Therapeutic effects of shikonin on adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats and cellular inflammation, migration and invasion of rheumatoid fibroblast-like synoviocytes via blocking the activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway

pubmed: wnt1 2023-06-01

Phytomedicine. 2023 May 3;116:154857. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2023.154857. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Shikonin (SKN), the main bioactive component isolated from Lithospermum erythrorhizon Sieb et Zucc, has multiple activities including anti-rheumatic effect, but its specific roles and the precise mechanisms in regulating biological properties of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) are unclear and need further clarification.

PURPOSE: This study explored the therapeutic roles of SKN on rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) and cellular inflammation, migration and invasion of TNF-α-induced RA FLS (MH7A cells), and further demonstrated the involved mechanisms.

METHODS: SKN was intraperitoneally given to AIA rats and its therapeutic role was valued. The effects of SKN in vivo and in vitro on the production of pro-inflammatory factors were examined by ELISA and western blot. Wound-healing, transwell and phalloidin staining assay were carried out to evaluate the effects of SKN on TNF-α-induced migration and invasion in RA FLS. The involvement of Wnt/β-catenin pathway was checked by immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence assay for β-catenin and western blot for pathway-related proteins.

RESULTS: SKN treatment in AIA rats reduced paw swelling, arthritis index and pathological damage of ankle joints, indicating its anti-arthritic effect in vivo. SKN had anti-inflammatory roles in vivo and in vitro, evidenced by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory factors (like IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, MMP-2 and MMP-9) in sera and synovium of AIA rats, and in TNF-α-induced MH7A cells. Gelatin zymography result revealed the suppression of SKN on TNF-α-induced MMP-2 activity in vitro. Moreover, SKN inhibited TNF-α-induced migration, invasion and cytoskeletal reorganization in MH7A cells. Mechanistically, SKN suppressed the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in AIA rat synovium and in TNF-α-induced MH7A cells, indicated by the reduced protein levels of Wnt1, p-GSK-3β (Ser9) and β-catenin, the raised protein level of GSK-3β and the decreased nuclear translocation of β-catenin. Interestingly, the combination of LiCl (Wnt/β-catenin agonist) canceled the therapeutic functions of SKN on cellular inflammation, migration and invasion in TNF-α-induced MH7A cells, whereas XAV939 (Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor) enhanced the therapeutic roles of SKN.

CONCLUSION: SKN showed therapeutic effects on rat AIA and cellular inflammation, migration and invasion of TNF-α-stimulated RA FLS via interrupting Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

PMID:37163904 | DOI:10.1016/j.phymed.2023.154857