The effect of butyrate, a natural bacterial product of colonic bacterial flora, on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production in RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells was studied. Butyrate significantly reduced NO production in LPS-stimulated RAW cells. The inhibition was abolished by the removal of butyrate. Butyrate also inhibited the expression of inducible type NO synthase (iNOS) in LPS-stimulated RAW cells. Furthermore, butyrate prevented the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB through the stabilization of IκB-α and IκB-β. Butyrate did not affect the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases by LPS. It was, therefore, suggested that butyrate down-regulated LPS-induced NO production in RAW cells through preventing the expression of iNOS, and that it was due to the inhibitory action of butyrate on the activation of NF-κB.
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