Unveiling the anti-inflammatory activity of Sutherlandia frutescens using murine macrophages

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Sutherlandia frutescens is a botanical widely used in southern Africa for treatment of inflammatory and other conditions. Previously, an ethanolic extract of S. frutescens (SFE) has been shown to inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) by murine neurons and a microglia cell line (BV-2 cells). In this study we sought to confirm the anti-inflammatory activities of SFE on a widely used murine macrophage cell line (i.e., RAW 264.7 cells) and primary mouse macrophages. Furthermore, experiments were conducted to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity of the flavonol and cycloartanol glycosides found in high quantities in S. frutescens. While the SFE exhibited anti-inflammatory activities upon murine macrophages similar to that reported with the microglia cell line, this effect does not appear to be mediated by sutherlandiosides or sutherlandins. In contrast, chlorophyll in our extracts appeared to be partly responsible for some of the activity observed in our macrophage-dependent screening assay.HighlightsExtracts of S. frutescens (SFE) reduce macrophage production of ROS and NO.SFE alters NF-κB, ERK1/2, and JAK–STAT1 signaling pathways in macrophages.Sutherlandiosides and sutherlandins were not responsible for these effects.Native chlorophyll were partly responsible for the bioactivity in this extract.

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