Shikonin Inhibits Inflammatory Cytokine Production in Human Periodontal Ligament Cells
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Shikonin, which is derived from Lithospermum erythrorhizon, a herb used in traditional medicine, has long been considered to be a useful treatment for various diseases in traditional oriental medicine. Shikonin has recently been reported to have several pharmacological properties, e.g., it has anti-microbial, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of this study was to examine whether shikonin is able to influence the production of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and/or chemokine C-C motif ligand (CCL)20, which contribute to the pathogenesis of periodontal disease, in human periodontal ligament cells (HPDLC). The production levels of IL-6, IL-8, and CCL20 in HPDLC were determined using an ELISA. Western blot analysis was used to detect nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway activation in HPDLC. Shikonin prevented IL-1β- or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-mediated IL-6, IL-8, and CCL20 production in HPDLC. Moreover, we found that shikonin suppressed the phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitor of kappa B-alpha (IκB-α) in IL-1β- or TNF-α-stimulated HPDLC. These findings suggest that shikonin could have direct beneficial effects against periodontal disease by reducing IL-6, IL-8, and CCL20 production in periodontal lesions.
Inflammation 39(3), 1124-1129, 2016-04-12