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Planta Med. 2006 Feb;72(3):228-33.

Selective inhibition of COX-2 by a standardized CO2 extract of Humulus lupulus in vitro and its activity in a mouse model of zymosan-induced arthritis.

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Numico Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


A standardized CO(2) extract from Humulus lupulus L. (hop extract) was investigated for its selective COX-1/2 inhibitory properties. An in vitro model of inflammation using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was used as a model to investigate the effect of hop extract on PGE(2) production. COX-1/2 selective inhibition by the hop extract was investigated in a COX-1 whole blood assay (WBA) and a COX-2 WBA. To evaluate the in vivo activity of hop extract, it was administered orally to C57BL/6 mice in which inflammation of the right joint was induced by injecting zymosan intra-articularly. Ex vivo PGE(2) production of LPS-stimulated blood cells was determined. Also, the effect of hop extract on healthy and arthritic cartilage was investigated as well as effects on inflammatory joint swelling. Hop extract inhibited PGE(2) production by LPS-stimulated PBMC without compromising the metabolic activity of these cells. Furthermore, hop extract showed a decline in PGE(2) production in the COX-2 whole blood assay (WBA) with an IC(50) of 20.4 microg/mL, while in the COX-1 WBA no inhibition of PGE(2) production was observed. This indicates a COX-2 selective inhibition. The COX-1 inhibitor SC-560 inhibited PGE(2) production in the COX-1 WBA but not in the COX-2 WBA. At 2 microM, celecoxib inhibited PGE(2) production in the COX-2 WBA by 92 % and in the COX-1 WBA by 50 %. When hop extract was administered orally to C57BL/6 mice in which joint inflammation was induced with zymosan, PGE(2) production in ex vivo LPS-stimulated whole blood was significantly decreased by 24 %, suggesting that hop extract becomes bioavailable. Furthermore, oral administration of hop extract showed no negative or positive effects on healthy cartilage proteoglycan synthesis, or on zymosan-induced arthritic cartilage proteoglycan synthesis. However, no effect of oral administration of 1.25 mg hop extract daily was observed on joint swelling. In conclusion, this standardized CO(2) extract of Humulus lupulus could be a useful agent for intervention strategies targeting inflammatory disorders and/or inflammatory pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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