Anti-inflammatory effect of roasted licorice extracts on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in murine macrophages.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jul 7;345(3):1215-23. Epub 2006 May 15. PMID: 16716255
Licorice, the roots of Glycyrrhiza inflata, is used by practitioners of alternative medicine to treat individuals with gastric or duodenal ulcers, bronchitis, cough, arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, and allergies. We investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of 4 licorice extracts: extracts of roasted licorice obtained by ethanol (rLE) or water extraction (rLW) and extracts of raw licorice obtained by ethanol (LE) or water extraction (LW). rLE demonstrated strong anti-inflammatory activity through its ability to reduce nitric oxide and prostaglandin E(2) production in the LPS-stimulated mouse macrophage cell, RAW264.7. It also inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and CD14 expression on the LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Further study indicated that LPS-induced degradation and phosphorylation of Ikappa-Balpha, along with DNA-binding of NF-kappaB, was significantly inhibited by rLE exposure in RAW264.7 cells. In the murine model, we found that in vivo exposure to rLE-induced an increase in the survival rate, reduced plasma levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6, and increased IL-10 production in LPS-treated mice. Collectively, these data suggest that the use of rLE may be a useful therapeutic approach to various inflammatory diseases.