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J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Jan;47(1):333-9.

Identification of coumarins from the fruit of Citrus hystrix DC as inhibitors of nitric oxide generation in mouse macrophage RAW 264.7 cells.

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Department of Biotechnological Science, Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, Kinki University, Iwade-Uchita, Wakayama 649-6493, Japan.


Three known coumarins have been isolated from Citrus hystrix DC as inhibitors of both lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-induced nitric oxide (NO) generation in RAW 264.7 cells. The inhibitory activity of bergamottin (IC(50) = 14 microM) was comparable to that of N-(iminoethyl)-L-ornithine (L-NIO) (IC(50) = 7. 9 microM), whereas oxypeucedanin and 5-[(6',7'-dihydroxy-3', 7'-dimethyl-2-octenyl)oxy]psoralen, structurally different from bergamottin only in their side-chain moieties, were notably less active. Using 21 coumarins, we structurally classified various types of coumarins into groups A-C: (A) bearing an isoprenyl (IP) or a geranyl (GR) group, highly active; (B) bearing an IP group cyclized to a coumarin ring, moderately active; (C) bearing an IP group modified with hydroxyl group(s) and/or having other functional groups except for the IP, completely inactive. Cellular uptake studies suggested that coumarins in group C are inactive because of poor permeability to the cell membrane.

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