Natural and synthetic coumarin derivatives with anti-inflammatory/ antioxidant activities

Curr Pharm Des. 2004;10(30):3813-33. doi: 10.2174/1381612043382710.


Several natural products with a coumarinic moiety have been reported to have multiple biological activities. It is to be expected that, in a similar way to isomeric flavonoids, coumarins might affect the formation and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and influence processes involving free radical-mediated injury. Coumarin can reduce tissue edema and inflammation. Moreover coumarin and its 7-hydroxy-derivative inhibit prostaglandin biosynthesis, which involves fatty acid hydroperoxy intermediates. Natural products like esculetin, fraxetin, daphnetin and other related coumarin derivatives are recognised as inhibitors not only of the lipoxygenase and cycloxygenase enzymic systems, but also of the neutrophil-dependent superoxide anion generation. Due to the unquestionable importance of coumarin derivatives considerable efforts have been made by several investigators, to prepare new compounds bearing single substituents, or more complicated systems, including heterocyclic rings mainly at 3-, 4- and/or 7-positions. In this review we shall deal with naturally occurring or synthetically derived coumarin derivatives, which possess anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant activities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal* / chemical synthesis
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal* / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal* / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants* / chemical synthesis
  • Antioxidants* / chemistry
  • Antioxidants* / pharmacology
  • Coumarins* / chemical synthesis
  • Coumarins* / chemistry
  • Coumarins* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antioxidants
  • Coumarins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species