Planta Med 2004; 70(4): 310-314
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-818941
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Evaluation of the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Zhankuic Acids Isolated from the Fruiting Bodies of Antrodia camphorata

Yuh-Chiang Shen1 , 2 , Yea-Hwey Wang3 , Yueh-Ching Chou4 , 5 , Chieh-Fu Chen1 , 3 , Lie-Chwen Lin1 , Tun-Tschu Chang6 , Jung-Hsiung Tien4 , Cheng-Jen Chou1
  • 1National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Life Science, National Chung-Hshing University, Taichung, Taiwan
  • 3Institute of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 4Department of Pharmacy, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 5School of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 6Division of Forest Protection, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Taipei, Taiwan
This study was supported, in part, by grants NSC-90-2113-M-077-004, and NSC-91-2320-B-077-013 and NSC-92-2320-B-077-003 from National Science Council, Taiwan, Republic of China, to C.J. Chou and C.F. Chen, respectively
Further Information

Publication History

Received: September 16, 2003

Accepted: January 20, 2004

Publication Date:
19 April 2004 (online)


We have previously shown that a concentrated ethanol extract of the fruiting bodies of Antrodia camphorata exhibited immunomodulating effects in human leukocytes and fourteen compounds including zhankuic acids A, B, C, and antcin K were identified in the extract. In this study, an acute cellular model in isolated peripheral human neutrophils was established to elucidate the anti-inflammatory effects of these compounds. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and firm adhesion by neutrophils display two important responses during inflammation. To evaluate whether these compounds could prevent inflammatory responses by neutrophils, their effects on N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) or phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)-activated peripheral human neutrophils were examined. Pretreatment with 1 - 25 μM of zhankuic acids A, B, C, or antcin K concentration-dependently diminished fMLP- or PMA-induced ROS production, as measured by a lucigenin-amplified chemiluminescence, with IC50 (μM) around 5 - 20 μM. Zhankuic acids A, B, C, or antcin K also effectively inhibited the fMLP- or PMA-induced firm adhesion without interfering with the up-expression of surface Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18), a β2 integrin mediating the firm adhesion of neutrophils to endothelium. The anti-inflammatory actions of these drugs were not due to cytotoxic effects because no significant difference in cell viability was observed compared to vehicle control. These data suggest that inhibition of both ROS production and firm adhesion by neutrophils has no significant cytotoxic effect that could give these drugs the potential to be anti-inflammatory agents for the clinical treatment.


Cheng-Jen Chou

National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine

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