Open Access Research article

Astragalin inhibits airway eotaxin-1 induction and epithelial apoptosis through modulating oxidative stress-responsive MAPK signaling

In-Hee Cho1, Ju-Hyun Gong1, Min-Kyung Kang1, Eun-Jung Lee1, Jung Han Yoon Park1, Sang-Jae Park2 and Young-Hee Kang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Food and Nutrition, Hallym University, Chuncheon, South Korea

2 Medience Co., Ltd, Chuncheon, South Korea

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2014, 14:122  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-122

Published: 29 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Eotaxin proteins are a potential therapeutic target in treating the peribronchial eosinophilia associated with allergic airway diseases. Since inflammation is often associated with an increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative stress is a mechanistically imperative factor in asthma. Astragalin (kaempferol-3-O-glucoside) is a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory activity and newly found in persimmon leaves and green tea seeds. This study elucidated that astragalin inhibited endotoxin-induced oxidative stress leading to eosinophilia and epithelial apoptosis in airways.

Methods

Airway epithelial BEAS-2B cells were exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the absence and presence of 1–20 μM astragalin. Western blot and immunocytochemical analyses were conducted to determine induction of target proteins. Cell and nuclear staining was also performed for ROS production and epithelial apoptosis.

Results

When airway epithelial cells were exposed to 2 μg/ml LPS, astragalin nontoxic at ≤20 μM suppressed cellular induction of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and ROS production enhanced by LPS. Both LPS and H2O2 induced epithelial eotaxin-1 expression, which was blocked by astragalin. LPS activated and induced PLCγ1, PKCβ2, and NADPH oxidase subunits of p22phox and p47phox in epithelial cells and such activation and induction were demoted by astragalin or TLR4 inhibition antagonizing eotaxin-1 induction. H2O2-upregulated phosphorylation of JNK and p38 MAPK was dampened by adding astragalin to epithelial cells, while this compound enhanced epithelial activation of Akt and ERK. H2O2 and LPS promoted epithelial apoptosis concomitant with nuclear condensation or caspase-3 activation, which was blunted by astragalin.

Conclusions

Astragalin ameliorated oxidative stress-associated epithelial eosinophilia and apoptosis through disturbing TLR4-PKCβ2-NADPH oxidase-responsive signaling. Therefore, astragalin may be a potent agent antagonizing endotoxin-induced oxidative stress leading to airway dysfunction and inflammation.

Keywords:
Asthma; Airway apoptosis; Astragalin; Eotaxin-1; Oxidative stress