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Open AccessArticle

Antispasmodic Activity of Prenylated Phenolic Compounds from the Root Bark of Morus nigra

Institute of Pharmacognosy, Interdisciplinary Excellence Center, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
NMR Group, Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Szt. Gellért Sq. 4, H-1111 Budapest, Hungary
Department of Pharmacodynamics and Biopharmacy, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Interdisciplinary Excellence Centre, University of Szeged, H-670 Szeged, Hungary
Interdisciplinary Centre for Natural Products, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Institute of Plant Biology, Biological Research Centre, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary.
Academic Editor: Tran Dang Xuan
Molecules 2019, 24(13), 2497;
Received: 27 May 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery of Active Ingredients from Natural Products)
PDF [1398 KB, uploaded 18 July 2019]


Black mulberry is a widely acknowledged ancient traditional medicine. Its extract and constituents have been reported to exert various bioactivities including antimicrobial, hypotensive, analgesic etc. effects. While black mulberry preparations are also used as antispasmodic agents in folk medicine, no related studies are available on its isolated constituents. Through an extensive chromatographic purification, seven phenolic compounds were isolated from the methanol extract of Morus nigra root bark, including morusin (1), kuwanon U (2), kuwanon E (3), moracin P (4), moracin O (5), albanol A (6), and albanol B (7). A complete NMR signal assignment of moracin P and O was achieved, and related literature errors confusing the identity of moracin derivatives are hereby clarified. Compounds 2, 5 and 7 were identified as strong antispasmodic agents on isolated rat ileum and tracheal smooth muscles, while compound 3, a methoxy derivative of 2, was inactive. Moracin O (5) inhibited the ileal and tracheal smooth muscle contractions with Emax values of 85% and 302 mg, respectively. Those actions were superior as compared with papaverine. Our findings demonstrate that prenylated arylbenzofurans, geranylated flavonoids and Diels-Alder adducts from Morus nigra are valuable antispasmodic agents. Compounds 2, 5 and 7 are suggested as marker compounds for quality control of antispasmodic mulberry preparations. Moracin O (5) is a new lead compound for related drug development initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: mulberry polyphenol; prenylflavonoid; arylbenzofuran; gastrointestinal disorder; asthma; spasmolytic mulberry polyphenol; prenylflavonoid; arylbenzofuran; gastrointestinal disorder; asthma; spasmolytic

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zoofishan, Z.; Kúsz, N.; Csorba, A.; Tóth, G.; Hajagos-Tóth, J.; Kothencz, A.; Gáspár, R.; Hunyadi, A. Antispasmodic Activity of Prenylated Phenolic Compounds from the Root Bark of Morus nigra. Molecules 2019, 24, 2497.

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