Identification, quantification and investigation of anti-inflammatory effects of Echinacea purpurea constituents

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Vamsikrishna Kandhi (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nadja Cech

Abstract: Echinacea is among the top selling botanical medicines in the United States. Clinical trials have yielded contradictory reports on the efficacy of Echinacea preparations for treatment of colds, influenza, and inflammation, perhaps due to inconsistency in quality control and lack of information as to which constituents are responsible for their activity. Our overall goal with this research was to develop and apply mass spectrometry techniques to better understand the relationship between chemical composition of Echinacea extracts and their biological activity. This objective was achieved through three separate aims. (1) To determine whether in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of Echinacea purpurea extracts could be correlated with the presence of the alkylamides or caffeic acid derivatives, which have previously been reported to be bioactive. The ability of these extracts to inhibit production of TNF-alpha and PGE2 from influenza A-infected RAW 264.7 macrophage-like cells was assessed. Chemical analysis of the extracts revealed variations in levels of alkylamides, caftaric acid, and cichoric acid. The biological activity of these extracts, however, did not correlate with concentrations of any of these compounds. (2) To investigate the effects of Echinacea purpurea preparations and their constituents on protein expression by immune cells in vitro. Stable isotope labeling with amino acid in cell culture (SILAC), a quantitative proteomics approach, was employed to measure changes in protein expression by activated RAW 264.7 macrophage-type cells exposed to an Echinacea purpurea extract and several of its constituents. The extract and several isolated alkylamides were observed to block expression of a number of proteins, some of which were directly or indirectly involved in inflammation. (3) To develop new analytical methods to analyze bacterial lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are commonly found in aqueous Echinacea extracts and have pronounced immunostimulatory activity in vitro. These compounds are large and polydisperse, making them very difficult to characterize analytically. A new liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analytical method was developed and employed to analyze lipoproteins from E. coli and from an endophyte isolated from Echinacea purpurea seeds.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Echinacea (Plants) $x Analysis
Mass spectrometry

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