Background: Euphorbia hirta has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory activity. This study was carried out to determine the prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ) inhibition activity of the fractions of the E. hirta aqueous extract on rabbit synovial fibroblast cells (HIG-82).
Methods: E. hirta aqueous extract was fractionated into five fractions (fractions A, B, C, D, and E) by reversed phase flash chromatography. Rabbit synovial fibroblast cells (HIG-82) were activated with phorbol myristate acetate and treated with the fractions. The amount of PGE 2 released into the medium was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Fraction A (0.1, 1, and 10 μg/ml) had the greatest PGE 2 inhibitory effect among the five fractions, and showed a greater extent of PGE 2 inhibition compared to the aqueous extract. In contrast, Fraction E had the greatest stimulatory effect on PGE 2 release.
Conclusions: Fraction A of the aqueous extract inhibited the production of PGE 2 from activated HIG-82 cells to a greater extent than the crude aqueous extract. Bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory activity are likely to be concentrated in Fraction A of E. hirta aqueous extract.