Peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) is a cytotoxicant with strong oxidizing properties toward various cellular constituents, including sulphydryls, lipids, amino acids and nucleotides and can cause cell death, lipid peroxidation, carcinogenesis and aging. The aim of this study was to characterize ONOO(-) scavenging constituents from herbs. Twenty-eight herbs were screened for their ONOO(-) scavenging activities with the use of a fluorometric method. The potency of scavenging activity following the addition of authentic ONOO(-) was in the following order: witch hazel bark > rosemary > jasmine tea > sage > slippery elm > black walnut leaf > Queen Anne's lace > Linden flower. The extracts exhibited dose-dependent ONOO(-) scavenging activities. We found that witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L.) bark showed the strongest effect for scavenging ONOO(-) of the 28 herbs. Hamamelitannin, the major active component of witch hazel bark, was shown to have a strong ability to scavenge ONOO(-). It is suggested that hamamelitannin might be developed as an effective peroxynitrite scavenger for the prevention of ONOO(-) involved diseases.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.