Triptolide inhibits TNF-α, IL-Iβ and NO production in primary microglial cultures

Hui Fang Zhou, Dong Bin Niu, Bing Xue, Feng Qiao Li, Xian Yu Liu, Qi Hua He, Xin Hong Wang, Xiao Min Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Microglia are believed to participate in the mediation of neuro-degeneration through producing a variety of cytotoxic factors upon activation. Pharmacological intervention in microglial activation may therefore exert a neuroprotective effect. In exploring pharmacological agents that can affect microglial activation, we found in this study that triptolide possesses a powerful inhibitory influence over microglia. Pretreatment with triptolide was able to dose-dependently reduce the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitrite accumulation and tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-Iβ release from LPS-activated microglia as revealed by Griess reaction and ELISA, respectively. Triptolide reduced LPS-stimulated mRNA expression of all three inflammatory factors. The results obtained from this study demonstrate that triptolide can inhibit inflammatory responses of microglia to inflammatory stimulation via a mechanism involving the inhibition of the synthesis and release of inflammatory factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1095
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2003


  • Inflammation
  • Microglia
  • Neuroprotection
  • Nitric oxide
  • Proinflammatory cytokines
  • Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F.
  • Triptolide


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