Anti-Neuroinflammatory Effects of Vanillin Through the Regulation of Inflammatory Factors and NF-κB Signaling in LPS-Stimulated Microglia

  • Mi Eun Kim
  • Ju Yong Na
  • Yong-Duk Park
  • Jun Sik Lee


Microglia, resident macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS), is responsible for immune responses and homeostasis of the CNS. Microglia plays a complex role in neuroinflammation, which has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, therapeutic agents that suppress the microglia-mediated inflammatory response could potentially be used in the prevention or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Vanillin, a primary component of vanilla bean extract, has anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antitumor properties. However, the effects of vanillin on the anti-neuroinflammatory responses of microglial cells are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which vanillin induces anti-neuroinflammatory responses in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BV-2 microglial cells. We found that vanillin significantly decreased the production of nitric oxide and pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Vanillin also reduced the protein levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), as well as the mRNA expression levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6. Moreover, vanillin inhibited the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB. Collectively, these results suggest that vanillin has anti-neuroinflammatory properties and may act as a natural therapeutic agent for neuroinflammatory diseases.


Microglia Vanillin Anti-neuroinflammation 


Funding Information

This research was supported by a grant from Marine Biotechnology Program (PJT200669) funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (NRF-2017R1D1A1B03034673), Korea.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life Science, Immunology Research Lab, BK21-plus Research Team for Bioactive Control Technology, College of Natural SciencesChosun UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Djkunghee Hospital, Department of Preventive and Society Dentistry, School of DentistryKyung Hee UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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