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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 798192, 8 pages
Research Article

Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Triterpene Saponins Isolated from Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

1Department of Neuroscience and Tissue Injury Defense Research Center, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 158-710, Republic of Korea
2National Center for Natural Products Research, Thad Cochran Research Center, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 38677-1848, USA

Received 2 May 2012; Revised 26 July 2012; Accepted 27 July 2012

Academic Editor: Jang-Hern Lee

Copyright © 2012 Yeonju Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Blue cohosh has been used as a medicinal herb in eastern North America. It was commonly used as traditional medicines for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, rheumatic pain, and as anti-inflammatory remedy. Particularly, extract of blue cohosh roots has been used as anti-inflammatory antipyretic in traditional medicines. In the present study, we investigated the effects of blue cohosh components on the suppressive expression of iNOS or proinflammatory cytokines after the activation of microglia with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The expression of iNOS, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 was determined by western blotting or gene expression. Blue cohosh treatment suppressed the elevation of LPS-induced iNOS expression in a concentration-dependent manner in microglia cells. Blue cohosh constituents also suppressed the expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. In addition, blue cohosh extract suppressed the expression of COX-2, iNOS, and proinflammatory cytokines in adrenal glands of mice. These results demonstrate that constituents of blue cohosh exert anti-inflammatory effects through the inhibition of expression of iNOS and proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, blue cohosh may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of inflammation-related diseases.