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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 183042, 11 pages
Research Article

p38/AP-1 Pathway in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Responses Is Negatively Modulated by Electrical Stimulation

1Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea
2College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Republic of Korea
3Research Institute, Human Nanoelectrotech Co. Ltd., Seoul 151-050, Republic of Korea

Received 3 February 2013; Accepted 15 March 2013

Academic Editor: Yves Denizot

Copyright © 2013 Deok Jeong 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.


Electrical stimulation with a weak current has been demonstrated to modulate various cellular and physiological responses, including the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and acute or chronic physical pain. Thus, a variety of investigations regarding the physiological role of nano- or microlevel currents at the cellular level are actively proceeding in the field of alternative medicine. In this study, we focused on the anti-inflammatory activity of aluminum-copper patches (ACPs) under macrophage-mediated inflammatory conditions. ACPs generated nanolevel currents ranging from 30 to 55 nA in solution conditions. Interestingly, the nanocurrent-generating aluminum-copper patches (NGACPs) were able to suppress both lipopolysaccharide-(LPS-) and pam3CSK-induced inflammatory responses such as NO and PGE2 production in both RAW264.7 cells and peritoneal macrophages at the transcriptional level. Through immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation analyses, we found that p38/AP-1 could be the major inhibitory pathway in the NGACP-mediated anti-inflammatory response. Indeed, inhibition of p38 by SB203580 showed similar inhibitory activity of the production of TNF-α and PGE2 and the expression of TNF-α and COX-2 mRNA. These results suggest that ACP-induced nanocurrents alter signal transduction pathways that are involved in the inflammatory response and could therefore be utilized in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and colitis.