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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 292-294

Inhibitory effect of esculentoside A on tumour necrosis factor α production by human monocytes

Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Esculentoside A (EsA) is a saponin isolated from the roots of Phytolacca esculenta. Previous experiments have shown that it has strong anti-inflammatory effects. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is a very important inflammatory mediator. It is known that there are two types of TNF—TNFα is from macrophages/monocytes and TNFβ is from activated lymphocytes. In order to study the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory effect of EsA, it was determined whether TNFα production from human peripheral monocytes was altered by EsA under lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated conditions. EsA was found to decrease TNFα production in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations higher than 1 μmol/l EsA. Recent studies have shown that EsA has a curative effect on chocolate cyst and other inflammatory diseases. Our previous studies have shown that EsA could reduce the release of platelet activating factor (PAF) from rat macrophages, and inhibit interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 production from routine macrophages. The reducing effects of EsA on the release of TNFα, IL-1, IL-6 and PAF may explain its anti-inflammatory effect.