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A sage discovery: Plant-derived compounds have potent anti-inflammatory effects

July 27, 2016

New research reveals that two specific plant-derived compounds may be effective for fighting inflammation and pain. The findings are published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Diterpenoids are found in certain plants, fungi, and marine organisms, and two in particular--carnosol (CS) and carnosic acid (CA)--are known to interfere with multiple pathways in the human body associated with inflammation and pain.

A team led by Giuseppe Bifulco, PhD of the University of Salerno in Italy, and Andreas Koeberle, PhD of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany, have investigated the effects of these natural products in their pure form in inflammatory pain through research involving human cells and mice. The researchers found that the diterpenoids inhibited two enzymes involved in inflammation, fever, and pain. Overexpression of one of these enzymes has been observed in several inflammatory disorders as well as in many human tumors; the second enzyme is also a major player in inflammation and other immune-related processes in the body.

"We have demonstrated that 5-LO and mPGES-1, two key enzymes of inflammation, are primary targets of CS and CA, which are major bioactive ingredients of herbs that are used as spices--namely sage and rosemary--and in traditional medicine," said Dr Bifulco. "Our study provides comprehensive insights into their anti-inflammatory mechanism. Understanding both the molecular basis and pharmacological relevance of natural products is essential to fully exploit the power of nature for human health."

The investigators noted that dual inhibitors of 5-LO and mPGES-1 are considered potential alternatives to classical anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs that have well-documented side effects. Recently, the mPGES-1 inhibitor GRC 27864 (Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.) entered the first phase of clinical development.

"The discovery of new dual 5-LO/mPGES-1 inhibitors, like CS and CA, represents a valid strategy for the treatment of inflammatory and cancer diseases and further justifies the use of sage and rosemary in traditional medicine," said Dr Koeberle. "It is important that these natural products are tested in different experimental inflammation and cancer animal models as well as in imaging studies to obtain a complete comprehension of the molecular basis behind their observed biological activity."
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For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

Full citation: "In vivo and in vitro biological evaluation of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic response of carnosol and carnosic acid and in silico analysis of their target interactions." Francesco Maione, Vincenza Cantone, Simona Pace, Maria Giovanna Chini, Angela Bisio, Giovanni Romussi, Stefano Pieretti, Oliver Werz, Andreas Koeberle, Nicola Mascolo, and Giuseppe Bifulco. British Journal of Pharmacology; Published Online: July 28, 2016 (DOI: 10.1111/bph.13545) URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/bph.13545

Author Contact: Dr.Koeberle can be reached through Dr. Ute Schoenfelder at ute.schoenfelder@uni-jena.de or +49-(0)3641 / 931041. Dr. Bifulco can be reached through Dr. Francesco Colucci at colucci@unisa.it or +39-089/966166.

About the Journal: The British Journal of Pharmacology is a broad-based journal giving leading international coverage of all aspects of pharmacology research. Its scope includes all aspects of pharmacology from hypothesis generation and target validation through to model development, safety pharmacology and to early translational research. BJP's 2015 Impact Factor is 5.259, and as such it is a leading general research pharmacology journal (Thomson Reuters Science Citation Index).

About The British Pharmacological Society

The British Pharmacological Society is a charity with a mission to promote and advance the whole spectrum of pharmacology. Founded in 1931, it is now a global community at the heart of pharmacology, with over 3,500 members from more than 60 countries worldwide. The Society leads the way in the research and application of pharmacology around the world through its scientific meetings, educational resources and peer-reviewed journals: the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacology Research & Perspectives, and the British Journal of Pharmacology, which includes the Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY, featuring open access overviews of the key properties of over 1,700 human therapeutic targets and their drugs, and links to http://www.guidetopharmacology.org. Press Office: +44 20 7239 0180 | M. +44 7786 552498 | E. sophia.griffiths@bps.ac.uk

About Wiley

Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice and education. Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content. The Company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

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