To investigate the therapeutic potential of naturally occurring cinnamophilin against cartilage degradation and its action mechanisms, its effects on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and -13 induction were examined in the human SW1353 chondrocytic cell line. Human chondrocytes (SW1353) were stimulated with interleukin (IL)-1β, and then mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-Jun activations, inhibitory κB-α (IκB-α) degradation, and MMP-1, and 13 expressions were assayed by a Western blot analysis. Cinnamophilin strongly inhibited MMP-1 and -13 induction in IL-1β-treated (30 ng/mL) SW1353 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, and it also reduced MAPK family members including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38 MAPKs, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Moreover, nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling activation through IκB-α degradation, IκB kinase (IKK)-α/β, and p-65 phosphorylation was restored by cinnamophilin upon IL-1β stimulation. Importantly, results showed that IL-1β-induced activation of phosphorylated (p)-c-Jun in chondrocytes was significantly inhibited by cinnamophilin. These results indicate that cinnamophilin inhibited MMP-1 and -13 expressions in IL-1β-treated chondrocytes through either NF-κB or ERK/p38 MAPK downregulation and/or suppressing p-c-Jun pathways. Furthermore, these findings suggest that cinnamophilin may have the potential for chondroprotection against collagen matrix breakdown in cartilage of diseased tissues such as those found in arthritic disorders.
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