Dangkwisoo-san, an herbal medicinal formula, ameliorates acute lung inflammation via activation of Nrf2 and suppression of NF-κB

Ji Hyo Lyu, Kyun Ha Kim, Hyung Woo Kim, Su In Cho, Ki Tae Ha, Jun Yong Choi, Chang Woo Han, Han Sol Jeong, Hyeong Kyu Lee, Kyung Seop Ahn, Sei Ryang Oh, Ruxana T. Sadikot, John W. Christman, Myungsoo Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Dangkwisoo-san (DS), an herbal medicinal formula, has long been used in Korea for the treatment of inflammatory complications caused by physical trauma. Although the therapeutic effect of DS is likely associated with anti-inflammatory activity, the precise underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Here we sought to elucidate the possible mechanisms of anti-inflammatory activity of DS. Materials and methods: The water extract of DS was orally fed to C57BL/6 mice for 14 days prior to LPS intranasal instillation for lung inflammation. The effects of DS on lung inflammation were determined by differential cell counting, lung histology, and semi-quantitative RT-PCR of lung sections. The effects of DS on the activities of Nrf2 and NF-κB were assessed by western blotting, semi-quantitative RT-PCR, and luciferase reporter assays in RAW 264.7, an NF-κB reporter cell line, and HEK 293 transfected with an NF-κB reporter construct. Results: Mice that were treated with a water extract of DS showed significant attenuation of lung inflammation induced by intranasal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) compared to control mice treated with vehicle. In vitro experiments show that DS activated Nrf2, an anti-oxidant transcription factor that protects from various inflammatory diseases, and induced Nrf2-regulated genes including GCLC, NQO-1 and HO-1. In addition, DS suppressed NF-κB activity and reduced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Transfection experiment indicates that inhibition of NF-κB likely occurred upstream of IKK complex. Furthermore, DS enhanced the expression of HO-1 and suppressed that of IL-1β and TNF-α in inflamed mouse lungs. Conclusions: These results suggest that the therapeutic effects of DS are related with suppression of inflammation, which is, at least in part, mediated by activation of anti-inflammatory factor Nrf2 and inhibition of pro-inflammatory factor NF-κB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-116
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 6 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute lung inflammation
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Dangkwisoo-san
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • NF-κB
  • Nrf2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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