Lipoic Acid Reduces Inflammation by Turning Down NF-kappaB
The therapeutic effects of alpha-lipoic acid (alpha-LA) via NF-kappa B down regulation were demonstrated on joint inflammation and erosion in an animal model. In this study, we investigated how alpha-LA inhibits the pathway of NF-kappa B activation by TNF-alpha via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synovial cells (FLS). FLS were stimulated with TNF-alpha following pre-treatment with or without alpha-LA. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) revealed that TNF-alpha activates NF-kappa B in FLS. This was inhibited by alpha-LA at concentrations of 1 mM. TNF-alpha induced IKK mediated phosphorylation of GST-I kappa B and pre-treatment with alpha-LA inhibited this pathway. FLS constitutively express MEKK1, MEKK2, MEKK3, and TAK1 and that their levels are unaffected by TNF-alpha or alpha-LA. Immunoprecipitation using anti-MEKK1 antibody phosphorylated GST-I kappa B and pre-treating the cells with alpha-LA could abolish the reaction. FLS were immunoprecipitated using an antibody to MEKK1, and MKK4 was coprecipitated with MEKK1. In addition, immune complexes precipitated with anti-MKK4 antibody phosphorylated GST-I kappa B, and pre-treatment with alpha-LA inhibited the phosphorylation. Immunoprecipitation assay showed that MEKK1, MKK4, IKK-alpha, IKK-beta, I kappa B, and NF-kappa B comprised immunocomplex. It can be concluded that TNF-alpha activates NF-kappa B in FLS through MEKK1-MKK4-IKK signaling complex, and alpha-LA inhibits this signaling at the level of or upstream of IKK-alpha and IKK-beta.
Lee CK, Lee EY, Kim YG, Mun SH, Moon HB, Yoo B. Alpha-lipoic acid inhibits TNF-alpha induced NF-kappa B activation through blocking of MEKK1-MKK4-IKK signaling cascades. Int Immunopharmacol. 2008 February Division of Allergy and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.