Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Flavanones fromL. (licorice) Leaf Phytocomplexes: Identification of Licoflavanone as a Modulator of NF-kB/MAPK Pathway.
Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Jun 20 ;8(6). Epub 2019 Jun 20. PMID: 31226797
Inflammation represents an adaptive response generated by injuries or harmful stimuli. Natural remedies represent an interesting alternative to traditional therapies, involving several biochemical pathways. Besides, the valorization of agrochemical wastes nowadays seems to be a feasible way to reduce the health spending and improve the accessibility at bioactive natural compounds. In this context, the chemical composition of threeL. (licorice) leaf extracts, obtained through maceration or ultrasound-assisted method (fresh and dried leaves) was investigated. A guided fractionation obtained three main components: pinocembrin, glabranin and licoflavanone. All the extracts showed similar antioxidant properties, evaluated by 2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) or 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) Diammonium Salt (ABTS) assay, while, among the isolated compounds, licoflavanone exhibited the best antioxidant activity. The anti-inflammatory activity of the extracts and the purified compounds was investigated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. Extract C and licoflavanone showed a good anti-inflammatory activity without affecting cell viability, as they decreased nitrite levels even when used at 12.5μg/mL (<0.005) and 50μM concentration (<0.001), respectively. Interestingly, licoflavanone markedly decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines and cyclooxygenase 2/inducible nitric oxide synthase (COX-2/iNOS) expression levels (<0.001). A modulation of nuclear factor kappa B/mitogen-activated protein kinases (NF-kB/MAPK) pathway underlay such behavior, highlighting the potential of this natural compound as a new scaffold in anti-inflammatory drug research.