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Inflammopharmacology. 2009 Feb;17(1):42-9. doi: 10.1007/s10787-008-8040-9.

Anti-inflammatory activity of parthenolide-depleted Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium).

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Preclinical Pharmacology, Johnson and Johnson Skin Research Center, CPPW, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc., Skillman, NJ 08558, USA.


Extracts of Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Sch. Bip., a plant known under the common name "Feverfew", contains the sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide, a potent skin sensitizer. To eliminate the risk of skin sensitization from Feverfew, we developed a parthenolide-depleted extract of Feverfew (PD-Feverfew) and determined its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory agent. We confirmed that PD-Feverfew was sufficiently depleted of parthenolide since PD-Feverfew did not inhibit TNF-alpha induced-NF-kappaB activity unlike parthenolide containing whole Feverfew. PD-Feverfew directly inhibited the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes 5-lipoxygenase, phosphodiesterase-3 and phosphodiesterase-4. PD-Feverfew inhibited the release of pro-inflammatory mediators nitric oxide, PGE(2) and TNF-alpha from macrophages and TNF-alpha, IL-2, IFN-gamma and IL-4 from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Additionally, PD-Feverfew inhibited TPA-induced release of PGE(2) from human skin equivalents. In vivo, PD-Feverfew inhibited oxazolone-induced dermatitis, and was more potent than whole Feverfew in reducing TPA-induced dermatitis. Finally the efficacy of PD-Feverfew was confirmed clinically by a reduction in erythema in a methyl nicotinate-induced vasodilation model. In conclusion, our results indicate that PD-Feverfew extracts have potent anti-inflammatory activity suggesting that this botanical would be efficacious in relieving inflammation without inducing immune sensitization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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