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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 727342, 8 pages
Research Article

A Bio-Guided Fractionation to Assess the Inhibitory Activity of Calendula officinalis L. on the NF-κB Driven Transcription in Human Gastric Epithelial Cells

1Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy
2Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, Department of Physics, Università degli Studi di Trento, Via Sommarive 14, 38123 Trento, Italy

Received 21 May 2015; Accepted 8 September 2015

Academic Editor: Kuttulebbai N. S. Sirajudeen

Copyright © 2015 Elisa Colombo 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.


Calendula officinalis L. has been largely known for its topical anti-inflammatory properties; however, there are no experimental evidences about its antiphlogistic effect at the gastric level. To investigate whether marigold might exert an activity against gastric inflammation, a CH2Cl2 extract obtained from C. officinalis flowers was evaluated in vitro on the NF-κB pathway. The lipophilic extract demonstrated a significant inhibitory effect on the NF-κB driven transcription. The identification of active compounds was conducted by a bio-guided fractionation of the extract that afforded 16 fractions. Fraction J exhibited a concentration-dependent inhibitory activity on the NF-κB driven transcription and significantly contributed to the antiphlogistic effect showed by CH2Cl2 extract. The main components of fraction J were loliolide and the fucoside acetates of β-eudesmol and viridiflorol. HPLC analysis of fractions D and E led to the identification and isolation of triterpene esters that showed a concentration-dependent inhibition of the NF-κB driven transcription, with faradiol-3-myristate and the corresponding aglycone being the most active compounds. The present study provides some experimental evidences that Calendula officinalis L. may exert an anti-inflammatory activity on the gastric district by the inhibition of the NF-κB system, identifying the compounds responsible, at least in part, for the observed effect.