Theacrine, a purine alkaloid with anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities

Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):627-31. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.03.008. Epub 2010 Mar 20.


The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of theacrine (1, 3, 7, 9-tetramethyluric acid), a purine alkaloid which is abundantly present in Camellia kucha, were investigated. Xylene-induced ear edema, acetic acid-induced vascular permeability and lambda-carrageenan-induced paw edema were used to investigate anti-inflammatory activity, and acetic acid-induced writhing and hot-plate tests were used to determine analgesic effect. Oral administration of theacrine (8-32 mg/kg) induced dose-related anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. On the other hand, oral caffeine administration (8-32 mg/kg) did not show an inhibitory effect on the inhibition of inflammatory response or cause analgesia. Additionally, the result of the acute toxicity test showed that the LD(50) of theacrine was 810.6 mg/kg (769.5-858.0mg/kg). The data obtained suggest theacrine possessed analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / analysis
  • Camellia / chemistry*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Female
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Uric Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Uric Acid / chemistry
  • Uric Acid / therapeutic use


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Uric Acid
  • 1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid