Anti-inflammatory effects of anethole in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury in mice

Purum Kang, Ka Young Kim, Hui Su Lee, Sun Seek Min, Geun Hee Seol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Aims Anethole, the major component of the essential oil of star anise, has been reported to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic properties. In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of anethole in a mouse model of acute lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Main methods BALB/C mice were intraperitoneally administered anethole (62.5, 125, 250, or 500 mg/kg) 1 h before intratracheal treatment with LPS (1.5 mg/kg) and sacrificed after 4 h. The anti-inflammatory effects of anethole were assessed by measuring total protein and cell levels and inflammatory mediator production and by histological evaluation and Western blot analysis. Key findings LPS significantly increased total protein levels; numbers of total cells, including macrophages and neutrophils; and the production of inflammatory mediators such as matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and nitric oxide (NO) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Anethole (250 mg/kg) decreased total protein concentrations; numbers of inflammatory cells, including neutrophils and macrophages; and the inflammatory mediators MMP-9, TNF-α and NO. In addition, pretreatment with anethole decreased LPS-induced histopathological changes. The anti-inflammatory mechanism of anethole in LPS-induced acute lung injury was assessed by investigating the effects of anethole on NF-κB activation. Anethole suppressed the activation of NF-κB by blocking IκB-α degradation. Significance These results, showing that anethole prevents LPS-induced acute lung inflammation in mice, suggest that anethole may be therapeutically effective in inflammatory conditions in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-961
Number of pages7
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No. 2012007145 ) and a Korea University Grant (2012) .


  • Acute lung injury
  • Anethole
  • LPS
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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