Planta Med 2005; 71(8): 789-791
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-871254
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Isolation of Lignans and Biological Activity Studies of Ephedra viridis

Srinivas V. Pullela1 , Satoshi Takamatsu1 , Shabana I. Khan1 , Ikhlas A. Khan1 , 2
  • 1National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Mississippi, University, USA
  • 2Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Received: October 15, 2004

Accepted: April 20, 2005

Publication Date:
11 August 2005 (online)


Phytochemical investigation of Ephedra viridis (whole plant) led to the isolation of four lignans including (+)-9-acetoxyisolariciresinol, which is a new lignan, lariciresinol, 9-acetoxylariciresinol and isolariciresinol. All the isolates were tested for their antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity against a panel of solid tumor and human leukemia cells. They were also screened for estrogenic activity using a recombinant yeast estrogen screening (YES) assay. Most of the lignans exhibited moderate antioxidant activity without any cytotoxicity. None of them were estrogenic in the YES assay.


  • 1 Blumenthal M, King P. Ma Huang: Ancient herb, Modern Medicine, Regulatory Dilemma.  Herbal Gram. 1995;  34 22-7
  • 2 Brian T S, Sara C, Erdal B, Ikhlas A K. The role of chemical fingerprinting: application to Ephedra .  Phytochemistry. 2003;  62 911-5
  • 3 Duh C -Y, Phoebe C H, Pezzuto J M, Kinghorn A D, Farnsworth N R. Plant anticancer agents, XLII. Cytotoxic constituents from Wikstroemia elliptica .  J Nat Prod. 1986;  49 706-9
  • 4 Fonesca A F, Campello J P, Barata L ES, Ruveda E A. 13C NMR spectral analysis of lignans from Araucaria angustifolia .  Phytochemistry. 1978;  17 499-502
  • 5 Brader G, Vajrodaya S, Greger H, Bacher M, Kalchhauser H, Hofer O. Bisamides, lignans, triterpenes and insecticidal cyclopents[b]benzofurans from Agalia species.  J Nat Prod. 1998;  61 1482-90
  • 6 Takamatsu S, Galal A M, Ross S A, Ferreira D, Elsohly M A, Ibrahim A R, El-Feraly F S. Antioxidant effect of flavanoids on DCF production in HL-60 cells.  Phytother Res. 2003;  17 963-6
  • 7 Scudiero D A, Shoemaker R H, Paull K D, Monks A, Tierney S, Nofziger T H. Evaluation of a soluble tetrazolium/formazan assay for cell growth and drug sensitivity in culture using human and other cell lines.  Cancer Res. 1988;  48 4827-33
  • 8 Mustafa J, Khan S I, Ma G, Walker L A, Khan I A. Synthesis and anticancer activities of fatty acid analogs of podophyllotoxin.  Lipids. 2004;  39 167-72
  • 9 Tabanca N, Khan S I, Bedir E, Annavarapu S, Willett K, Khan I A, Kirimer N, Baser K HC. Estrogenic activity of isolated compounds and essential oils of Pimpinella species from Turkey, evaluated using a recombinant yeast screen.  Planta Med. 2004;  70 728-35
  • 10 Mitsuru T, Katsuya E, Hiroshi H. Studies on the constituents of Ephedra. Structure of ephedrine B, a hypotensive principle of Ephedra roots.  Heterocycles. 1979;  12 783-6
  • 11 Chohachi K, Mitsuru T, Katsuya E, Hiroshi H. Structure of ephedrine C, a hypotensive principle of Ephedra roots.  Heterocycles. 1980;  14 295-8
  • 12 Nawwar M AM, Barakat H H, Buddrus J, Linscheid M. Alkaloidal, lignan and phenolic constituents of Ephedra alata .  Phytochemistry. 1985;  24 878-9
  • 13 Arjmandi B H. The role of phytoestrogens in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in ovarian hormone deficiency.  J Am Coll Nutr. 2001;  20 398-402

Dr. Ikhlas A. Khan

National Center for Natural Product Research

The University of Mississippi


MS 38677


Fax: +1-662-915-7989