3 protein expression was highly correlated with joint damage severity. In conclusion, DMHP has a powerful therapeutic effect on AA in rats and its mechanisms might be partly related to inhibiting excessive activation of JAK2-STAT3 pathway. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Wang Q.-Q.,Anhui Medical University | Shi J.-B.,Anhui Medical University | Chen C.,Anhui Medical University | Huang C.,Anhui Medical University | And 4 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2016

Sixteen novel hesperetin derivatives containing Mannich base moiety were designed and synthesized and their anti-inflammatory activities were evaluated by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in mouse RAW264.7 macrophages. Compounds 3a-3k showed better hydrophilic, while compounds 3l-3p with aromatic groups was hydrophobic. The anti-inflammatory activity of title compounds was correlated with log P values, among them, compounds 3c, 3e and 3i with minus log P values exhibited best anti-inflammatory activity through decreasing both IL-6 and TNF-α. Furthermore, the expression of LPS-induced notch1 and inos was reduced by compounds 3c, 3e, and 3i, and compound 3e attenuated LPS-induced inos protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Li R.,Anhui Medical University | Li R.,Key Laboratory for Bioactivity of Natural Medicine of Anhui Province | Cai L.,Anhui Medical University | Xie X.-F.,Anhui Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Phytotherapy Research | Year: 2010

Approaches inducing fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) apoptosis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have been considered as a promising strategy for treating RA. Here, adjuvant arthritis (AA) in rat was induced by complete Freund's adjuvant and FLS were separated and cultured using a tissue explant cultivation method. The apoptotic effect of 7,3′-dimethoxy hesperetin (DMHP, a highly antirheumatic active derivative of hesperidin) on AA FLS was evaluated with MTT assay, Hoechst staining and flow cytometry analysis. Bcl-2, Bax, caspase 3 gene expressions and caspase 3 activity were assayed to identify whether caspase 3 was involved in the apoptosis induced by DMHP. It was found that DMHP significantly decreased AA FLS proliferation in vitro by MTT assay. The AA FLS treated with DMHP displayed typical apoptotic characteristics including irregularity in shape, nuclear shrinkage and chromatin condensation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that DMHP could obviously increase the AA FLS apoptosis rate. Compared with the AA-FLS control group, DMHP markedly decreased the mRNA expression of Bcl-2, whereas those of Bax and caspase 3 were increased. Moreover, DMHP significantly increased caspase 3 activity in a dose-dependent manner. In aggregate, the results demonstrate that DMHP effectively induces AA FLS apoptosis through caspase 3 activation and can be considered as a possible antirheumatic agent. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Li R.,Anhui Medical University | Li R.,Key Laboratory for Bioactivity of Natural Medicine of Anhui Province | Cai L.,Anhui Medical University | Xie X.-F.,Anhui Medical University | And 7 more authors.
Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology | Year: 2013

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by pronounced inflammation and excessive synovial hyperplasia within affected joint. We previously reported 7, 3′-dimethoxy hesperetin (DMHP) as a highly anti-inflammatory active derivative of hesperidin showed apparent pro-apoptotic effect in vitro on fibroblast-like synoviocytes of rats with adjuvant arthritis (AA), an animal model of RA. Here, we investigated the therapeutic effects of DMHP on inflammation and synovial apoptosis in rats with AA in vivo. Paw swelling, arthritis index, TNF-α and IL-1β serum levels were measured to evaluate the effect of DMHP on inflammation in AA rats. DNA ladder detection and TUNEL assay were used to investigate the pro-apoptotic effect of DMHP on synovial apoptosis in vivo. Bcl-2, Bax mRNA and protein expressions in synovium were determined by real-time Q-PCR and western blot, respectively. We found DMHP inhibited secondary hind paw swelling and arthritis index, and decreased TNF-α and IL-1β serum levels in AA rats. Typical DNA ladder formation was found in DNA extraction of synovium from DMHP treated groups. The number of apoptotic synovial cells was elevated with DMHP treatment in TUNEL assay. DMHP markedly decreased Bcl-2 expression whereas increased Bax expression in synovium of AA rats at both transcription and protein levels. Moreover, DMHP treatment on AA rats significantly decreased the protein ratio of Bcl-2/Bax in synovium. In conclusion, DMHP has an apparent therapeutic effect on inflammation in rats with AA. Mechanisms of this effect are partly related to induction of synovial apoptosis through modulation of Bcl-2 and Bax expression. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Li R.,Anhui Medical University | Li R.,Key Laboratory for Bioactivity of Natural Medicine of Anhui Province | Cai L.,Anhui Medical University | Hu C.-M.,Anhui Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Inflammation (United Kingdom) | Year: 2015

Background: Cartilage damage is a crucial step in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease progress while its molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we investigated the expression of hedgehog (Hh) signal pathway in articular cartilage of adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats and its possible pathological role in cartilage damage. Methods: 30 rats were divided into sham and AIA group (n=15). Complete Freund's adjuvant was used to induce AIA. Secondary paw swelling was measured on day 10, 14, 18, 22 and 26 after induction. Rats were sacrificed on day 26 and knee joints and cartilage tissues were collected. Paw swelling, cartilage histopathologic changes and OARSI scores were used to evaluate AIA in rats. The protein expression of Hh signal related genes (Shh, Ptch1, Smo and Gli1) in cartilage were assayed by immunohistochemistry. The mRNA levels of Shh, Ptch1, Smo, Gli1, type-II collagen (COII) and aggrecan in cartilage were assayed by real-time PCR. In vitro study, cultured AIA chondrocytes were treated with cyclopamine (a specific inhibitor of Hh signal) and the mRNA levels of Hh signal and ECM components (COII and aggrecan) were measured by real-time PCR. Results: Immunohistochemical results revealed that Shh, Ptch1, Smo and Gli1 proteins showed higher expression in the articular cartilage of AIA rats than those of sham rats. Real-time PCR results confirmed that Shh, Ptch1, Smo and Gli1 mRNA levels in cartilage tissues of AIA rats were significantly increased compared with those of sham rats (1.6, 1.4, 1.6, 2.0 fold, respectively). The mRNA levels of Shh, Ptch1, Smo, and Gli1 were associated with the severity of cartilage damage (indicated by OARSI scores, COII and aggrecan mRNA levels in cartilage). In vitro, cyclopamine effectively decreased the mRNA levels of Shh, Ptch1, Smo and Gli1, and increased the mRNA levels of COII and aggrecan in AIA chondrocytes, suggesting Hh signal inhibition might directly promote ECM production. Conclusions: Our findings present certain experimental evidence that Hh signal pathway is involved in the pathogenesis of cartilage damage in RA. © 2015 Li et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

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