Chronic inflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases. During the neuroinflammatory process, microglial cells release neurotoxic and proinflammatory mediators. In the present study, using activity-guided fractionation, we have purified an anti-inflammatory compound determined by spectroscopic methods to be a sesquiterpene lactone named achillolide A from Achillea fragrantissima (Forsk.) Sch. Bip. In primary cultures of lipopolysaccharide-activated microglial cells, achillolide A inhibited the lipopolysaccharide-induced levels of proinflammatory and toxic mediators including glutamate, nitric oxide, matrix metalloproteinase-9, cyclooxygenase-2, induced nitric oxide synthase, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α. Achillolide A also exhibited an antioxidant capacity, as was shown in a cell free system as well as by its ability to reduce intracellular reactive oxygen species levels in microglial cells. Thus, achillolide A might have therapeutic potential for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and deserves further studies.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.