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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Aug 26;57(16):7274-81. doi: 10.1021/jf901244k.

Xanthohumol from hop (Humulus lupulus L.) is an efficient inhibitor of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha release in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages and U937 human monocytes.

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Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Nethelands.


Activated macrophages in adipose tissue play a major role in the chronic inflammatory process that has been linked to the complications of overweight and obesity. The hop plant (Humulus lupulus L.) has been described to possess both anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic effects. In the present study, the chemical composition of a hop crude extract (HCE) was investigated by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC). Next, HCE and various fractions obtained by preparative HPLC were tested for their ability to inhibit production of two pro-inflammatory cytokines, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1, CCL2) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which play crucial roles in the complications of obesity. The hop chalcone xanthohumol was found to be the most potent inhibitor of both cytokines in LPS-activated RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages and U937 human monocytes. Moreover, other constituents, namely, iso-alpha-acids, in combination with the beta-acid hulupone, showed a moderate but selective inhibitory activity only on MCP-1 release. These findings underscore the potential health effects of hop and support further optimization, selection, and use of this plant.

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