Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the most important factor of gastric disease in clinical practice. Moreover, smoking, stress and a poor diet may be additive factors for gastric damage. With these factors, increasing infection of H. pylori triggers gastritis, gastric ulcers and gastric cancer. To develop a new protective agent, we are concerned with plant-derived extract. The extract of Coptis chinensis (C. chinensis) and its constituents were investigated to assess their protective activities against gastric damage. The C. chinensis extract showed a scavenging effect against 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide radicals, inhibition of H. pylori colonization and antiulcerogenic activities in rat. In particular, palmatine derived from C. chinensis was found to be the novel protective agent. It is better than the C. chinensis extract, berberine, a well-known constituent of C. chinensis. We suggest that palmatine from the root cortex of C. chinensis may be a good candidate for the development of new pharmaceuticals to prevent gastric disease.
Keywords: Coptis Chinensis; Gastric damage; Helicobactor pylori; Palmatine.