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J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 22;60(7):1673-81. doi: 10.1021/jf204297e. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 participate in anti-inflammatory activity of imperatorin from Glehnia littoralis.

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School of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources, College of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.


In this study, we have investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of imperatorin, a compound isolated from the roots of Glehnia littoralis, using a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated mouse macrophage (RAW264.7) in vitro and a carrageenan (Carr)-induced mouse paw edema model in vivo. When RAW264.7 macrophages were treated with imperatorin together with LPS, a significant concentration-dependent inhibition of NO production was detected. Western blotting revealed that imperatorin blocked the protein expression of iNOS and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages significantly. In the anti-inflammatory test, imperatorin decreased the paw edema at 4 and 5 h after Carr administration and increased the activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase in paw edema. We also demonstrated that imperatorin significantly attenuated the malondialdehyde level in the edema paw at the fifth hour after Carr injection. Imperatorin decreased the NO and tumor necrosis factor and prostaglandin E2 levels on serum at 5 h after Carr injection. Western blotting revealed that imperatorin decreased Carr-induced iNOS and COX-2 expressions at 5 h in edema paw. An intraperitoneal injection treatment with imperatorin also diminished neutrophil infiltration into sites of inflammation as did indomethacin. The results suggested that imperatorin had anti-inflammatory effects in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and Carr-injected mice, respectively. In addition, inhibition of elevated iNOS and COX-2 protein expression as well as neutrophil infiltration of Carr-injected paws may be involved in the beneficial effects of imperatorin.

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