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Molecules 2014, 19(4), 4956-4966; doi:10.3390/molecules19044956

Characterization of Natural Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Agonists from Cassia Seed and Rosemary

1
College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Matsuyama University, 4-2 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8578, Japan
2
Division of Foods, National Institute of Health Sciences, 1-18-1 Kamiyoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501, Japan
3
Hiyoshi Corporation, 908 Kitanosho-cho, Omihachiman, Shiga 523-8555, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 February 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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Abstract

Many recent studies have suggested that activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) reduces immune responses, thus suppressing allergies and autoimmune diseases. In our continuing study on natural AhR agonists in foods, we examined the influence of 37 health food materials on the AhR using a reporter gene assay, and found that aqueous ethanol extracts of cassia seed and rosemary had particularly high AhR activity. To characterize the AhR-activating substances in these samples, the chemical constituents of the respective extracts were identified. From an active ethyl acetate fraction of the cassia seed extract, eight aromatic compounds were isolated. Among these compounds, aurantio-obtusin, an anthraquinone, elicited marked AhR activation. Chromatographic separation of an active ethyl acetate fraction of the rosemary extract gave nine compounds. Among these compounds, cirsimaritin induced AhR activity at 10–102 μM, and nepitrin and homoplantagenin, which are flavone glucosides, showed marked AhR activation at 10–103 μM.
Keywords: aryl hydrocarbon receptor; health food; cassia seed; rosemary; reporter gene assay aryl hydrocarbon receptor; health food; cassia seed; rosemary; reporter gene assay
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Amakura, Y.; Yoshimura, M.; Takaoka, M.; Toda, H.; Tsutsumi, T.; Matsuda, R.; Teshima, R.; Nakamura, M.; Handa, H.; Yoshida, T. Characterization of Natural Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Agonists from Cassia Seed and Rosemary. Molecules 2014, 19, 4956-4966.

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