Prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa) exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory activity of extracts from Opuntia humifusa Raf.
J Pharm Pharmacol. 2006 Jan;58(1):113-9. PMID: 16393471
School of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea.
Opuntia humifusa Raf. (O. humifusa Raf.) is a member of the Cactaceae family. To determine the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of this herb, various solvent fractions (methanol, hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, butanol, and water) prepared from the leaves of cacti were tested using DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-l-picrylhydrazyl radical) and xanthine oxidase assays, and nitric oxide (NO)-producing macrophage cells. We found that O. humifusa Raf. displayed potent antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activity. Thus, all solvent fractions, except for the water layer, showed potent scavenging effects. The scavenging effect of the ethyl acetate fraction was higher than that of the other fractions, with IC50 values of 3.6 and 48.2 microg mL(-1). According to activity-guided fractionation, one of the active radical scavenging principles in the ethyl acetate fraction was found to be quercetin. In contrast, only two fractions (chloroform and ethyl acetate) significantly suppressed nitric oxide production from the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW264.7 cells. In addition, chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions significantly blocked the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) from the RAW264.7 cells stimulated by LPS. Moreover, ethyl acetate fractions significantly blocked the expression of IL-1beta from the RAW264.7 cells stimulated by LPS. Therefore, the results suggested that O. humifusa Raf. may modulate radical-induced toxicity via both direct scavenging activity and the inhibition of reactive species generation, and the modulation of the expression of inflammatory cytokines. Finally, O. humifusa Raf. may be useful as a functional food or drug against reactive species-mediated disease.