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The present study was carried out to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activities of polyphenols isolated from the leaves of mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus Linn.) parasitic on Hevea brasiliensis. The anti-inflammatory properties of the isolated compounds were evaluated on the basis of their ability to inhibit the production of nitric oxide (NO) and tumuor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activated RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages. Semi-preparative HPLC separation of the ethyl acetate (EtOAc) and butanol (n-BuOH) fractions of the leaves of mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus Linn) parasitic on Hevea brasiliensis led to the isolation of four polyphenols: 3-O-(3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoyl)-(-)-epicatechin (TMECG) (1); (-)-epicatechin-3-O-(3″-O-methyl)-gallate (ECG3″Me) (2); rutin (3) and peltatoside (4). Compounds 1-4 were isolated for the first time from this plant while 1 was isolated for the first time in nature. These compounds (1-4) were readily identified by comparison of their spectroscopic data with those reported in the literature. The polyphenols proved to have anti-inflammatory activity as evidenced by the suppression of inducible nitric oxide (iNO) and cytokine (TNF-α) levels in the culture supernatant of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. However, the study showed that the quercetin diglycosides showed stronger inhibition of proinflammatory mediators than the epicatechin derivates. These data provide evidence that polyphenolic compounds isolated from the mistletoe parasitic on Hevea brasiliensis may contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the expression of inducible nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-α.
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