Research Papers:

Luteolin reduces inflammation in Staphylococcus aureus-induced mastitis by inhibiting NF-kB activation and MMPs expression

Ying-fang Guo, Nian-nian Xu, Weijing Sun, Yifan Zhao, Cheng-ye Li and Meng-yao Guo _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:28481-28493. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16092

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Ying-fang Guo1, Nian-nian Xu1, Weijing Sun1, Yifan Zhao1, Cheng-ye Li1, Meng-yao Guo1

1College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Meng-yao Guo, email: gmy1985@163.com

Keywords: luteolin, mastitis, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), anti-inflammation, inflammatory signal pathway

Received: February 01, 2017     Accepted: March 02, 2017     Published: March 10, 2017


Mastitis is a serious and prevalent disease caused by infection by pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus. We evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects and mechanism of luteolin, a natural flavonoid with a wide range of pharmacological activities, in a mouse model of S. aureus mastitis. We also treated cultured mouse mammary epithelial cells (mMECs) with S. aureus and luteolin. Histopathological changes were examined by H&E staining and the levels of inflammatory cytokine proteins were analyzed using ELISAs. We determined mRNA levels with qPCR and the level of NF-κB and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) proteins by Western blotting. The observed histopathological changes showed that luteolin protected mammary glands with S. aureus infection from tissue destruction and inflammatory cell infiltration. Luteolin inhibited the expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, all of which were increased with S. aureus infection of mammary tissues and mMECs. S. aureus-induced TLR2 and TLR4 was suppressed by luteolin, as were levels of IκBα and NF-κB p65 phosphorylation and expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Levels of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2 were enhanced. These findings suggest luteolin is a potentially effective new treatment to reduce tissue damage and inflammation from S. aureus-induced mastitis.

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