Anemonin, from Clematis crassifolia, potent and selective inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitor

Zong-Huei Li, Nai Kuei Huang, Tzi Chung Lai, Aleck T Y Yang, Guei Jane Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of aerial part of Clematis crassifolia Benth. (Ranunculaceae) based on an iNOS inhibition in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activated macrophages. Bioassay-guided fractionation and purification led to the isolation of ibotanolide B (1), calceolarioside B (2), trans-caffeic acid (3), anemonin (4) and 3′,4′,5,7-tetrahydroxy-6-C-glucopyranosylflavone (5). Their structures were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic analysis. All these compounds inhibited NO production, detected as nitrite, in activated macrophages except 5. Among them, anemonin (4) was the most potent. Analyses of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting revealed that it decreased the expression of iNOS mRNA and protein in activated RAW 264.7 cells. In isolated rat thoracic aortic rings, anemonin prevented the vascular hyporeactivity to phenylephrine induced by LPS whereas it did not affect acetylcholine-induced endothelial NO-dependent relaxation, an index of endothelial NOS (eNOS) activity. These results indicated that the potential anti-inflammatory effect of anemonin, the naturally occurring selective iNOS inhibitor, may provide a rationale for the medical use of Clematis crassifolia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-527
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 28 2008


  • Anemonin
  • Clematis crassifolia
  • Inducible nitric oxide synthase
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage
  • Ranunculaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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