2003 Volume 51 Issue 5 Pages 595-598
According to the traditional usage of the plant for antiinflammation and analgesia, Leucas aspera was tested for its prostaglandin (PG) inhibitory and antioxidant activities. The extract showed both activities, i.e., inhibition at 3×10−4 g/ml against PGE1- and PGE2-induced contractions in guinea pig ileum and a 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging effect. The separation guided by the activities in these dual assay methods provided eight lignans and four flavonoids, LA-1— -12, among which LA-1— -7 and LA-10— -12 were identified as nectandrin B, meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid, macelignan, acacetin, apigenin 7-O-[6″-O-(p-coumaroyl)-β-D-glucoside], chrysoeriol, apigenin, erythro-2-(4-allyl-2, 6-dimethoxyphenoxy)-1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)propan-1-ol, myristargenol B, and machilin C, respectively. LA-8 was determined to be (−)-chicanine, the new antipode of the (+) compound, by spectroscopic methods including CD and ORD. Chiral-HPLC analysis of LA-9 showed that it was a mixture of two enantiomers, (7R, 8R)- and (7S, 8S)-licarin A. All of these components were first isolated from L. aspera. PG inhibition was observed in LA-1, LA-2, and LA-5, and antioxidant activity in LA-1— -3 and LA-8— -12.