Hypericum perforatum attenuates the development of carrageenan-induced lung injury in mice

Marta Menegazzi, Rosanna Di Paola, Emanuela Mazzon, Carmelo Muià, Tiziana Genovese, Concetta Crisafulli, Hisanori Suzuki, Salvatore Cuzzocrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypericum perforatum is a medicinal plant species containing many polyphenolic compounds, namely flavonoids and phenolic acids. Since polyphenolic compounds have a high antioxidant potential, in this study we evaluated the effect of H. perforatum in an animal model of acute inflammation, carrageenan-induced pleurisy. We report here that H. perforatum extract (given at 30 mg/kg orally, bolus prior to carrageenan) exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects in an animal model of acute inflammation. Injection of carrageenan into the pleural cavity of mice elicited an acute inflammatory response characterized by fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity which contained a large number of neutrophils (PMNs) as well as an infiltration of PMNs in lung tissues and subsequent lipid peroxidation (as determined by thiobarbituric acid-reactant substance measurement) and increased production of tumor necrosis factor-α, (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1 β). All parameters of inflammation were attenuated by H. perforatum extract. Furthermore, carrageenan induced an upregulation of the expression of adhesion molecules ICAM-1, as well as an increase in the amounts of nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR), as determined by immunohistochemical analysis of lung tissues. The degree of staining for the ICAM-1, nitrotyrosine, and PAR was significantly reduced by H. perforatum extract. Additionally, we demonstrate that these inflammatory events were associated with the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and signal transducer and activator transcription-3 (STAT-31) activation in the lung. NF-κB and STAT-3 activation were significantly inhibited by H. perforatum extract treatment. Taken together, our results indicate that prevention of the activation of NF-κB and STAT-3 by H. perforatum extract reduces the development of acute inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-753
Number of pages14
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2006


  • Carrageenan-induced pleurisy
  • Hypericum perforatum
  • Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity
  • NF-κB, nuclear factor-κB
  • ROS, reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hypericum perforatum attenuates the development of carrageenan-induced lung injury in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this