A platelet phospholipase inhibitor from the medicinal herb feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium).


Makheja AN, Bailey JM




Prostaglandins Leukot Med


Feverfew has been used since antiquity to treat fevers and other inflammatory conditions. Feverfew extracts were found to inhibit ADP, thrombin, or collagen-induced aggregation of human platelets, but significantly, did not affect aggregation induced by arachidonic acid. Synthesis of thromboxane B2 from exogenous 14C-arachidonic acid was also not inhibited. Washed platelets prelabelled with 14C-AA responded normally to thrombin by releasing 14C-TXB2. This was completely blocked by feverfew. A purified platelet phospholipase A2 was inhibited by the material with an I50 of 0.1 antiplatelet units. The pharmacological properties of feverfew may thus be due to an inhibitor of cellular phospholipases, which prevents release of arachidonic acid in response to appropriate physiological stimuli.