Purple carrot (Daucus carota L.) polyacetylenes decrease lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of inflammatory proteins in macrophage and endothelial cells

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3554-60. doi: 10.1021/jf073494t. Epub 2008 Apr 24.


Carrots ( Daucus carota L.) contain phytochemicals including carotenoids, phenolics, polyacetylenes, isocoumarins, and sesquiterpenes. Purple carrots also contain anthocyanins. The anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and phytochemicals from purple carrots was investigated by determining attenuation of the response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A bioactive chromatographic fraction (Sephadex LH-20) reduced LPS inflammatory response. There was a dose-dependent reduction in nitric oxide production and mRNA of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha) and iNOS in macrophage cells. Protein secretions of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were reduced 77 and 66% in porcine aortic endothelial cells treated with 6.6 and 13.3 microg/mL of the LH-20 fraction, respectively. Preparative liquid chromatography resulted in a bioactive subfraction enriched in the polyacetylene compounds falcarindiol, falcarindiol 3-acetate, and falcarinol. The polyacetylenes were isolated and reduced nitric oxide production in macrophage cells by as much as 65% without cytotoxicity. These results suggest that polyacetylenes, not anthocyanins, in purple carrots are responsible for anti-inflammatory bioactivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aorta
  • Cell Line
  • Cytokines / analysis*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Daucus carota / chemistry*
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Polyynes / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Swine


  • Anthocyanins
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Polyynes
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II