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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1903849, 12 pages
Research Article

Anti-Inflammatory and Antinociceptive Activities of Anthraquinone-2-Carboxylic Acid

1Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea
2Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 158-710, Republic of Korea
3Colorectal Cancer Branch, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang 410-769, Republic of Korea
4Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Biosafety Research Institute, Chonbuk National University, Iksan 54596, Republic of Korea

Received 2 September 2015; Revised 10 November 2015; Accepted 23 November 2015

Academic Editor: Alex Kleinjan

Copyright © 2016 Jae Gwang Park 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.


Anthraquinone compounds are one of the abundant polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. However, the in vivo anti-inflammatory activity and molecular mechanisms of anthraquinones have not been fully elucidated. We investigated the activity of anthraquinones using acute inflammatory and nociceptive experimental conditions. Anthraquinone-2-carboxylic acid (9,10-dihydro-9,10-dioxo-2-anthracenecarboxylic acid, AQCA), one of the major anthraquinones identified from Brazilian taheebo, ameliorated various inflammatory and algesic symptoms in EtOH/HCl- and acetylsalicylic acid- (ASA-) induced gastritis, arachidonic acid-induced edema, and acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing without displaying toxic profiles in body and organ weight, gastric irritation, or serum parameters. In addition, AQCA suppressed the expression of inflammatory genes such as cyclooxygenase- (COX-) 2 in stomach tissues and lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) treated RAW264.7 cells. According to reporter gene assay and immunoblotting analyses, AQCA inhibited activation of the nuclear factor- (NF-) κB and activator protein- (AP-) 1 pathways by suppression of upstream signaling involving interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK1), p38, Src, and spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk). Our data strongly suggest that anthraquinones such as AQCA act as potent anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive components in vivo, thus contributing to the immune regulatory role of fruits and herbs.