Sepsis is a severe multisystem disease with high mortality rates and limited treatment options. However, advances during the last decade have opened opportunities to develop novel therapeutic strategies. The Notch signaling pathway plays a critical role in inflammation, and its inhibition offers an avenue to treat inflammatory diseases, such as sepsis. Asiatic acid (AA), a triterpenoid isolated from Centella asiatica, reportedly exerts anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory effects, but its mechanisms remain unclear. In our study, we found that AA decreased levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, alanine aminotransferase and blood urea nitrogen in serum; attenuated liver, lung and kidney damage; and improved the survival among mice with experimental sepsis. AA also reduced lipopolysaccharide-stimulated expression of proinflammatory mediators, including nitric oxide, IL-1β and IL-6 in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Notably, we demonstrated for the first time that AA is a novel small molecule inhibitor of the Notch signaling pathway. Its effects include upregulation of Notch receptor (Notch3) and delta-like ligand (DLL4), inhibition of Notch3 binding to the IL-6 promoter and regulation of mitochondrial function. These novel effects of AA may provide new approaches and strategies for the treatment of inflammatory disorders.
- 期刊：Oncotarget 9, 15036-15046 (2018)