Article

Inflammation

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 959-966

Chlorophyll Revisited: Anti-inflammatory Activities of Chlorophyll a and Inhibition of Expression of TNF-α Gene by the Same

  • Appian SubramoniamAffiliated withPhytochemistry and Phytopharmacology Division, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute Email author 
  • , Velikkakathu V. AshaAffiliated withRajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology
  • , Sadasivan Ajikumaran NairAffiliated withPhytochemistry and Phytopharmacology Division, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute
  • , Sreejith P. SasidharanAffiliated withRajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology
  • , Parameswaran K. SureshkumarAffiliated withPhytochemistry and Phytopharmacology Division, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute
  • , Krishnan Nair RajendranAffiliated withHealth and Research Centre
  • , Devarajan KarunagaranAffiliated withDepartment of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  • , Krishnan RamalingamAffiliated withDepartment of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

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Abstract

In view of the folklore use of green leaves to treat inflammation, the anti-inflammatory property of chlorophylls and their degradation products were studied. Chlorophyll a and pheophytin a (magnesium-free chlorophyll a) from fresh leaves showed potent anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice and formalin-induced paw edema in rats. Chlorophyll a inhibited bacterial lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-α (a pro-inflammatory cytokine) gene expression in HEK293 cells, but it did not influence the expression of inducible nitric acid synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 genes. Chlorophyll b only marginally inhibited both inflammation and TNF-α gene expression. But both chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b showed the same level of marginal inhibition on 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-induced NF-κB activation. Chlorophylls and pheophytins showed in vitro anti-oxidant activity. The study shows that chlorophyll a and its degradation products are valuable and abundantly available anti-inflammatory agents and promising for the development of phytomedicine or conventional medicine to treat inflammation and related diseases.

KEY WORDS

pheophytin a paw edema nuclear factor-κB Streblus asper Lour. Chromolaena odorata (L.) R. King & Robin