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Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Jun;7(6):757-60.

Comparative study of the in vitro bioactivities of Bupleurum rigidum and B. fruticescens.

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  • 1Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, United Kingdom.


Decoctions of the aerial parts of either Bupleurum rigidum or B. fruticescens are equally used in certain parts of Spain for the treatment of topical and musculoskeletal inflammations. In the present paper, their phytochemical profile and pharmacological value has been compared. After chromatographic and spectral analyses we could establish the presence of rutin and absence of chlorogenic acid in B. fruticescens, whilst the contrary applies to B. rigidum, providing a means to chemically differentiate extracts and dry materials from the two species. Their free radical scavenging and antiperoxidative activities were similar, with B. fruticescens being more active overall. The infusions of both Bupleurum species also showed similar anti-inflammatory activity when tested by NF-kappaB assay (40% and 42% at 60 microg x mL(-1)), as well as in a hexosaminidase exocytosis assay (30% at 50 microg x mL(-1)). Antimigratory effects on rat melanoma B16F10 showed significant activity for both infusions, with B. rigidum twice as potent as B. fruticescens, the activity of the latter not being fully explained by its content of rutin. Taking all these results together, we can conclude that, in the selected experimental models, there exist an in vitro bioequivalence of the infusions from both species, which is in agreement with the majority of ethnopharmacological reports.

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