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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Jan;69(1):1-6.

Coumarin and flavone derivatives from estragon and thyme as inhibitors of chemical mediator release from RBL-2H3 Cells.

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National Food Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan.


Estragon and thyme extracts showed potent inhibitory activities against chemical mediator release from rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cells. 7-Methoxycoumarin was isolated from estragon, and 5,4'-dihydroxy-6,7,3'-trimethoxyflavone, 5,4'-dihydroxy-6,7,8,3'-tetramethoxyflavone, 5-hydroxy-6,7,8,3',4'-pentamethoxyflavone and luteolin were isolated from thyme as active components. Structure-activity relationship studies among the active isolates and their related compounds indicated that the oxygen-containing functional group at the 7-position of the coumarin structure was advantageous for the inhibitory activity and that methylation of the hydroxyl group at the 4'-position of the flavone structure was disadvantageous. It was also found that coumarin derivatives inhibited an earlier step than intracellular calcium release and proteinkinase C activation, while flavones inhibited a later step or both earlier and later steps.

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