Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism of An Alkaloid Rutaecarpine in LTA-Stimulated RAW 264.7 Cells: Pivotal Role on NF-κB and ERK/p38 Signaling Molecules

Thanasekaran Jayakumar, Chun Ming Yang, Ting Lin Yen, Chia Yuan Hsu, Joen Rong Sheu, Chih Wei Hsia, Manjunath Manubolu, Wei Chieh Huang, Cheng Ying Hsieh, Chih Hsuan Hsia

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is a key cell wall component and virulence factor of Gram-positive bacteria. LTA contributes a major role in infection and it mediates inflammatory responses in the host. Rutaecarpine, an indolopyridoquinazolinone alkaloid isolated from Evodia rutaecarpa, has shown a variety of fascinating biological properties such as anti-thrombotic, anticancer, anti-obesity and thermoregulatory, vasorelaxing activity. It has also potent effects on the cardiovascular and endocrine systems. Herein, we investigated rutaecarpine’s (Rut) anti-inflammatory effects in LTA-stimulated RAW macrophage cells. The Western blot and spectrophotometric results revealed that Rut inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO) and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and interleukin (IL)-1β in the LTA-induced macrophage cells. Successively, our mechanistic studies publicized that Rut inhibited LTA-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) including the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and p38, but not c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). In addition, the respective Western blot and confocal image analyses exhibited that Rut reserved nuclear transcription factor kappa-B (NF-κB) by hindering inhibitor of nuclear factor κB-α (IκBα) and NF-κB p65 phosphorylation and p65 nuclear translocation. These results indicate that Rut exhibits its anti-inflammatory effects mainly through attenuating NF-κB and ERK/p38 signaling pathways. Overall, this result suggests that Rut could be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of Gram-positive bacteria induced inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5889
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2022


  • anti-inflammation
  • inflammatory molecules
  • MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathways
  • rutaecarpine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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