Anti-inflammatory activity of 21(alpha, beta)-methylmelianodiols, novel compounds from Poncirus trifoliata Rafinesque

Hong Yu Zhou, Eun Myung Shin, Lian Yu Guo, Li Bo Zou, Guang Hua Xu, Seung-Ho Lee, Keum Ryon Ze, Eun-Kyung Kim, Sam Sik Kang, Yeong Shik Kim
European Journal of Pharmacology 2007 October 31, 572 (2): 239-48
The fruits of Poncirus trifoliata (L.) are widely used in Oriental medicine as a remedy for allergic inflammation. As a part of our program to screen medicinal plants for potential anti-inflammatory compounds, 21alpha-methylmelianodiol (21alpha-MMD) and 21beta-methylmelianodiol (21beta-MMD), which are two isomers of 21-methylmelianodiol isolated from the fruits of P. trifoliata for the first time, were found to inhibit nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. 21alpha-MMD and 21beta-MMD attenuated LPS-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 protein expressions as well as the mRNA levels of iNOS, COX-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). To investigate the mechanism involved, we examined the effect of 21alpha-MMD and 21beta-MMD on LPS-induced nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation. Both 21alpha-MMD and 21beta-MMD significantly inhibited LPS-induced NF-kappaB transcriptional activity in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Moreover, the in vivo anti-inflammatory effect of 21alpha-MMD was examined in two mouse models of acute inflammation. In the carrageenan-induced paw edema model, administration of 21alpha-MMD (20 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently reduced paw swelling. In addition, 21alpha-MMD significantly inhibited the dye leakage in an acetic acid-induced vascular permeability assay. Taken together, our data indicate that 21-methylmelianodiol is an important constituent of the fruit of P. trifoliata, and that the inhibition of iNOS and COX-2 expression by 21alpha-MMD and 21beta-MMD might be one of the mechanisms responsible for their anti-inflammatory effects.

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