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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 1725246, 13 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Herbal Formula SC-E3 in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated RAW 264.7 Macrophages

College of Korean Medicine, Dongguk University, Goyang 10326, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Ju-Hee Lee; and Sun-Dong Park;

Received 28 May 2017; Revised 10 August 2017; Accepted 21 August 2017; Published 15 October 2017

Academic Editor: Shao-Hsuan Kao

Copyright © 2017 Soo Chil Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


SC-E3 is a novel herbal formula composed of five oriental medicinal herbs that are used to treat a wide range of inflammatory diseases in Korean traditional medicine. In this study, we sought to determine the effects of SC-E3 on free radical generation and inflammatory response in lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) treated RAW 264.7 macrophages and the molecular mechanism involved. The ethanol extract of SC-E3 showed good free radical scavenging activity and inhibited LPS-induced reactive oxygen species generation. SC-E3 significantly inhibited the production of the LPS-induced inflammatory mediators, nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2, by suppressing the expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2, respectively. SC-E3 also prevented the secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6, and inhibited LPS-induced NF-κB activation and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Furthermore, SC-E3 induced the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) by promoting the nuclear translocation and transactivation of Nrf2. Taken together, these results suggest that SC-E3 has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and that these effects are due to the inhibitions of NF-κB and MAPK and the induction of Nrf2-mediated HO-1 expression in macrophages. These findings provide scientific evidence supporting the potential use of SC-E3 for the treatment and prevention of various inflammatory diseases.