Molecular & Cellular Toxicology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 93–102 | Cite as

Anti-inflammatory effect of Chunkoongkeigi-tang on IL-1β-induced inflamed A549 by the inhibition of COX-2 expression

  • Eun-Jin An
  • Kwanil KimEmail author
  • Daeho KwonEmail author
  • Hyeung-Jin JangEmail author
Original Paper



Inflammatory lung disease can arise due to the immoderate expression of pro-inflammatory genes and the disharmony of complex cytokines. Chunkoongkeigi-tang (CKT) has been prescribed to patients with asthmatic symptoms in herbal medicine clinics. However, the effects of CKT on the inflamed human lung cell line A549 have yet to be revealed. Thus we investigate whether CKT can suppress inflammatory response on interleukin 1β (IL-1β)-induced inflamed A549.


In an effort to understand the inhibitory activity of CKT on inflamed A549, we use IL-1β to induce inflammatory gene COX-2 expressions on A549. Inhibition of COX-2 expression and inflammatory cytokine secretion through blocking mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and transcriptional nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activity was confimed by western blot and real-time PCR. Compounds in CKT were identified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).


CKT inhibited increased COX-2 in an IL-1β-induced inflammatory state of A549. We confirmed that CKT regulated the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and transcriptional nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). Additionally, a suppressive effect of CKT on the mRNA expression levels of cytokine-related asthma ((IL-5, IL-6, IL-17 and TNF-α) was noted in IL-1β-induced inflamed A549. According to LC-MS analysis, we identified several components in CKT which can be expected to be the active compounds of the anti-inflammatory effect of CKT.


We verify the anti-inflammatory effect of CKT via the reduction of the IL-1β-induced increased COX-2 expression through the MAPK and NF-κB pathways, suggesting useful anti-asthmatic potential by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines, especially in patients with asthma.


Chunkoong-keigitang (CKT) Inflammatory lung diesases COX-2 MAPK NF-κB Pro-inflammatory cytokines Asthma 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Toxicogenomics and Toxicoproteomics and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Korean MedicineKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Science in Korean Medicine, Graduate SchoolKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Division of Allergy, Immune and Respiratory System, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Korean MedicineKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of MicrobiologyCatholic Kwandong University, College of MedicineGangneungRepublic of Korea

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