Anti-inflammatory effects of Dendrobium nobile derived phenanthrenes in LPS-stimulated murine macrophages

Arch Pharm Res. 2015 Jun;38(6):1117-26. doi: 10.1007/s12272-014-0511-5. Epub 2014 Nov 5.


Dendrobium nobile belongs to the Orchidaceae family and is one of the medicinal herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine as a therapeutic agent for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases. In this study, we separated three phenanthrenes (ephemeranthol A (EA), 1,5,7-trimethoxyphenanthren-2-ol (TP), dehydroorchinol (DO)) from D. nobile, and compared their anti-inflammatory activities. TP is a new phenanthrene compound and its structure was determined from (1)H, (13)C NMR and HR-ESI-MS data. To analyze the anti-inflammatory activities of the phenanthrenes, Raw 264.7 cells were used, since they are immature-macrophages and easily matured by LPS stimulation. EA and DO showed anti-inflammatory activities in the activated Raw 264.7 cells. That is, we showed that EA is a potent inhibitor of the production of nitric oxide and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The inhibitory activities of phenanthrenes were found to be caused by blockage of NF-κB activation and the phosphorylation of MAP kinases in the macrophages. These results are expected to serve as a guide for future studies on the ability of phenanthrenes to inhibit acute and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Dendrobium / chemistry*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / drug effects
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / drug effects
  • Nitric Oxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Phenanthrenes / pharmacology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cytokines
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Phenanthrenes
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases