Inflammation is a serious health issue worldwide that induces many diseases such as sepsis. There has been a vast search for potentially effective drugs to decrease mortality from sepsis. Pheophytin a is a chlorophyll-related compound derived from green tea. We found that pre-treatment with pheophytin a suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and interleukin-1β in RAW 264.7 macrophages. NO synthase-2 (NOS2) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression levels were repressed by pre-treatment with pheophytin a at both the transcriptional and translational levels. Pheophytin a inhibited NOS2 promoter activity, but not its mRNA stability, through extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2). This suppression was reversed by ERK1/2 inhibitor (U0126). Pheophytin a reduced signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT-1) activation, without an obvious influence on activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). These results suggest that pheophytin a functions by down-regulating the transcriptional levels of inflammatory mediators and blocking the ERK and STAT-1 pathways.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 15(12),22819-22834