Anti-Inflammatory activities of licorice extract and its active compounds, glycyrrhizic acid, liquiritin and liquiritigenin, in BV2 cells and mice liver

Molecules. 2015 Jul 20;20(7):13041-54. doi: 10.3390/molecules200713041.


This study provides the scientific basis for the anti-inflammatory effects of licorice extract in a t-BHP (tert-butyl hydrogen peroxide)-induced liver damage model and the effects of its ingredients, glycyrrhizic acid (GA), liquiritin (LQ) and liquiritigenin (LG), in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated microglial cell model. The GA, LQ and LG inhibited the LPS-stimulated elevation of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta and interleukin (IL)-6 in BV2 (mouse brain microglia) cells. Furthermore, licorice extract inhibited the expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6) in the livers of t-BHP-treated mice models. This result suggested that mechanistic-based evidence substantiating the traditional claims of licorice extract and its three bioactive components can be applied for the treatment of inflammation-related disorders, such as oxidative liver damage and inflammation diseases.

Keywords: anti-inflammation; glycyrrhizic acid; hepatoprotective effect; licorice extract; liquiritin; oxidative liver damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Flavanones / isolation & purification
  • Flavanones / pharmacology*
  • Glucosides / isolation & purification
  • Glucosides / pharmacology*
  • Glycyrrhiza / chemistry*
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid / isolation & purification
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavanones
  • Glucosides
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid
  • liquiritin
  • liquiritigenin