Identification of Magnolia officinalis L. bark extract as the most potent anti-inflammatory of four plant extracts

Am J Chin Med. 2013;41(3):531-44. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X13500389.


This study was designed to compare the anti-inflammatory potential of a Magnolia officinalis L. bark extract solely or in combination with extracts prepared from either Polygonum aviculare L., Sambucus nigra L., or Isodon japonicus L. in bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated human gingival fibroblasts (HGF-1) and human U-937 monocytes, as cell models of periodontal disease. HGF-1 and U-937 cells were incubated with LPS from either Porphyromonas gingivalis or Escherichia coli together with the four plant extracts alone or in combination. Secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines from HGF-1 and U-937 cells was measured by means of a multiplexed bead assay system. Magnolia officinalis L. bark extract, at concentrations of 1 μg/mL and 10 μg/mL, reduced interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion from HGF-1 cells to 72.5 ± 28.6% and reduced matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) secretion from U-937 cells to 8.87 ± 7.97% compared to LPS-treated cells (100%). The other three extracts also reduced secretion of these inflammatory markers but were not as effective. Combination of 9 μg/mL Magnolia officinalis L. extract with 1 μg/mL of each of the other extracts maintained the anti-inflammatory effect of Magnolia officinalis L. extract. Combination of 5 μg/mL Magnolia officinalis L. extract with 5 μg/mL Isodon japonicus L. extract also maintained the anti-inflammatory potential of the Magnolia officinalis L. extract, whereas increasing concentrations of any of the other plant extracts in the combination experiments reduced the Magnolia officinalis L. extract efficacy in U-937 cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interleukins / metabolism
  • Isodon*
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Magnolia*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Periodontal Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Periodontal Diseases* / metabolism
  • Periodontal Diseases* / microbiology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Bark
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Polygonum*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / metabolism
  • Sambucus nigra*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Interleukins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases