Anti-inflammatory activities of Sigesbeckia glabrescens Makino: Combined in vitro and in silico investigations

Zhangfeng Zhong, Qianru Zhang, Hongxun Tao, Wei Sang, Liao Cui, Wenan Qiang, Wai San Cheang, Yuanjia Hu*, Hua Yu, Yitao Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Sigesbeckia glabrescens Makino (SG) is one of the important plant origins of Sigesbeckiae herba and has been widely used for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases in China. However, the underlying anti-inflammatory mechanism of SG is rarely investigated and reported. There are more than 40 kinds of chemical constituents in SG, but the action of the bioactive compounds of SG is still unclear. Therefore, we aimed to systemically investigate the mechanisms behind the anti-inflammatory properties of SG by combining in vitro and in silico investigations. Methods: Cytotoxicity was measured using the 3-[4,5-dimethyl-2-Thiazolyl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays. Nitric oxide (NO) release was detected using the Griess assay. The secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the expression of relevant proteins were assessed using ELISA kits and Western blots, respectively. Molecular docking was performed and scored using AutoDock via a comparison with the molecular docking of N-Acetyl-d-glucosamine (NAG). Results: In lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-stimulated macrophages, SG significantly inhibited NO, MCP-1, and IL-6 secretion; iNOS expression; and NF-κB activation but did not significantly affect MAPK signalling (p38, ERK, and JNK). Moreover, the results from the molecular docking prediction suggested that over 10 compounds in SG could likely target TLR4, p105, and p65. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of SG are highly related to the inactivation of NF-κB. Moreover, this study provides a novel approach to investigate the effects of herbal medicine using combined in vitro and in silico investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalChinese Medicine (United Kingdom)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 23 2019


  • Docking
  • Inflammation
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • NF-κB
  • Sigesbeckia glabrescens Makino
  • TLR4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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