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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2005 Jul;57(7):903-10.

Effects of phenylethanoid glycosides from Digitalis purpurea L. on the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase.

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Research Center for Resistant Cells and Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Dong-gu, Gwangju 501-759, South Korea.


We have isolated four different phenylethanoid glycosides (purpureaside A, desrhamnosyl acteoside, calceolarioside B and plantainoside D) from the leaves of Digitalis purpurea (foxglove). The effects of these glycosides on activator protein-1 (AP-1)-mediated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene expression in the Raw264.7 macrophage cell line have been studied. Of these four glycosides, purpureaside A potently inhibited iNOS induction by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Increase in iNOS mRNA by LPS was completely suppressed by purpureaside A. Purpureaside A did not significantly affect LPS-inducible nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation or the nuclear translocation of p65. Moreover, a reporter gene assay using AP-1 specific luciferase reporter revealed that the enhanced activity of AP-1 by LPS was completely abolished in cells treated with purpureaside A. These results demonstrated that purpureaside A inhibited LPS-inducible iNOS expression in macrophages through the suppression of AP-1, but not of NF-kappaB.

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