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Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods.

Manayi A, Vazirian M, Saeidnia S - Pharmacogn Rev (2015 Jan-Jun)

Bottom Line: The plant also attracted scientists' attention to assess other aspects of its beneficial effects.Actually, concurrent determination and single analysis of cichoric acid and alkamides have been successfully developed mainly by using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with different detectors including UV spectrophotometric, coulometric electrochemical, and electrospray ionization mass spectrometric detectors.The results of the studies which were controversial revealed that in spite of major experiments successfully accomplished using E. purpurea, many questions remain unanswered and future investigations may aim for complete recognition of the plant's mechanism of action using new, complementary methods.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

ABSTRACT
Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae) is a perennial medicinal herb with important immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, especially the alleviation of cold symptoms. The plant also attracted scientists' attention to assess other aspects of its beneficial effects. For instance, antianxiety, antidepression, cytotoxicity, and antimutagenicity as induced by the plant have been revealed in various studies. The findings of the clinical trials are controversial in terms of side effects. While some studies revealed the beneficial effects of the plant on the patients and no severe adverse effects, some others have reported serious side effects including abdominal pain, angioedema, dyspnea, nausea, pruritus, rash, erythema, and urticaria. Other biological activities of the plant such as antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and larvicidal activities have been reported in previous experimental studies. Different classes of secondary metabolites of the plant such as alkamides, caffeic acid derivatives, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins are believed to be biologically and pharmacologically active. Actually, concurrent determination and single analysis of cichoric acid and alkamides have been successfully developed mainly by using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with different detectors including UV spectrophotometric, coulometric electrochemical, and electrospray ionization mass spectrometric detectors. The results of the studies which were controversial revealed that in spite of major experiments successfully accomplished using E. purpurea, many questions remain unanswered and future investigations may aim for complete recognition of the plant's mechanism of action using new, complementary methods.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Chemical structure of some secondary metabolites of E. purpurea
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Figure 1: Chemical structure of some secondary metabolites of E. purpurea

Mentions: The immunostimulant activity of the plant or its preparations is caused by three mechanisms: Phagocytosis activation, fibroblast stimulation, and the enhancement of respiratory activity that results in augmentation of leukocyte mobility.[9] There are numerous in vivo studies on the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of E. purpurea that suggest that innate immunity is enhanced by administration of the plant and that the immune system is strengthened against pathogenic infections through activation of the neutrophils, macrophages, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN), and natural killer (NK) cells.[7] For this reason, it can be suitable for prevention against and treatment of various infectious diseases such as infections of the upper and lower respiratory systems, wound infections, and chronic pelvic infections.[23] The complex chemical composition of the roots and herbs of Echinacea involves alkamides [Figure 1], ketoalkenes, caffeic acid derivatives, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins, which are believed to be responsible for noted immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory activities.[7] Moreover, alkamides are demonstrated to be effective on cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2), and this is considered as a possible mechanism of their immunomodulatory properties.[101112] Their possible molecular mechanism could be the increase of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38/MAPK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) signaling, as well as nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), activating transcription factor 2/cAMP responsive element binding protein 1 (ATF-2/CREB-1) in primary human monocytes and macrophages.[5] Another study showed that N-alkamides from a root and herb tincture induce synergistic activity on CB2 and ultimately lead to immunomodulatory effects along with the superstimulation of interleukin-10 (IL-10) and the inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) in vitro.[12] They are also able to inhibit both cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) and 5-lipoxygenase (F-LO), causing the inhibition of NK cells and anti-inflammatory activity.[13] The administration of the alkamide fraction of the plant in healthy rats, stimulated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), caused a dose-dependent enhancement in nitric oxide (NO) and TNF-α release from alveolar macrophages as well as phagocytic activity. The mentioned effects may contribute to produce the first immune response mediators and to antiviral activity. However, different doses of alkamides, cichoric acid, and polysaccharides did not impact the release of TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFNg), or IL-2 by splenocytes.[4] Additionally, E. purpurea is reported to stimulate the NO response of peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) to LPS 2-4 times higher compared to the control in Swiss mice.[3] Moreover, alkamides diffuse through Caco-2 monolayers and their diffusion is not affected by the presence of other constituents.[14] They are also characterized after oral administration of the plant using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in the blood stream.[1516] Alkamides in lozenges made from E. purpurea have been rapidly absorbed through the buccal and esophageal membranes in six healthy volunteers. All the doses significantly decreased proinflammatory cytokines including IL-12p70, IL-8, IL-6, and TNF-α. It seems that this effect is independent of the alkamide doses, suggesting synergistic effects of the plant compounds.[17] Some pharmacological activities of alkamides are summarized in Figure 2.


Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods.

Manayi A, Vazirian M, Saeidnia S - Pharmacogn Rev (2015 Jan-Jun)

Chemical structure of some secondary metabolites of E. purpurea
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4441164&req=5

Figure 1: Chemical structure of some secondary metabolites of E. purpurea
Mentions: The immunostimulant activity of the plant or its preparations is caused by three mechanisms: Phagocytosis activation, fibroblast stimulation, and the enhancement of respiratory activity that results in augmentation of leukocyte mobility.[9] There are numerous in vivo studies on the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of E. purpurea that suggest that innate immunity is enhanced by administration of the plant and that the immune system is strengthened against pathogenic infections through activation of the neutrophils, macrophages, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN), and natural killer (NK) cells.[7] For this reason, it can be suitable for prevention against and treatment of various infectious diseases such as infections of the upper and lower respiratory systems, wound infections, and chronic pelvic infections.[23] The complex chemical composition of the roots and herbs of Echinacea involves alkamides [Figure 1], ketoalkenes, caffeic acid derivatives, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins, which are believed to be responsible for noted immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory activities.[7] Moreover, alkamides are demonstrated to be effective on cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2), and this is considered as a possible mechanism of their immunomodulatory properties.[101112] Their possible molecular mechanism could be the increase of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38/MAPK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) signaling, as well as nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), activating transcription factor 2/cAMP responsive element binding protein 1 (ATF-2/CREB-1) in primary human monocytes and macrophages.[5] Another study showed that N-alkamides from a root and herb tincture induce synergistic activity on CB2 and ultimately lead to immunomodulatory effects along with the superstimulation of interleukin-10 (IL-10) and the inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) in vitro.[12] They are also able to inhibit both cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) and 5-lipoxygenase (F-LO), causing the inhibition of NK cells and anti-inflammatory activity.[13] The administration of the alkamide fraction of the plant in healthy rats, stimulated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), caused a dose-dependent enhancement in nitric oxide (NO) and TNF-α release from alveolar macrophages as well as phagocytic activity. The mentioned effects may contribute to produce the first immune response mediators and to antiviral activity. However, different doses of alkamides, cichoric acid, and polysaccharides did not impact the release of TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFNg), or IL-2 by splenocytes.[4] Additionally, E. purpurea is reported to stimulate the NO response of peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) to LPS 2-4 times higher compared to the control in Swiss mice.[3] Moreover, alkamides diffuse through Caco-2 monolayers and their diffusion is not affected by the presence of other constituents.[14] They are also characterized after oral administration of the plant using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in the blood stream.[1516] Alkamides in lozenges made from E. purpurea have been rapidly absorbed through the buccal and esophageal membranes in six healthy volunteers. All the doses significantly decreased proinflammatory cytokines including IL-12p70, IL-8, IL-6, and TNF-α. It seems that this effect is independent of the alkamide doses, suggesting synergistic effects of the plant compounds.[17] Some pharmacological activities of alkamides are summarized in Figure 2.

Bottom Line: The plant also attracted scientists' attention to assess other aspects of its beneficial effects.Actually, concurrent determination and single analysis of cichoric acid and alkamides have been successfully developed mainly by using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with different detectors including UV spectrophotometric, coulometric electrochemical, and electrospray ionization mass spectrometric detectors.The results of the studies which were controversial revealed that in spite of major experiments successfully accomplished using E. purpurea, many questions remain unanswered and future investigations may aim for complete recognition of the plant's mechanism of action using new, complementary methods.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

ABSTRACT
Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae) is a perennial medicinal herb with important immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, especially the alleviation of cold symptoms. The plant also attracted scientists' attention to assess other aspects of its beneficial effects. For instance, antianxiety, antidepression, cytotoxicity, and antimutagenicity as induced by the plant have been revealed in various studies. The findings of the clinical trials are controversial in terms of side effects. While some studies revealed the beneficial effects of the plant on the patients and no severe adverse effects, some others have reported serious side effects including abdominal pain, angioedema, dyspnea, nausea, pruritus, rash, erythema, and urticaria. Other biological activities of the plant such as antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and larvicidal activities have been reported in previous experimental studies. Different classes of secondary metabolites of the plant such as alkamides, caffeic acid derivatives, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins are believed to be biologically and pharmacologically active. Actually, concurrent determination and single analysis of cichoric acid and alkamides have been successfully developed mainly by using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with different detectors including UV spectrophotometric, coulometric electrochemical, and electrospray ionization mass spectrometric detectors. The results of the studies which were controversial revealed that in spite of major experiments successfully accomplished using E. purpurea, many questions remain unanswered and future investigations may aim for complete recognition of the plant's mechanism of action using new, complementary methods.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus