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J Nat Prod. 2005 Nov;68(11):1610-4.

Anti-inflammatory activity of verminoside from Kigelia africana and evaluation of cutaneous irritation in cell cultures and reconstituted human epidermis.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Ponte Don Melillo, 84084, Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.


Kigelia africana is a plant used in Africa for anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-skin-aging effects. Various papers have reported on the composition and biological activities of its CH2Cl2 extracts and dermal formulations. Chemical analysis of a polar extract of fruit from K. africana indicated the presence of verminoside (1), an iridoid, as a major constituent, and of a series of polyphenols such as verbascoside (2). In vitro assays showed that 1 had significant anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting both iNOS expression and NO release in the LPS-induced J774.A1 macrophage cell line. Cytotoxicity and cutaneous irritation of the extract and of compounds 1 and 2 were investigated. The crude extract and 1 did not affect cell viability in vitro either in cells grown in monolayers (ML) or in the reconstituted human epidermis (RHE, 3D) model; neither caused release of pro-inflammatory mediators or histomorphological modification of RHE.

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