Capnellenes from Capnella imbricata: Deciphering Their Anti-Inflammatory-Associated Chemical Features

Kuei Hung Lai, Yu Chen Fan, Bo Rong Peng, Zhi Hong Wen, Hsu Ming Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Through our ongoing research on investigating new anti-inflammatory terpenoids derived from soft corals, seven capnellenes sourced from Capnella imbricata were discovered. Among these, three were previously unknown compounds named Δ9(12)-capnellene-6α,8β-diol (1), Δ9(12)-capnellene-6α,8β,10α-triol (2), and Δ9(12)-capnellene-2β,8β,10α-triol (3). The structures of all compounds were determined by spectroscopic analysis (IR, MS, 1D-, and 2D-NMR) and a comparison with the existing literature data. The compounds 1 and 2 were found to be the first-ever identified 6-hydroxy capnellenes. In the inflammation inhibitory assessments, compounds 1–7 were tested for their in vitro activities against inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein expressions in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. Capnellenes 2 and 5 demonstrated significant reductions in iNOS levels (27.73% and 47.61%) at a concentration of 10 μM. Additionally, capnellenes 1, 5, and 7 (at 10 μM) exhibited statistically significant inhibitions (ranging from 7.64% to 12.57%) against COX-2 protein expressions. Our findings indicated that the oxygen-bearing functionalities at C-8 and C-10 play critical roles in inhibiting iNOS protein induction, which can promote inflammation in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. Furthermore, a principal component analysis tool, the chemical global positioning system for natural products (ChemGPS-NP), was applied to confirm these capnellane-based sesquiterpenes as promising candidates for future anti-inflammatory agents targeting iNOS-related targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number916
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • anti-inflammation
  • capnellene
  • ChemGPS-NP
  • COX-2
  • iNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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