Anti-inflammatory activities of the triterpene acids from the resin of Boswellia carteri

J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Sep 19;107(2):249-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.03.006. Epub 2006 Mar 17.


Boswellic acids are the main well-known active components of the resin of Boswellia carteri (Burseraceae) and these are still dealing with the ethnomedicinal use for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Although several studies have already been reported on the pharmacological properties, especially on the anti-inflammatory activity, of Boswellia carteri resin and boswellic acids, the ethnomedicinal importance of Boswellia carteri and its components, boswellic acids, prompted us to undertake detailed investigation on the constituents of the resin and their anti-inflammatory activity. Fifteen triterpene acids, viz., seven of the beta-boswellic acids (ursane-type) (1-7), two of the alpha-boswellic acids (oleanane-type) (8, 9), two of the lupeolic acids (lupane-type) (10, 11), and four of the tirucallane-type (12-14, 16), along with two cembrane-type diterpenes (17, 18), were isolated and identified from the methanol extract of the resin of Boswellia carteri. Upon evaluation of 17 compounds, 1-14 and 16-18, and compound 15, semi-synthesized from 14 by acetylation, for their inhibitory activity against 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced inflammation (1 microg/ear) in mice, all of the compounds, except for 18, exhibited marked anti-inflammatory activity with a 50% inhibitory dose (ID(50)) of 0.05-0.49 mg/ear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Boswellia / chemistry*
  • Edema / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Molecular Structure
  • Resins, Plant / chemistry*
  • Triterpenes / isolation & purification
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Resins, Plant
  • Triterpenes
  • boswellic acid