Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology

Ursolic acid isolated from guava leaves inhibits inflammatory mediators and reactive oxygen species in LPS-stimulated macrophages.

PMID 25753845


Psidium guajava (guava) leaves have been frequently used for the treatment of rheumatism, fever, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. The purpose of this study was to identify major anti-inflammatory compounds from guava leaf extract. The methanol extract and its hexane-, dichloromethane-, ethylacetate-, n-butanol- and water-soluble phases derived from guava leaves were evaluated to determine their inhibitory activity on nitric oxide (NO) production by RAW 264.7 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The methanol extract decreased NO production in a dose-dependent manner without cytotoxicity at a concentration range of 0-100 μg/mL. The n-butanol soluble phase was the most potent among the five soluble phases. Four compounds were isolated by reversed-phase HPLC from the n-butanol soluble phase and identified to be avicularin, guaijaverin, leucocyanidin and ursolic acid by their NMR spectra. Among these compounds, ursolic acid inhibited LPS-induced NO production in a dose-dependent manner without cytotoxity at a concentration range of 1-10 µM, but the other three compounds had no effect. Ursolic acid also inhibited LPS-induced prostaglandin E2 production. A western blot analysis showed that ursolic acid decreased the LPS-stimulated inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase protein levels. In addition, ursolic acid suppressed the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells, as measured by flow cytometry. Taken together, these results identified ursolic acid as a major anti-inflammatory compound in guava leaves.