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J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jul 30;148(3):980-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.008. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Comparative biological study of roots, stems, leaves, and seeds of Angelica shikokiana Makino.

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  • 1Division of Systematic Forest and Forest Products Sciences, Department of agro-environmental sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate School of Kyushu University, 812-8581, Japan.



Angelica shikokiana has been used as a health food for its anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiallergic, and blood vessel dilating effects in Japan. It can also be used to prevent and treat hepatitis, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and arteriosclerosis.


The present study was designed to compare the biological activities such as melanin synthesis inhibitory, anti-allergy, anti-lipase, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and neuroprotective activities of different parts of the plant that may justify the use of this plant in folk medicine.


The roots, stems, leaves and, seeds of Angelica shikokiana were separately extracted with water and ethanol. Each extract was examined for melanin synthesis inhibitory and anti-allergy activity on B16-melanoma and RBL-2H3 cells using IgE and A23187 as a stimulant for β-hexosaminidase release, respectively. We also evaluated the inhibition of two enzymes, lipase and acetylcholine esterase, and of the bacterial growth of two species, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureaus. The anti-oxidant activity was determined using oxygen radical anti-oxidant capacity, ORAC assay and its relation to the phenolic content was estimated using the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Besides, the protective effect of the extracts against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in mouse neuroblastoma, Neuro-2A cells was investigated.


The most active extract exhibiting melanin synthesis inhibition (63%) and at the same time with low cytotoxicity (15%) was the ethanol extract of roots at 20 µg/ml, followed by the ethanol extract of stems (57% inhibition, 5% cytotoxicity). On the other hand, the highest inhibitions of β-hexosaminidase release were recorded for the ethanol extract of leaves with IC50 value of 6.89 µg/ml followed by the water extract of the seeds and leaves with IC50 value of 78.32 and 88.44 µg/ml, respectively. For anti-lipase assay, ethanol extracts of the stems and roots showed the strongest inhibition with IC50 values of 204.06 and 216.24 µg/ml, respectively. None of the examined extracts showed any activity against Escherichia coli. while the ethanol extract of the roots and stems showed moderate inhibition for Staphylococcus aureus with minimum inhibitory concentration of 400 µg/ml. Ethanol extract of the roots showed only 30% inhibition of acetylcholine esterase enzyme. The results of anti-oxidant, phenolic content and protective effect against H2O2-induced cytotoxicity assays showed highly correlated data. Ethanol extract of the stems (ORAC value of 1.08 µmol Trolox/mg and phenolic content 44.25 μg GAE/mg) increased the cell viability of H2O2-treated Neuro-2A cells by 28%.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


2,4-dinitrophenylated bovine serum albumin; 5,5-dithiobis[2-nitrobenzoic acid]; 6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid; AAPH; AChE; AChEI; Angelica shikokiana; Anti-allergy; Anti-lipase; Anti-oxidant; DNP-BSA; DTNB; EMEM; Eagle's minimal essential medium; FBS; LE; LW; MTT; Melanin synthesis inhibitory; Neuro-2A; Neuroprotective; PBS; RBL; RE; RW; SE; STW; SW, water extract of seeds. STE; Trolox; [2,2′-azobis(2-amidino-propan) dihydrochloride]; acetylcholine esterase; acetylcholine esterase inhibitory; anti DNB; ethanol extract of leaves; ethanol extract of seeds; ethanol extract of stems; ethanol extract of the roots; fetal bovine serum; monoclonal anti-dinitrophenyl antibody; mouse neuroblastoma; phosphate-buffered saline; rat basophilic leukemia; thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide; water extract extract of roots; water extract extracts of leaves; water extract of stems

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