Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 41–48 | Cite as

Trans-Caryophyllene Suppresses Hypoxia-Induced Neuroinflammatory Responses by Inhibiting NF-κB Activation in Microglia

  • Kexin Guo
  • Xiaojie Mou
  • Jinsha Huang
  • Nian Xiong
  • Hongge LiEmail author


Microglia cells have been reported to mediate hypoxia-induced inflammation through the production of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and IL-6. Given the fact that the activation of the type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) provides antioxidative and anti-inflammatory results, it is suspected that its selective agonist, trans-caryophyllene (TC), may have protective effects against hypoxia-induced neuroinflammatory responses. In this study, TC was found to significantly inhibit hypoxia-induced cytotoxicity as well as the release of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6, through activation of BV2 microglia following hypoxic exposure (1 % O2, 24 h). Furthermore, TC significantly inhibited hypoxia-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondria as well as the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) in microglia. Importantly, TC’s effects on inhibiting the activation of NF-κB and the secretion of inflammatory cytokines can be abolished by muting the CB2R using small RNA interference. These observations indicate that TC suppresses the hypoxia-induced neuroinflammatory response through inhibition of NF-κB activation in microglia. Therefore, TC may be beneficial in preventing hypoxia-induced neuroinflammation.


Trans-Caryophyllene Hypoxia NF-κB Type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) Inflammation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kexin Guo
    • 1
  • Xiaojie Mou
    • 1
  • Jinsha Huang
    • 1
  • Nian Xiong
    • 1
  • Hongge Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Wuhan Union Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.WuhanChina

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