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Thymoquinone Inhibits IL-1β-Induced Inflammation in Human Osteoarthritis Chondrocytes by Suppressing NF-κB and MAPKs Signaling Pathway


Thymoquinone, an active ingredient isolated from Nigella sativa, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects. However, the anti-inflammatory effect of thymoquinone on IL-1β-stimulated osteoarthritis chondrocytes remains unclear. In this study, we designed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects and elucidated the underlying mechanism of thymoquinone on IL-1β-stimulated human osteoarthritis chondrocytes. The effects of thymoquinone on inflammatory mediators COX-2, iNOS, NO, PGE2, as well as MMP-1, MMP3, MMP13 production were detected. The results demonstrated that thymoquinone concentration-dependently inhibited IL-1β-induced COX-2, iNOS, NO, and PGE2 production. Thymoquinone also suppressed IL-1β-induced MMP-1, MMP3, and MMP13 production. We found that thymoquinone significantly inhibited IL-1β-induced NF-κB activation and IκBα degradation. In addition, thymoquinone was found to suppress IL-1β-induced mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) activation. In conclusion, thymoquinone inhibited IL-1β-induced inflammatory mediator production by inhibition of NF-κB and MAPKs signaling pathways in osteoarthritis chondrocytes. Thymoquinone may be a potential agent in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

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Correspondence to Dehong Guan.

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Wang, D., Qiao, J., Zhao, X. et al. Thymoquinone Inhibits IL-1β-Induced Inflammation in Human Osteoarthritis Chondrocytes by Suppressing NF-κB and MAPKs Signaling Pathway. Inflammation 38, 2235–2241 (2015).

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  • thymoquinone
  • osteoarthritis chondrocyte
  • IL-1β
  • NF-κB