Plant-derived substances have been shown to affect potential targets in inflammatory diseases. We have previously purified from the desert plant Achillea fragrantissima, a sesquiterpene lactone named achillolide A, and demonstrated its anti-inflammatory activities in cultured brain macrophages named microglial cells. In the present study, we further investigated achillolide A in alleviating atopic dermatitis, a chronic and recurring inflammatory skin disease. We investigated achillolide A for its in vivo anti-inflammatory activity using the oxazolone model of atopic dermatitis in mice, in which oxazolone induces ear swelling. Our results show that mice treated with achillolide A showed a significant decrease in the oxazolone-induced ear swelling. Since macrophages are inflammatory cells that play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis, the anti-inflammatory effects of achillolide A were also studied in spleen cells. We demonstrated that achillolide A reduced the levels of LPS-induced inflammatory cytokines IL-2, IL-6, TNFα, IFNγ and IL-12 that were secreted from cultured splenocytes. These data suggest that achillolide A should be considered for further research in treating atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic and recurring inflammatory disease of the skin. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-inflammatory properties of pulichalconoid B, a chalcone that we have isolated from the plant Pulicaria incisa. The in vivo activity of pulichalconoid B was evaluated using the oxazolone model of cutaneous dermatitis and its in vitro activity was studied using isolated splenocytes. Changes in ear thickness, myeloperoxidase activity and production of different cytokines were considered to be indicators of dermal inflammation. Mice that were treated with pulichalconoid B showed a significantly decreased response to delayed-type hypersensitivity induced by oxazolone. Pulichalconoid B significantly reduced oxazolone-induced ear edema, inhibited myeloperoxidase activity and downregulated several cytokines. Pulichalconoid B also inhibited the secretion of cytokines from activated splenocytes. The data suggest that pulichalconoid B may be useful in treating skin inflammations.
The demand for organic food products has increased over the last decades; however, the health effects of organically grown products are controversial and knowledge about how different fertilization regimes affect nutritionally and health relevant components is still limited. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of organic and conventional mineral-based fertilizers on the quality of sweet red peppers. The parameters tested were anti-proliferative activity against cancer cells and the concentrations of antioxidants, flavonoids, phenolics, and vitamin C. The decay incidence, percentage of weight loss, and total soluble solids (TSS) content were also evaluated. The different parameters were tested in fresh peppers immediately after harvest and after cold storage. Our results show that the anti-proliferative activity of pepper extracts against colon cancer cells is similar in fresh organically and conventionally fertilized sweet red peppers. While in conventionally fertilized peppers the extent of the anti-proliferative activity was not affected by long storage, stored organic peppers lost 50% of their inhibitory activity. We also found that the levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C, as well as the general quality of the peppers were not significantly affected by the different fertilization practices nor by long storage.