Extracts from Dendropanax morbifera Leaves Have Modulatory Effects on Neuroinflammation in Microglia

Hyun Jung Shim, Sinwoo Park, Ji Won Lee, Hye Jin Park, Seung Hoon Baek, Eun Kyoung Kim, Seong Woon Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Dendropanax morbifera (D. morbifera), a species endemic to Korea, is largely distributed throughout the southern part of the country. Its leaves, stems, roots, and seeds have been used as a form of alternative medicine for various diseases and neurological disorders including paralysis, stroke, and migraine. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the remedial effects of D. morbifera remain largely unknown. In this paper, extracts from D. morbifera leaves were prepared using ethyl acetate as a solvent (abbreviated as DMLE). The modulatory effects of DMLE on neuroinflammation were studied in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BV2 murine microglial cell line. Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and different M1/M2 activation states of microglia were examined. DMLE treatment suppressed the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and nitric oxide (NO) in LPS-stimulated BV2 cells. DMLE treatment also attenuated the activation of MAPKs and NF-κB. In a novel discovery, we found that DMLE up-regulated the marker genes representing an alternative, anti-inflammatory M2 polarization, while suppressing the expression of the classical, pro-inflammatory M1 activation state genes. Here, we uncovered the cellular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of D. morbifera against neuroinflammation using BV2 microglia cells. These results strongly suggest that DMLE was able to counter the effects of LPS on BV2 cells via control of microglia polarization states. Additionally, study results indicated that DMLE may have therapeutic potential as a neuroinflammation-suppressing treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendropanax morbifera
  • M2 Polarization
  • Microglia
  • Neuroinflammation
  • NF-κ B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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