2001 Volume 24 Issue 9 Pages 1012-1015
We previously screened the anti-itching activities of 33 herbal medicines in substance P (SP)-induced itching model mice. One of the most potent antipruritogenic extracts, the methanol extract of fruits of Cnidium monnieri (Cnidii Fructus) was studied further. The chloroform-soluble fraction of the methanol extract markedly inhibited SP-induced scratching. Among 10 subfractions of the chloroform-soluble fraction, the CS-3 fraction had the most potent inhibitory effect on scratching. Each of 3 subfractions of CS-3 showed significant anti-scratching activities. However, inhibitory potencies were not different among the three and weaker than that of CS-3 itself at a same dose. These 3 subfractions of CS-3 mainly contained xanthotoxin, isopimpinellin, bergapten, imperatorin and osthol. Single administration of osthol did not inhibit SP-induced scratching, and imperatorin very weakly subsided scratching. These results suggest that the strong antipruritic action was focused on the CS-3 fraction of the C. monnieri methanol extract, and it might result from the combined effects of these coumarin derivatives, or by undetermined minor compounds.