Ophiopogonis Radix (Ophiopogon root), which nourishes the yin, has been used in clinical practice to promote fluid secretion and to moisturize the lungs and skin in traditional Chinese and Japanese (Kampo) medicine. To evaluate this traditional medicinal effect, we investigated the anti-chronic inflammatory effect of Radix Ophiopogonis on senescent cells. Conversely, although several phenotypes of Ophiopogon japonicus Ker-Gawler (Liliaceae) are prevalent in Japan and China, we used these Ophiopogon roots by considering them as one crude drug, Ophiopogonis Radix. In this study, it was revealed that there are two chemotypes (Types A and B) in the root of the original plant, O. japonicus. Methylophiopogonanone A (compound 1) and methylophiopogonanone B (compound 2) were isolated as index compounds from Type A and compound 1 and ophiopogonanone A (compound 3) from Type B. In addition, ophiopogonin B (compound 4) was isolated as the main steroidal saponin from both Type A and B. The results indicated that two different methanol extracts (from Types A and B) and the main constituents of O. japonicus (compound 1-4), significantly downregulated the expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8, which were enhanced by senescent normal human dermal fibroblasts. Moreover, the two different methanol extracts and compounds 1-4 decreased IL-6 production in a strong and concentration-dependent manner by the ELISA method.
Keywords: Anti-chronic inflammatory activity; Cellular senescence; Homoisoflavone; Ophiopogon japonicus; SASP; Steroidal saponin.