Complanine, an inflammation-inducing substance isolated from the marine fireworm Eurythoe complanata

Org Biomol Chem. 2008 Jun 21;6(12):2058-60. doi: 10.1039/b803107j. Epub 2008 Apr 24.


The marine fireworm, Eurythoe complanata, is known as a dangerous animal for humans because it induces skin inflammation through its small setae. Here, the inflammation-inducing substance was successfully isolated from the whole body using a methanolic extraction, and the inflammatory activity was determined using a bioassay. The structure was spectroscopically revealed to be a trimethylammonium with an unsaturated carbon chain and was named complanine. Complanine enhanced PKC activity in combination with TPA in vitro. This may explain the molecular mechanism behind its inflammation-inducing activity.

MeSH terms

  • Alkenes / chemistry
  • Alkenes / isolation & purification*
  • Alkenes / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Inflammation / chemically induced*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Polychaeta / chemistry*
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / chemistry
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / isolation & purification*
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / toxicity


  • Alkenes
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • complanine
  • Protein Kinase C