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Arctigenin Suppress Th17 Cells and Ameliorates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Through AMPK and PPAR-/ROR-t Signaling

Li, W;Zhang, Z;Zhang, K;Xue, Z;Li, Y;Zhang, Z;Zhang, L;Gu, C;Zhang, Q;Hao, J;Da, Y;Yao, Z;Kong, Y;Zhang, R;

Arctigenin is a herb compound extract from Arctium lappa and is reported to exhibit pharmacological properties, including neuronal protection and antidiabetic, antitumor, and antioxidant properties. However, the effects of arctigenin on autoimmune inflammatory diseases of the CNS, multiple sclerosis (MS), and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) are still unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that arctigenin-treated mice are resistant to EAE; the clinical scores of arctigenin-treated mice are significantly reduced. Histochemical assays of spinal cord sections also showed that arctigenin reduces inflammation and demyelination in mice with EAE. Furthermore, the Th1 and Th17 cells in peripheral immune organs are inhibited by arctigenin in vivo. In addition, the Th1 cytokine IFN- and transcription factor T-bet, as well as the Th17 cytokines IL-17A, IL-17F, and transcription factor ROR-t are significantly suppressed upon arctigenin treatment in vitro and in vivo. Interestedly, Th17 cells are obviously inhibited in CNS of mice with EAE, while Th1 cells do not significantly change. Besides, arctigenin significantly restrains the differentiation of Th17 cells. We further demonstrate that arctigenin activates AMPK and inhibits phosphorylated p38, in addition, upregulates PPAR-, and finally suppresses ROR-t. These findings suggest that arctigenin may have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties via inhibiting Th17 cells, indicating that it could be a potential therapeutic drug for multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune inflammatory diseases.