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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 7, Issue 4, Pages 257-259

Effects of acanthoic acid on TNF-α gene expression and haptoglobin synthesis

Immune Cell Signal Transduction Research Unit and Natural Product Biosynthesis Research Unit Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, KIST, PO Box 115, Taejon Taejon, Korea

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a major proinflammatory cytokine inducing the synthesis and release of many inflammatory mediators. It is involved in immune regulation, autoim mune diseases, and inflammation. Our previous study demonstrated that acanthoic acid, (-)-pimara-9(11), 15-dien19-oic acid, a pimaradiene diterpene isolated from Acanth opanax koreanum, inhibited TNF-α production. To extend our understanding of inhibitory effects of acanthoic acid on TNF-α production, its effects on TNF-α gene expression was tested. Based on the results from RT-PCR and promoter analysis of TNF-α, it was found that acanthoic acid suppressed TNF-α gene expression. But the same concentration of acanthoic acid had no effect on IL-6 gene expression. Haptoglobin is an acute phase protein which is induced by TNF-α. When liver cells were treated with acanthoic acid, haptoglobin synthesis was blocked by acanthoic acid. These data confirmed that acanthoic acid inhibited gene expression and biological function of TNF-α.