The nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) which was initially known for its role in the repair of oxidative stress-induced DNA damage, has also been reported to play a mediating role in the inflammatory response. Studies with PARP-1 knockout models have shown that PARP-1 is a co-activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB), although this appears not to require its enzyme activity. In addition, drug-induced inhibition of the enzyme activity of PARP-1 was observed to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory mediators. In this study, the flavonoid compound flavone was demonstrated to significantly inhibit the enzyme activity of PARP-1. Further evaluation of flavone in N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG)-treated human pulmonary epithelial and vascular endothelial cells revealed that both the decrease in NAD(+) levels, as well as the formation of PAR-polymers was dose-dependently attenuated by flavone. In addition, flavone was found to reduce the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced interleukin (IL)-8 production in pulmonary epithelial cells, which was confirmed by transcription analysis. Furthermore, the transcription Inhibitor kappa B alpha (of IkappaBalpha) was significantly increased by flavone. The results of the present study indicate that the flavonoid flavone could be a potential candidate for application in treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. PARP-1 inhibition could have beneficial effects in such diseases as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and diabetes, by preservation of cellular NAD(+) levels and attenuating inflammatory conditions.