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TitleEchinacea purpurea fractions represent promising plant-based anti-inflammatory formulations
Author(s)Vieira, Sara Filipa Fontoura
Gonçalves, Samuel M.
Gonçalves, Virgínia M. F.
Llaguno, Carmen P.
Macías, Felipe
Tiritan, Maria Elizabeth
Cunha, Cristina
Carvalho, Agostinho
Reis, R. L.
Ferreira, Helena
Neves, N. M.
Echinacea purpurea extracts
Human primary macrophages
Phenols/carboxylic acids
carboxylic acids
Issue dateFeb-2023
CitationVieira S. F., Gonçalves S. M., Gonçalves V. M. F., Llaguno C. P., Macías F., Tiritan M. E., Cunha C., Carvalho A., Reis R. L., Ferreira H., Neves N. M. Echinacea purpurea Fractions Represent Promising Plant-Based Anti-Inflammatory Formulations, Antioxidants, Vol. 12, Issue 2, pp. 1-25, doi:10.3390/antiox12020425, 2023
Abstract(s)Echinacea purpurea is traditionally used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Therefore, we investigated the anti-inflammatory capacity of E. purpurea dichloromethanolic (DE) and ethanolic extracts obtained from flowers and roots (R). To identify the class of compounds responsible for the strongest bioactivity, the extracts were fractionated into phenol/carboxylic acid (F1) and alkylamide fraction (F2). The chemical fingerprint of bioactive compounds in the fractions was evaluated by LC-HRMS. E. purpurea extracts and fractions significantly reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 6 and/or tumor necrosis factor) and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) production by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated primary human monocyte-derived macrophages. Dichloromethanolic extract obtained from roots (DE-R) demonstrated the strongest anti-inflammatory activity. Moreover, fractions exhibited greater anti-inflammatory activity than whole extract. Indeed, alkylamides must be the main compounds responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of extracts; thus, the fractions presenting high content of these compounds presented greater bioactivity. It was demonstrated that alkylamides exert their anti-inflammatory activity through the downregulation of the phosphorylation of p38, ERK 1/2, STAT 3, and/or NF-κB signaling pathways, and/or downregulation of cyclooxygenase 2 expression. E. purpurea extracts and fractions, mainly DE-R-F2, are promising and powerful plant-based anti-inflammatory formulations that can be further used as a basis for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:3B’s - Artigos em revistas/Papers in scientific journals

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