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Planta Med. 2005 Aug;71(8):721-6.

Anti-inflammatory properties of extracts, fractions and lignans isolated from Phyllanthus amarus.

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Department of Pharmacology, Center of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.


This study assessed the anti-inflammatory effect of the extracts and purified lignans obtained from Phyllanthus amarus. Given orally, the hexane extract (HE), the lignan-rich fraction (LRF), or the lignans phyltetralin, nirtetralin, niranthin, but not hypophyllanthin or phyllanthin, inhibited carrageenan (Cg)-induced paw oedema and neutrophil influx. The HE, the LRF or nirtetralin also inhibited the increase of IL1-beta tissue levels induced by Cg. Furthermore, bradykinin (BK)-, platelet activating factor (PAF)- and endothelin-1 (ET-1)-induced paw oedema were significantly inhibited by the HE or LRF while histamine- and substance P-induced paw oedema were unaffected. Finally, nirtetralin or phyltetralin caused inhibition of paw oedema induced by PAF or ET-1. These results show that the HE, the LRF and the lignans niranthin, phyltetralin and nirtetralin exhibited marked anti-inflammatory properties and suggest that these lignans seem to be the main active principles responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties reported for the HE of P. amarus.

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