Anti-Arthritic effects of magnolol in human interleukin 1β-Stimulated Fibroblast-Like synoviocytes and in a rat arthritis model

Jyh Horng Wang, Kao Shang Shih, Jing Ping Liou, Yi Wen Wu, Anita Shin Yuan Chang, Kang Li Wang, Ching Lin Tsai, Chia Ron Yang

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) play an important role in the pathologic processes of destructive arthritis by producing a number of catabolic cytokines and metalloproteinases (MMPs). The expression of these mediators is controlled at the transcriptional level. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the anti-arthritic effects of magnolol (5,5′-Diallyl-biphenyl-2,2′-diol), the major bioactive component of the bark of Magnolia officinalis, by examining its inhibitory effects on inflammatory mediator secretion and the NF-κB and AP-1 activation pathways and to investigate its therapeutic effects on the development of arthritis in a rat model. The in vitro anti-arthritic activity of magnolol was tested on interleukin (IL)-1β-stimulated FLS by measuring levels of IL-6, cyclooxygenase-2, prostaglandin E 2, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) by ELISA and RT-PCR. Further studies on how magnolol inhibits IL-1β-stimulated cytokine expression were performed using Western blots, reporter gene assay, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, and confocal microscope analysis. The in vivo anti-arthritic effects of magnolol were evaluated in a Mycobacterium butyricum-induced arthritis model in rats. Magnolol markedly inhibited IL-1β (10 ng/mL)-induced cytokine expression in a concentration-dependent manner (2.5-25 μg/mL). In clarifying the mechanisms involved, magnolol was found to inhibit the IL-1β-induced activation of the IKK/IκB/NF-κB and MAPKs pathways by suppressing the nuclear translocation and DNA binding activity of both transcription factors. In the animal model, magnolol (100 mg/kg) significantly inhibited paw swelling and reduced serum cytokine levels. Our results demonstrate that magnolol inhibits the development of arthritis, suggesting that it might provide a new therapeutic approach to inflammatory arthritis diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31368
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 16 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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