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Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Mar 15;28(6):999-1004.

Dimerumic acid as an antioxidant of the mold, Monascus anka.

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Laboratory of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.


We previously reported that the mold Monascus anka, traditionally used for fermentation of food, showed antioxidant and hepatoprotective actions against chemically induced liver injuries. In the present study, the antioxidant component of M. anka was isolated and identified. The antioxidant was elucidated to be dimerumic acid. DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical was significantly scavenged by the antioxidant whereas hydroxyl radical and superoxide anion were moderately scavenged. When the antioxidant (12 mg/kg) was given to mice prior to carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4), 20 microl/kg, ip) treatment, the CCl(4)-induced liver toxicity in mice seen in an elevation of serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase activities was depressed, suggesting the hepatoprotective action of the antioxidant. The liver microsomal glutathione S-transferase activity, which is known to be activated by oxidative stress or active metabolites, was increased by CCl(4) treatment and the increase was also depressed by pretreatment with the mold antioxidant. Thus these data confirmed that the dimerumic acid isolated from M. anka is the potential antioxidant and protective against CCl(4)-induced liver injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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