Identification and characterization of inhibitors of peptido-leukotriene-synthesis from Petasites hybridus

Planta Med. 1994 Aug;60(4):318-22. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-959492.


Extracts from Petasites hybridus were found to inhibit peptido-leukotriene biosynthesis in isolated peritoneal macrophages. Chemical analysis by gas chromatography coupled with mass and infrared spectroscopy facilitated the identification of three isomeric oxopetasan esters, petasin, and isopetasin as the main compounds of these extracts. Fractionations obtained by column chromatography of the most effective extract indicated a correlation between peptido-leukotriene biosynthesis inhibition and the content of isopetasin, a sesquiterpene ester of isopetasol and angelic acid, as well as the isomeric oxopetasan esters. Petasin, a structural isomer of isopetasin, however, was found to be inactive. It may even reduce the peptido-leukotrine inhibitory effect of isopetasin. It is concluded that isopetasin and the oxopetasan esters in Petasites hybridus inhibit the biosynthesis of the vasoconstrictive peptido-leukotrienes. This effect may contribute to some of the medicinal properties of Petasites hybridus extracts such as, e.g., gastroprotection and spasmolytic activity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Leukotrienes / biosynthesis*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / drug effects
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*


  • Leukotrienes
  • Plant Extracts