Anti-inflammatory effects of Asparagus cochinchinensis extract in acute and chronic cutaneous inflammation

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 12;121(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.07.006. Epub 2008 Jul 18.


Aims of study: Although Asparagus cochinchinensis Merrill (Liliaceae) has long been used in traditional Korean and Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory diseases, the underlying mechanism(s) by which these effects are induced remains to be defined. We investigated the effects of 70% ethanolic extract from Asparagus cochinchinensis Merrill (ACE) on skin inflammation in mice.

Materials and methods: Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta), activation of myeloperoxidase, and histological assessment were examined in acute and chronic skin inflammation using 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced mouse ear edema. We also performed acetic acid-induced vascular permeability test.

Results: ACE inhibited topical edema in the mouse ear, following administration at 200mg/kg (i.p.), leading to substantial reductions in skin thickness and tissue weight, inflammatory cytokine production, neutrophil-mediated myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, and various histopathological indicators. Furthermore, ACE was effective at reducing inflammatory damage induced by chronic TPA exposure and evoked a significant inhibition of vascular permeability induced by acetic acid in mice.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that ACE is an effective anti-inflammatory agent in murine phorbol ester-induced dermatitis, and suggest that the compound may have therapeutic potential in a variety of immune-related cutaneous diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid
  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asparagus Plant / chemistry*
  • Capillary Permeability / drug effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Dermatitis / metabolism
  • Dermatitis / prevention & control*
  • Ear, External
  • Edema / chemically induced
  • Edema / prevention & control*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Peroxidase
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Acetic Acid