Suppressive Properties of Extracts from Japanese Edible Plants regarding Nitric Oxide Generation


Acetone extracts from a total of 30 species (197 samples) of plants commonly eaten in Japan were tested fortheir in vitro inhibitory properties against nitric oxide (NO) generation in a murine macrophage cell line, RAW264.7, that had been stimulated with lipopolysaccharide in combination with interferon-γ. Evaluation of theeffects of treatment with 100 mg/mL revealed that 6 extracts (3.1%) exerted a strong inhibitory effect (inhibitionrate (IR) ≥70%) with strong cell viability (CV≥70%). However, nine extracts that exhibited an IR of greaterthan 70% were not considered to exert a significant effect at 100 μg/mL due to their low CV (<70%). Of the 14plant families evaluated, Cucurbitaceae (extracts of watermelon 1 and melon 2), Liliaceae (extracts of garlic 1and 2) and Solanaceae (extracts of tomato 3 and eggplant 5) were shown to be promising candidates for theinhibition of NO generation at the tested concentration. When tested at 20 μg/mL, 6 extracts, one of garlandchrysamthemums(sample 5), one of lettuce (sample 2), one of tomatoes (sample 3), two of Japanese hornworts(Mitsuba 1 and 2), and one of carrots (sample 4) showed strong inhibition of NO generation (IR≥70%). Eventhough one of the test samples (sample 2) of Japanese hornwort had a CV of less than 70% (67.8%), Japanesehornwort was still considered to be a highly promising species for the inhibition of NO generation. Furthermore,the activity varied significantly among samples from the same species for several plants. This variation mayhave been due to differences between cultivars and/or growing districts, or to differences in post-harvestingtreatment. Taken together, the results of the present study may provide an experimental basis for new strategiesfor the production of highly functional dietary plants and food items.