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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3554-60. doi: 10.1021/jf073494t. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Purple carrot (Daucus carota L.) polyacetylenes decrease lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of inflammatory proteins in macrophage and endothelial cells.

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Department of Animal Science, University of WisconsinMadison, 1675 Observatory Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


Carrots ( Daucus carota L.) contain phytochemicals including carotenoids, phenolics, polyacetylenes, isocoumarins, and sesquiterpenes. Purple carrots also contain anthocyanins. The anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and phytochemicals from purple carrots was investigated by determining attenuation of the response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A bioactive chromatographic fraction (Sephadex LH-20) reduced LPS inflammatory response. There was a dose-dependent reduction in nitric oxide production and mRNA of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha) and iNOS in macrophage cells. Protein secretions of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were reduced 77 and 66% in porcine aortic endothelial cells treated with 6.6 and 13.3 microg/mL of the LH-20 fraction, respectively. Preparative liquid chromatography resulted in a bioactive subfraction enriched in the polyacetylene compounds falcarindiol, falcarindiol 3-acetate, and falcarinol. The polyacetylenes were isolated and reduced nitric oxide production in macrophage cells by as much as 65% without cytotoxicity. These results suggest that polyacetylenes, not anthocyanins, in purple carrots are responsible for anti-inflammatory bioactivity.

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