Taraxacum officinale Weber extracts inhibit LPS-induced oxidative stress and nitric oxide production via the NF-κB modulation in RAW 264.7 cells

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 27;133(2):834-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.11.015. Epub 2010 Nov 11.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale G.H. Weber ex Wiggers, Asteraceae) has been widely used in folklore medicine to treat dyspepsia, heartburn, and spleen and liver disorders.

Aim of the study: To compare the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities of Taraxacum officinale methanol extract (TOME) and water extract (TOWE) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and assess their constitutional differences, including luteolin, chicoric acid, and total phenol content.

Materials and methods: Antioxidative enzyme activities, nitric oxide (NO) production, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB expression were estimated by biochemical analysis, the Griess reaction, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, western hybridization, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay. High-performance liquid chromatography and the Folin-Ciocalteau method were used to analyze functional phytochemicals and total phenol content.

Results: TOME and TOWE significantly reduced NO production with an IC(50) of 79.9 and 157.5 μg/mL, respectively, without cytotoxicity. Depleted glutathione (GSH) and antioxidative enzyme activities, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, GSH-peroxidase, and GSH-reductase, were restored by dandelion extracts. Both extracts inhibited LPS-stimulated iNOS gene expression and that of its transcription factor, NF-κB, in parallel with nitrite reduction. TOME showed more potent antioxidative and anti-inflammatory capacities than TOWE, which was attributable to its high total phenol, luteolin, and chicoric acid content.

Conclusions: These results indicate that TOME and TOWE inhibit oxidative stress and inflammatory responses through elevated de novo synthesis of antioxidative enzymes and suppression of iNOS expression by NF-κB inactivation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • Caffeic Acids / isolation & purification
  • Caffeic Acids / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • Luteolin / isolation & purification
  • Luteolin / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Medicine, Korean Traditional
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Republic of Korea
  • Succinates / isolation & purification
  • Succinates / pharmacology
  • Taraxacum* / chemistry


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Caffeic Acids
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Succinates
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse
  • Glutathione
  • Luteolin
  • chicoric acid