Arctigenin exerts anti-colitis efficacy through inhibiting the differentiation of Th1 and Th17 cells via an mTORC1-dependent pathway.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2015 Aug 15 ;96(4):323-36. Epub 2015 Jun 11. PMID: 26074264
Arctigenin, the main effective constituent of Arctium lappa L. fruit, has previously been proven to dramatically attenuate dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, a frequently used animal model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As Th1 and Th17 cells play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of IBD, the present study addressed whether and how arctigenin exerted anti-colitis efficacy by interfering with the differentiation and activation of Th1/Th17 cells. In vitro, arctigenin was shown to markedly inhibit the differentiation of Th17 cells from naïve T cells, and moderately inhibit the differentiation of Th1 cells, which was accompanied by lowered phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT4, respectively. In contrast, arctigenin was lack of marked effect on the differentiation of either Th2 or regulatory T cells. Furthermore, arctigenin was shown tosuppress the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway in T cells as demonstrated by down-regulated phosphorylation of the downstream target genes p70S6K and RPS6, and it functioned independent of two well-known upstream kinases PI3K/AKT and ERK. Arctigenin was also able to inhibit the activity of mTORC1 by dissociating raptor from mTOR. Interestingly, the inhibitory effect of arctigenin on T cell differentiation disappeared under a status of mTORC1 overactivation via knockdown of tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2, a negative regulator of mTORC1) or pretreatment of leucine (anagonist of mTOR). In DSS-induced mice, the inhibition of Th1/Th17 responses and anti-colitis effect of arctigenin were abrogated by leucine treatment. In conclusion, arctigenin ameliorates colitis through down-regulating the differentiation of Th1 and Th17 cells via mTORC1 pathway.