Anti-inflammatory effects of concentrated ethanol extracts of Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum Cass.) callus cultures towards human keratinocytes and endothelial cells

Mediators Inflamm. 2012;2012:498373. doi: 10.1155/2012/498373. Epub 2012 Oct 10.


Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum Cass.) is traditionally employed in folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory remedy. In nature, the plant is sparsely available and protected; therefore production of callus cultures was established. A concentrated ethanolic extract of culture homogenate, with leontopodic acid representing 55 ± 2% of the total phenolic fraction (ECC55), was characterized for anti-inflammatory properties in primary human keratinocytes (PHKs) and endotheliocytes (HUVECs). Inflammatory responses were induced by UVA+UVB, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), and a mixture of proinflammatory cytokines. Trichostatin A, a sirtuin inhibitor, was used to induce keratinocyte inflammatory senescence. ECC55 (10-50 μg/mL) protected PHK from solar UV-driven damage, by enhancing early intracellular levels of nitric oxide, although not affecting UV-induced expression of inflammatory genes. Comparison of the dose-dependent inhibition of chemokine (IL-8, IP-10, MCP-1) and growth factor (GM-CSF) release from PHK activated by TNFα + IFNγ showed that leontopodic acid was mainly responsible for the inhibitory effects of ECC55. Sirtuin-inhibited cell cycle, proliferation, and apoptosis markers were restored by ECC55. The extract inhibited LPS-induced IL-6 and VCAM1 genes in HUVEC, as well as oxLDL-induced selective VCAM1 overexpression. Conclusion. Edelweiss cell cultures could be a valuable source of anti-inflammatory substances potentially applicable for chronic inflammatory skin diseases and bacterial and atherogenic inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Asteraceae / chemistry*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / radiation effects
  • Ethanol / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / radiation effects
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Plant Extracts
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Ethanol