Anti-inflammatory Action of Phenolic Compounds from Gastrodia elata Root

  • Lee, Ji-Yun (Division of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Jang, Young-Woon (Division of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Kang, Hyo-Sook (Division of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Moon, Hee (Division of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Sim, Sang-Soo (Division of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Kim, Chang-Jong (Division of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University)
  • Published : 2006.10.01


Previous screening of the pharmacological action of Gastrodia elata (GE) root (Orchidaceae) showed that methanol (MeOH) extracts have significant anti-inflammatory properties. The antiinflammatory agents of GE, however, remain unclear. In this experiment, MeOH extracts of GE were fractionated with organic solvents for the anti-inflammatory activity-guided separation of GE. Eight phenolic compounds from the ether (EtOEt) and ethyl acetate (EtOAc) fractions were isolated by column chromatography: 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (I), 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol (II), benzyl alcohol (III), bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl) methane (IV), 4(4'-hydroxybenzyloxy)benzyl-methylether (V), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol (VI), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde (VII), and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid (VIII). To investigate the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity of these compounds, their effects on carrageenan-induced paw edema, arachidonic acid (AA)-induced ear edema and analgesic activity in acetic acid (HAc)-induced writhing response were carried out in vivo; cyclooxygenase (COX) activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in rat basophilic leukemia (RBL 2H3) cells and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydroazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity were determined in vitro. These phenolic compounds not only had anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in vivo, but also inhibited COX activity and silica-induced ROS generation in a dose-dependent manner. Among these phenolic compounds, compound VII was the most potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Compound VII significantly inhibited silica-induced ROS generation and compound VI significantly increased DPPH radical scavenging activity. Compounds I, II and III significantly inhibited the activity of COX-I and II. These results indicate that phenolic compounds of GE are anti-inflammatory, which may be related to inhibition of COX activity and to anti-oxidant activity. Consideration of the structure-activity relationship of the phenolic derivatives from GE on the anti-inflammatory action revealed that both C-4 hydroxy and C-3 methoxy radicals of benzyl aldehyde play an important role in anti-inflammatory activities.


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