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J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Nov 25;150(2):545-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.08.063. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Dolichos falcata Klein attenuated the inflammation induced by monosodium urate crystals in vivo and in vitro.

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School of Pharmacy, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, PR China.



Dolichos falcata Klein (DF), a Chinese Dai ethnic medicine popularly known as "Tuoyeteng" in Yunnan province of China, has been widely used as a traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of fracture and beriberoid disease for a long time in China. The present study was carried out to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity and the bioactive chemical constituents of DF, and further to assess its possible mechanism on gouty arthritis in an animal model of the MSU crystals-induced gouty inflammation.


The ethanol extract (EE) of DF at the doses of 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg was administered to the rats treated with MSU crystals to evaluate the anti-gouty arthritis effect. Subsequently, the components of EE were isolated and identified using classical methods. Phyto-chemical analysis of EE was further carried out by HPLC-DAD. Finally, the anti-inflammatory effect of EE and two isolated components were assessed using the MSU crystals-treated monocyte/macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 in vitro.


EE (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg) significantly attenuated the pain threshold value, the joint swelling degree, the inflammatory cell infiltration of articular tissue and the increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in MSU crystals-treated rats. Moreover, doliroside A (DA) and medicagenic acid-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (MG) were isolated and identified from EE. The major components of EE, including DA, MG and other triterpenoids, were well confirmed by HPLC. A further study revealed that EE, DA and MG (10, 20, 40μg/mL) exhibited stronger inhibitory effects on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (including interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α) in MSU crystals-treated RAW 264.7 cells.


These findings indicate that the major triterpenoids present in DF have a remarkable effect on improving symptoms of acute gouty arthritis induced by MSU crystals through inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.


DA; DF; Dolichos falcata Klein; EE; ELISA; Gouty arthritis; IL-1β; IL-6; Inflammation; Interleukin-1β; MG; MSU; Monosodium urate crystals; PBS; TNF-α; doliroside A; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; ethanol extract; interleukin-1β; interleukin-6; medicagenic acid-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside; monosodium urate; phosphate buffered saline; tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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