Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera tokaiensis suppress the activation of HMC-1 human mast cells

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Aug 17;125(1):90-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.06.009. Epub 2009 Jun 18.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Several Northern Hemisphere Drosera species have been used in the therapy of respiratory tract infections as the traditional medicine Droserae Herba.

Aim of the study: To determine the anti-inflammatory effects of Drosera species and to investigate a substitute material for Droserae Herba, we examined the effect of extracts of Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera tokaiensis and Drosera spatulata on activated T cell membrane (aTc-m)-induced inflammatory gene expression in HMC-1 human mast cells.

Materials and methods: Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera spatulata and Drosera tokaiensis were collected in Japan. Herbs were extracted with 80% EtOH, and subsequently applied to OASIS HLB column. HMC-1 cells were treated with each Drosera column-adsorbed fraction for 15min, and subsequently added to aTc-m and incubated for 16h. Inflammatory gene and protein expressions were determined by DNA microarray, RT-PCR and Western blotting.

Results: Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera tokaiensis fractions, but not the Drosera spatulata fraction, suppressed inflammatory gene expression induced by aTc-m in HMC-1 cells.

Conclusions: Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera tokaiensis suppressed activation of HMC-1 cells induced by aTc-m. Since the Drosera tokaiensis fraction was more effective than the traditionally used Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera tokaiensis is a likely substitute as a source of Droserae Herba.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosera / chemistry*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Species Specificity


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • DNA Primers
  • Plant Extracts