Inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase in vitro and in vivo by a water-soluble extract of Wendita calysina leaves

Stefania Marzocco, Anna Lisa Piccinelli, Luca Rastrelli, Emanuela Mazzon, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Giuseppina Autore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wendita calysina is a Paraguayan herbaceous plant commonly known as burrito. Our previous study indicated that burrito leaves are a very good source of phenylpropanoid glycosides, principally verbascoside. From W. calysina leaves, a standardized, water-soluble extract (WSE) rich in phenylpropanoid glycosides has been developed on an industrial scale to be used as a food supplement, cosmetic, phytomedicine, and ingredient of different formulations. In this study, we investigated the effect of the W. calysina WSE both in vitro in murine macrophage cell line J774.A1 stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and, in vivo in an animal model of acute inflammation, carrageenan-induced pleurisy. Here we report that W. calysina WSE (0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 mg/ml) inhibited inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and activity in LPS-stimulated J774.A1. In vivo experiments showed that injection of carrageenan (2%) into the pleural cavity of rats elicited an acute inflammatory response characterized by iNOS expression, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) up-regulation, nitrotyrosine and poly (ADP-ribose) synthase (PARS) formation, and lung tissue damage-all parameters significantly reduced by W. calysina WSE (500 mg/kg per os). These results report, for the first time, that a treatment with W. calysina WSE exerts anti-inflammatory effects both in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-358
Number of pages10
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Carrageenan-induced pleurisy
  • Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
  • J774.A1 macrophages
  • Phenylpropanoid glycosides
  • Wendita calysina leaves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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