Dihydropyrazines (DHPs), including 3-hydro-2,2,5,6-tetramethylpyrazine (DHP-3), are glycation products that are spontaneously generated in vivo and ingested via food. DHPs generate various radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can induce the expression of several antioxidant genes in HepG2 cells. However, detailed information on DHP-response pathways remains elusive. To address this issue, we investigated the effects of DHP-3 on the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway, a ROS-sensi-tive signaling pathway. In lipopolysaccharide-stimulated (LPS-stimulated) HepG2 cells, DHP-3 decreased phosphorylation levels of inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) and NF-κB p65, and nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65. In addition, DHP-3 reduced the expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and the adaptor protein myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88). Moreover, DHP-3 suppressed the mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Taken together, these results suggest that DHP-3 acts as a negative regulator of the TLR4-MyD88-mediated NF-κB signaling pathway.
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