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Open Access Research article

Anti-Inflammatory properties of Salograviolide A purified from Lebanese plant Centaurea ainetensis

Jamal Al-Saghir12, Randa Al-Ashi12, Ralph Salloum15, Najat A Saliba13, Rabih S Talhouk14 and Fadia R Homaidan12*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Biodiversity Studies, Interdisciplinary Biodiversity Studies in Arid Regions (IBSAR); American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

3 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

4 Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

5 Department of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009, 9:36  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-36

Published: 23 September 2009



Anti-inflammatory activities of medicinal plants have largely been attributed to their content of sesquiterpene lactones (SLs). SLs are predominantly found in the sunflower family Asteraceae and have been isolated from many plants of this family, particularly Centaurea. The anti-inflammatory activities of extract of Centaurea ainetensis, a Lebanese endemic plant, and the isolated active molecule were assessed for their potential ant-inflammatory activities.


Plant extract from Centaurea ainetensis, and the isolated active ingredient Salograviolide A (SA), a sesquiterpene lactones guaianolide, were used for the study. Western blotting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays were used to test the effects of the plant extract and SA on interleukin-1 (IL-1) induced increase in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) levels and in nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) translocation in an intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) of inflammation. Their effects on inflammation score and cytokine levels were also studied in an iodoacetoamide-induced rat model of inflammation.


Plant extract and SA were shown to reverse the effects observed by IL-1 on COX-2 levels and NF-κB translocation in IEC. SA decreased the level of inflammatory cytokines and the level of inflammation in the animal model.


These findings suggest that SA may be useful in the development of natural therapies for inflammatory diseases.