Send to

Choose Destination
Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Jun;24(9):1419-29.

Structural aspects of the inhibitory effect of glabridin on LDL oxidation.

Author information

Laboratory of Natural Compounds for Medical Use, Migal, Galilee Technological Center, Kiryat Shmona, Israel.


The inhibitory effects of glabridin, an isoflavan isolated from licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root, and its derivatives on the oxidation of LDL induced by copper ions or mediated by macrophages were studied, in order to evaluate the contribution of the different parts of the isoflavan molecule to its antioxidant activity. The peak potential (E1/2) of the isoflavan derivatives, their radical scavenging capacity toward 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical and their ability to chelate heavy metals were also analyzed and compared to their inhibitory activity on LDL oxidation. In copper ion-induced LDL oxidation, glabridin (1), 4'-O-methylglabridin (2), hispaglabridin A (3), and hispaglabridin B (4), which have two hydroxyl groups at positions 2' and 4' or one hydroxyl at position 2' on ring B, successfully inhibited the formation of conjugated dienes, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and lipid peroxides, and inhibited the electrophoretic mobility of LDL under oxidation. Compounds 1-3 exhibited similar activities, whereas compound 4 was less active. In macrophage-mediated LDL oxidation, the TBARS formation was also inhibited by these isoflavans (1-4) at a similar order of activity to that obtained in copper ion-induced LDL oxidation. On the other hand, 2'-O-methylglabridin (5), a synthesized compound, whose hydroxyl at 2'-position is protected and the hydroxyl at 4'-position is free, showed only minor inhibitory activity in both LDL oxidation systems. 2',4'-O-Dimethylglabridin (6), whose hydroxyls at 2'- and 4'-positions are both protected, was inactive. Resorcinol (7), which is identical to the phenolic B ring in glabridin, presented low activity in these oxidation systems. The isoflavene glabrene (8), which contains an additional double bond in the heterocyclic C ring, was the most active compound of the flavonoid derivatives tested in both oxidation systems. The peak potential of compounds 1-5 (300 microM), tested at pH 7.4, was similar (425-530 mV), and that for compound 6 and 8 was 1078 and 80 mV, respectively. Within 30 min of incubation, compounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 scavenged 31%, 16%, 74%, 51%, 86%, respectively, of DPPH radical, whereas compounds 5 and 6, which almost did not inhibit LDL oxidation, also failed to scavenge DPPH. None of the isoflavan derivatives nor the isoflavene compound were able to chelate iron, or copper ions. These results suggest that the antioxidant effect of glabridin on LDL oxidation appears to reside mainly in the 2' hydroxyl, and that the hydrophobic moiety of the isoflavan is essential to obtain this effect. It was also shown that the position of the hydroxyl group at B ring significantly affected the inhibitory efficiency of the isoflavan derivatives on LDL oxidation, but did not influence their ability to donate an electron to DPPH or their peak potential values.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center