Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Immunol. 2015 Oct;297(2):94-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2015.07.003. Epub 2015 Jul 13.

Echinacea purpurea root extract inhibits TNF release in response to Pam3Csk4 in a phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase dependent manner.

Author information

Amway Corporation, 7575 Fulton St. East, Ada, MI 49355, USA. Electronic address:
Nutrilite Health Institute, 5600 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90622, USA.
Amway Corporation, 7575 Fulton St. East, Ada, MI 49355, USA.


Polysaccharides derived from Echinacea have historically been shown to be immunostimulatory. We describe in this work however the anti-inflammatory effect of a water extract of Echinacea purpurea roots (EPRW) that inhibited Pam3Csk4 stimulated production of TNFα by human monocytic THP-1 cells. The polyphenols and alkylamides typically found in Echinacea extracts were absent in EPRW suggesting that the anti-inflammatory component(s) was a polysaccharide. This anti-inflammatory activity was shown to be mediated by the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway as chemical inhibition of PI3K abolished the EPRW anti-inflammatory effect. Demonstration of phosphorylation of Akt and ribosomal S6 proteins, downstream targets of PI3K confirmed EPRW-mediated activation of this pathway. In conclusion, this observation suggests that non-alkylamide/non-polyphenolic phytochemicals from Echinacea may contribute in part to some of the anti-inflammatory therapeutic effects such as reduced severity of symptoms that have been observed in vivo in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections with Echinacea.


Akt; Echinacea; PI3K; Pam(3)Csk(4); Polysaccharide; THP-1

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center