, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1934–1944 | Cite as

Spilanthol Inhibits COX-2 and ICAM-1 Expression via Suppression of NF-κB and MAPK Signaling in Interleukin-1β-Stimulated Human Lung Epithelial Cells

  • Wen-Chung Huang
  • Ling-Yu Wu
  • Sindy Hu
  • Shu-Ju WuEmail author


Spilanthol a phytochemical derived from the Spilanthes acmella plant has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. This study evaluated its effects on the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and inflammation-related mediators in IL-1β-stimulated human lung epithelial A549 cells. Human lung epithelial A549 cells were pretreated with various concentrations of spilanthol (3–100 μM) followed by treatment with IL-1β to induce inflammation. The protein levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were measured using ELISA. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), heme oxygenase (HO-1), nuclear transcription factor kappa-B (NF-κB), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were measured by immunoblotting. The mRNA expression levels of ICAM-1 and MUC5AC were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Spilanthol decreased the expression of PGE2, COX-2, TNF-α, and MCP-1. It also decreased ICAM-1 expression and suppressed monocyte adhesion to IL-1β-stimulated A549 cells. Spilanthol also significantly inhibited the phosphorylation of MAPK and I-κB. These results suggest that spilanthol exerts anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, COX-2, and ICAM-1 by inhibiting the NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways.

Graphical Abstract


chemokines ICAM-1 MAPK NF-κB spilanthol 


Authors’ Contributions

Wen-Chung Huang and Ling-Yu Wu designed the study and performed the experiments. Sindy Hu searched the literature and performed the experiments. Shu-Ju analyzed interpretation of data and drafting the manuscript.

Funding Information

This study was supported in part by grants from the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CMRPF1G0201), the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan (MOST 105-2320-B-255-004), and Chang Gung University of Science and Technology (EZRPF3FG0071).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen-Chung Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ling-Yu Wu
    • 3
  • Sindy Hu
    • 4
    • 5
  • Shu-Ju Wu
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Health Industry Technology, Research Center for Industry of Human Ecology, Research Center for Chinese Herbal Medicine, College of Human EcologyChang Gung University of Science and TechnologyTaoyuanTaiwan
  2. 2.Division of Allergy, Asthma, and Rheumatology, Department of PediatricsChang Gung Memorial HospitalTaoyuanTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Research Center for Food and Cosmetic Safety, and Research Center for Chinese Herbal Medicine, College of Human EcologyChang Gung University of Science and TechnologyTaoyuanTaiwan
  4. 4.Aesthetic Medical Center, Department of DermatologyChang Gung Memorial HospitalTaoyuanTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Cosmetic Science, Research Center for Food and Cosmetic Safety, and Research Center for Chinese Herbal Medicine, College of Human EcologyChang Gung University of Science and TechnologyTaoyuanTaiwan

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