Planta Med 2007; 73(10): 1116-1126
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-981559
Analytical Methods
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Composition and Biological Activity of Different Extracts from Schisandra sphenanthera and Schisandra chinensis

Constance Huyke1 , Kathrin Engel1 , Birgit Simon-Haarhaus1 , Karl-Werner Quirin2 , Christoph M. Schempp1
  • 1Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2Flavex Naturextrakte, Rehlingen, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Received: January 14, 2007 Revised: May 28, 2007

Accepted: June 4, 2007

Publication Date:
05 July 2007 (online)


Plants of the Schisandraceae family contain a variety of pharmacologically active lignans like schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, deangeloylgomisin B, gomisin A, gomisin O, γ-schizandrin and isogomisin O. Here we have compared the composition of different polar and non-polar extracts of Schisandra sphenanthera and Schisandra chinensis. We also have screened the extracts for antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory effects in different cell-based and cell-free assays. Extracts produced with the non-polar solvents CO2, hexane and CO2/5 % ethanol had a similar composition. In contrast, polar extraction with ethanol provided a considerably higher yield, but a lower content of volatiles and lignans in comparison to the non-polar extracts. The proliferation of the epidermal cell lines HaCaT and A431 was dose-dependently inhibited by both the Schisandra sphenanthera and Schisandra chinensis extracts, the non-polar extracts being superior to the polar ones. The non-polar Schisandra sphenanthera extract was the most active with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 20 μg/mL. In a cell-free enzyme inhibition assay with recombinant cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) the non-polar Schisandra sphenanthera extract dose-dependently inhibited COX-2 catalysed prostaglandin (PG) production (IC50 = 0.2 μg/mL). It also reduced the ultraviolet-B (UVB)-induced PGE2 production (IC50 = 4 μg/mL) and COX-2 expression in HaCaT keratinocytes. We conclude that non-polar Schisandra extracts obtained by CO2 extraction might be useful in the prevention and treatment of hyperproliferative and inflammatory skin diseases.


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Prof. Dr. C.M. Schempp

Department of Dermatology

University of Freiburg

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