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Anti-inflammatory natural products from Belamcanda chinensis
Belamcanda chinensis (L.) DC (Iridaceae) has been used as a folk medicine for the treatment of coughing and pharyngitis in China. It is effective against a number of bacterial, fungal and viral organisms and has also been used as an antidote to snakebites. In our studies on the anti-inflammatory constituents of Formosan plants and Chinese herbs, many species have been screened for in vitro anti-inflammatory activity, and B. chinensis has been found to be one of the active species. Investigation on CH2Cl2-soluble fraction of the rhizomes of B. chinensis has led to the isolation of two new isoflavone derivatives, 5-hydroxy-3′-methoxy-6,7:4′,5′-bis(methylenedioxy)isoflavone (1) and 5,7-dihydroxy-6,3′-dimethoxy-4′,5′-methylenedioxyisoflavone (2), along with 8 known compounds (3-10). The structures of new compounds 1 and 2 were determined through spectroscopic and MS analyses. Among the isolated compounds, isotectorigenin (9) exhibited potent inhibition (IC50= 5.91 µg/ml) of elastase release by human neutrophils in response to fMet-Leu-Phe/Cytochalasin B.
Acknowledgement: This research was supported by grants from the National Science Council (NSC, Taiwan) (No. NSC 98 – 2320-B-127 – 001-MY3 and NSC 101 – 2320-B-127 – 001-MY3), awarded to Prof. J.-J. Chen.