The effects of ursolic acid on cytokine production via the MAPK pathways in leukemic T-cells
Keywords:ursolic acid, IL-2, TNF-alpha, ERK, JNK, Jurkat cells
Ursolic acid (UA) is a pentacyclic triterpenoid carboxylic acid that is found in plants and herbal products. It is one of the chemopreventive agents, which can suppress cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. UA possesses various biological activities including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and hepatoprotective activity. We investigated the effect of UA on cytokine production via the MAPK pathways in Jurkat leukemic T-cells, showing that UA inhibited cell growth and proliferation of Jurkat cells, as well as suppressing PMA/PHA induced IL-2 and TNF-α production in a concentration and time dependent manner. The inhibition of IL-2 and TNF-α production by UA involved the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, but not the extracellular-signal regulated protein kinase (ERK) pathway. Future utilization of UA as a chemopreventive or therapeutic agent may provide an alternative option for leukemia treatments.
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