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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jan 31;139(2):616-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.003. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

In vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activities of Polygonum hydropiper methanol extract.

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Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Republic of Korea.



Polygonum hydropiper L. (Polygonaceae) has been traditionally used to treat various inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, no systematic studies on the anti-inflammatory actions of Polygonum hydropiper and its inhibitory mechanisms have been reported. This study is therefore aimed at exploring the anti-inflammatory effects of 99% methanol extracts (Ph-ME) of this plant.


The effects of Ph-ME on the production of inflammatory mediators in RAW264.7 cells and peritoneal macrophages were investigated. Molecular mechanisms underlying the effects, especially inhibitory effects, were elucidated by analyzing the activation of transcription factors and their upstream signalling, and by evaluating the kinase activities of target enzymes. Additionally, a dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model was employed to see whether this extract can be used as an orally available drug.


Ph-ME dose-dependently suppressed the release of nitric oxide (NO), tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and prostaglandin (PG)E(2), in RAW264.7 cells and peritoneal macrophages stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Ph-ME inhibited mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory genes such as inducible NO synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, and TNF-α by suppressing the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, activator protein (AP-1), and cAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB), and simultaneously inhibited its upstream inflammatory signalling cascades, including cascades involving Syk, Src, and IRAK1. Consistent with these findings, the extract strongly suppressed the kinase activities of Src and Syk. Based on HPLC analysis, quercetin, which inhibits NO and PGE(2) activities, was found as one of the active ingredients in Ph-ME.


Ph-ME exerts strong anti-inflammatory activity by suppressing Src/Syk/NF-κB and IRAK/AP-1/CREB pathways, which contribute to its major ethno-pharmacological role as an anti-gastritis remedy.

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