Astrocaryum aculeatum fruit improves inflammation and redox balance in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated macrophages

J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Jan 30;247:112274. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.112274. Epub 2019 Oct 4.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: The fruit of Astrocaryum aculeatum G.Mey. (tucumã) is highly consumed by riverside communities in the Amazonian region. These communities have recently been shown to have increased longevity and reduced prevalence of age-related morbidity. Tucumã, which is locally used in their diet and traditional medicine may contribute to these features.

Aim of the study: To investigate the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of A. aculeatum extract against phytohemagglutinin-induced inflammation in cell cultures.

Materials and methods: Cell viability and cytotoxicity assays, gene expression of interleukins IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO) and thiols were employed, as well as the activities of antioxidant enzymes in RAW 264.7 cells stimulated with phytohemagglutinin to mimic inflammation.

Results: The extract of A. aculeatum fruit inhibited macrophage proliferation (P < 0.05), arrested the cell cycle in G0/G1 phase (P < 0.001), increased antioxidant defenses (P < 0.01), reduced oxidative stress (P < 0.01), and modulated genes related to the inflammatory response (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that A. aculeatum fruit has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities. These beneficial effects of tucumã on cells are also likely to be seen in vivo, thereby suggesting that its extract is a suitable therapeutic adjuvant in the prevention or treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Antioxidant; Astrocaryum aculeatum; Cell culture; Tucumã.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Arecaceae / chemistry*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Mice
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / immunology
  • Phytohemagglutinins / immunology
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Edible / chemistry
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • South America


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Plant Extracts