Triterpene alcohols from the flowers of compositae and their anti-inflammatory effects.


Akihisa T, Yasukawa K, Oinuma H






Eleven tabular and nine ligulate flowers from 15 species of Compositae plants were investigated for their triterpene alcohol constituents. This led to the isolation and identification of 11 triterpene alcohols as follows: heliaol, taraxasterol, psi- taraxasterol, alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, lupeol, taraxerol, cycloartenol, 24-methyl-enecycloartanol, tirucalla-7,24-dienol and dammaradienol. The tabular flowers of Calendula officinalis, Carthamus tinctorius, Cosmos bipinnatus, Chrysanthemum morifolium, Helianthus annuus and Matricaria matricarioides showed a characteristic feature by containing helianol as the most predominant component (29-86%) in the triterpene alcohol fractions. The triterpene alcohols from Compositae flowers were evaluated with respect to their anti-inflammatory activity against 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced inflammation (1 microgram per ear) in mice. All of these showed marked inhibitory activity, and their 50% inhibitory dose was 0.1-0.8 mg per ear.