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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 9640869, 10 pages
Research Article

Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] Genotypes with Contrasting Polyphenol Compositions Differentially Modulate Inflammatory Cytokines in Mouse Macrophages

1Department of Human Nutrition, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66503, USA
2Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Received 4 March 2016; Revised 7 June 2016; Accepted 21 June 2016

Academic Editor: Thaila C. Putarov

Copyright © 2016 Davina H. Rhodes and Stephen Kresovich. 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.


This study sought to characterize and compare anti-inflammatory effects of twenty sorghum accessions with contrasting grain polyphenol concentrations but similar genetic backgrounds (based on a genomewide estimate of relatedness). Cell viability, tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, and interleukin- (IL-) 6 were measured in RAW 264.7 macrophages treated with increasing doses (0, 15, 30, and 60 μg/mL) of sorghum ethanol extracts and stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Extract dose had a significant effect on TNF-α and IL-6, with a trend of cytokines decreasing between 0 μg/mL and 15 μg/mL of sorghum extract. Genotype also had a significant effect on the cytokines, with extracts from four accessions significantly decreasing TNF-α and/or IL-6. Cells treated with 3-deoxyanthocyanidin-containing accessions had less cytokine production than non-3-deoxyanthocyanidin accessions, whereas cells treated with proanthocyanidin-containing accessions had more cytokine production than cells treated with nonproanthocyanidin accessions. Additionally, there was a significant effect of the Tannin1 allele on TNF-α and IL-6. Our results demonstrate that sorghum genotypes differentially modulate induction of inflammatory cytokine production in RAW 264.7 macrophages and that specialty grain has the potential to be tailored by controlling traits at the nucleotide level. This study adds to our knowledge of sorghum health effects and contributes to efforts aimed at developing health-promoting sorghum grain.