Aloe, a polyphenolic anthranoid-containing Aloe vera leaves, is a Chinese medicine and a popular dietary supplement worldwide. In in vivo situations, polyphenolic anthranoids are extensively broken down into glucuronides and sulfate metabolites by the gut and the liver. The anti-inflammatory potential of aloe metabolites has not been examined. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of aloe metabolites from in vitro (lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-Activated RAW264.7 macrophages) and ex vivo (LPS-Activated peritoneal macrophages) to in vivo (LPS-induced septic mice). The production of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-12) and NO was determined by ELISA and Griess reagents, respectively. The expression levels of iNOS and MAPKs were analyzed by Western blot. Our results showed that aloe metabolites inhibited the expression of iNOS, decreased the production of TNF-α, IL-12, and NO, and suppressed the phosphorylation of MAPKs by LPS-Activated RAW264.7 macrophages. In addition, aloe metabolites reduced the production of NO, TNF-α and IL-12 by murine peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, aloe administration significantly reduced the NO level and exhibited protective effects against sepsis-related death in LPS-induced septic mice. These results suggest that aloe metabolites exerted anti-inflammatory effects in vivo, and that these effects were associated with the inhibition of inflammatory mediators. Therefore, aloe could be considered an effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of sepsis.
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