Molecular Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 455–465 | Cite as

Genipin Attenuates Sepsis by Inhibiting Toll-Like Receptor Signaling

  • Tae-Hoon Kim
  • Seong-Jin Yoon
  • Sun-Mee Lee
Research Article


The pathogenesis of sepsis is characterized by overwhelming inflammatory responses that lead to tissue damage and organ failure. Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling is crucial for induction of hyperinflammatory responses and tissue injury during sepsis. Genipin, an aglycon of geniposide, has antiinflammatory and antimicrobial activities. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that genipin reduces multiple organ dysfunction and mortality during sepsis through inhibition of TLR signaling. Male ICR were subjected to sepsis by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) or endotoxemia by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Various doses of genipin (1),2.5 and 5 mg/kg) or a vehicle were administered intravenously immediately after CLP or intraperitoneally after LPS treatment. In another set of survival tests, mice were treated with 2.5 mg/kg of genipin 0 and 24 h after CLP. Genipin was found to improve survival and to attenuate multiple organ dysfunction. Genipin attenuated production of proinflammatory cytokines and release of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). Genipin prevented TLR2 and TLR4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 and the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor protein, inducing interferon-β overexpression. Phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and interferon regulatory factor 3 and translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB were prevented by genipin. Moreover, genipin attenuated increases in serum tumor necrosis factor-α and HMGB1 in LPS-induced endotoxemia. Pam3CSK4- and LPS-mediated production of nitrites and proinflammatory cytokines was suppressed by genipin in RAW264.7 cells. Genipin attenuated mortality and organ injuries during sepsis through interference with TLR signaling. Therefore, genipin might be useful as a potential therapeutic agent for treatment of sepsis.



This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0028646).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacySungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonKorea

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