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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 8246420, 10 pages
Research Article

Astilbin from Smilax glabra Roxb. Attenuates Inflammatory Responses in Complete Freund’s Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis Rats

1School of Pharmacy, Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guiyang 550002, China
2Center of Miao Medicine Engineering Technology, Guiyang 550002, China
3School of Public Health, Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, Ministry of Education, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
4Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA
5School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to Jinqiu Zhu; ude.olaffub@hzuiqnij and Xiaoyu Chen; kh.ude.ubkh.efil@25466401

Received 7 May 2017; Revised 22 June 2017; Accepted 9 July 2017; Published 22 August 2017

Academic Editor: Subash C. Gupta

Copyright © 2017 Lisha Dong 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.


Astilbin, a flavonoid compound, was isolated from the rhizome of Smilax glabra Roxb. (with red cross-section) grown in Guizhou Province, China. We accessed its effect and potential mechanism on attenuation of the inflammatory response in CFA-induced AA rats. Our results showed that daily oral administration of astilbin at 5.3 mg/kg reduced joint damage in the hind paw of AA rats. Accordingly, astilbin exhibited remarkable inhibitory effects on TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 mRNA expression. Significant decrease of serum cytokine levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 was also observed in astilbin-treated AA rats compared to the vehicle-treated AA rats. The reduced expression of these cytokines was associated with protein activity suppression of three key molecular targets in the pathogenesis of RA, including IKKβ, NF-κB p65 subunit, and TLR adaptor MyD88. Furthermore, the therapeutic effects of astilbin on the inhibition of cytokines production as well as the reduction of inflammatory response in AA rats are close to a commonly used antirheumatic drug, leflunomide. Collectively, our data suggest that the action mechanism of astilbin, as an anti-inflammatory agent for RA treatment, is associated with modulating the production of proinflammatory cytokines and inhibiting the expression of key elements in NF-κB signaling pathway mediated by TLR.