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J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Dec 22;58(24):12717-21. doi: 10.1021/jf1034114. Epub 2010 Nov 24.

Anti-inflammatory effects of caper (Capparis spinosa L.) fruit aqueous extract and the isolation of main phytochemicals.

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Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry, 1320 West Beijing Road, Shanghai 200040, China.


Caper (Capparis spinosa L.) fruits have been used as food as well as folk medicine in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatism. The present study was carried out to study the anti-inflammatory activities of C. spinosa L. fruit (CSF) aqueous extract and to isolate main phytochemicals from its bioactive fractions. The CSF aqueous extract were separated into three fractions (CSF1-CSF3) by macroporous adsorption resins. The fractions CSF2 and CSF3 effectively inhibited the carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice. Systematic fractionation and isolation from CSF2+3 led to the identification of 13 compounds (1-13). Their chemical structures were elucidated by spectroscopic analyses including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) and literature comparisons. Major compounds found in the bioactive fraction CSF2+3 are flavonoids, indoles, and phenolic acids. To our knowledge, 8 of these 13 compounds (1-4, 6-7, 10, and 13) were identified from caper fruits for the first time. The anti-inflammatory effects of these purified compounds are currently under investigation.

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