Immunologic Research

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 1071–1086 | Cite as

Majoon ushba, a polyherbal compound, suppresses pro-inflammatory mediators and RANKL expression via modulating NFкB and MAPKs signaling pathways in fibroblast-like synoviocytes from adjuvant-induced arthritic rats

  • Ramamoorthi Ganesan
  • Hari Madhuri Doss
  • Mahaboobkhan RasoolEmail author
Original Article


Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) are inhabitant mesenchymal cells of synovial joints and have been recognized to play an imperative role in the immunopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Blocking these pathological roles of FLS provides a potentially important therapeutic strategy for the treatment for RA. A recent study had confirmed that majoon ushba (MU), a polyherbal unani compound, possesses anti-arthritic effects in in vivo. Toward this direction, an effort has been made to understand the effect of MU on FLS derived from adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats. Here, we observed that MU administration (100–300 µg/ml) significantly inhibited the expression and phosphorylation of NFкB-p65 protein similar to that of the Bay 11-7082 (NFкB inhibitor) in NFкB signaling pathway and suppressed the protein expression of ERK1/2 and JNK1/2 in MAPKs signaling pathway in AIA-FLS. In addition, the protein expression of TNF-α, IL-17, RANKL, and iNOS was also found reduced. MU treatment significantly inhibited the mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1, IL-17, iNOS, and COX-2), transcription factors (NFкB-p65 and AP-1), and RANKL and attenuated the overproduction of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and MCP-1 (ELISA) in AIA-FLS. Furthermore, MU treatment significantly inhibited the level of lipid peroxidation, lysosomal enzymes release, and glycoproteins and increased antioxidant status (superoxide dismutase and catalase) in AIA-FLS. In conclusion, the results of this study provide evidence that MU possesses anti-inflammatory effect against AIA-FLS through the decrease in pro-inflammatory mediators expression by suppressing NFкB and MAPKs signaling pathways.


Fibroblast-like synoviocytes Rheumatoid arthritis Majoon ushba NFкB Pro-inflammatory cytokines 



This work was supported by a Research Grant (Grant No. Z 28015/77/2013-HPC (EMR)-AYUSH-C) from the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Dept of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramamoorthi Ganesan
    • 1
  • Hari Madhuri Doss
    • 1
  • Mahaboobkhan Rasool
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.SMV 240, Immunopathology Lab, School of Bio Sciences and TechnologyVIT UniversityVelloreIndia

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