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Planta Med. 2013 Apr;79(6):471-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1328332. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Hydrolysis is the dominating in vivo metabolism pathway for arctigenin: identification of novel metabolites of arctigenin by LC/MS/MS after oral administration in rats.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, SAR.


The phenylpropanoid dibenzylbutyrolactone lignan arctigenin, a key component found in Arctium lappa, or burdock, has been reported with a variety of therapeutic effects including anticancer, anti-inflammation, and antivirus effects. Using LC/MS/MS, three novel metabolites of arctigenin, namely, arctigenic acid, arctigenin-4-O'-glucuronide, and 4-O-demethylarctigenin were identified after oral administration of arctigenin in rats for the first time. Another potential metabolite of arctigenin, arctigenin-4'-O-sulfate, was identified in vitro but not in vivo. Structure of arctigenic acid, the major metabolite of arctigenin, was confirmed by 13C-NMR and 1H-NMR. Rapid hydrolysis in plasma was identified as the major metabolic pathway of arctigenin after its oral administration, with Vmax, Km, and Clint in rat plasma determined to be 2.21 ± 0.12 nmol/min/mg, 89.12 ± 9.44 µM, and 24.74 µL/min/mg, respectively. Paraoxonase 1 was further confirmed to be the enzyme responsible for arctigenin hydrolysis, with Vmax, Km, and Clint determined to be 55.39 ± 1.49 nmol/min/mg, 300.3 ± 10.86 µM, and 184.45 µL/min/mg, respectively.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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