Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 384–392

Chemical Composition and Anti-inflammatory Properties of the Unsaponifiable Fraction from Awara (Astrocaryum vulgare M.) Pulp Oil in Activated J774 Macrophages and in a Mice Model of Endotoxic Shock

  • Emilie Bony
  • Frédéric Boudard
  • Emilie Dussossoy
  • Karine Portet
  • Pierre Brat
  • Jean Giaimis
  • Alain Michel
Original Paper


Awara (Astrocaryum vulgare M.) pulp oil has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties in vivo, and contains an unsaponifiable matter rich in bioactive compounds. This study focused on the ethanolic unsaponifiable fraction (EUF) of awara pulp oil. Its chemical composition has been characterized: carotenoid, phytosterol, and tocopherol contents represent 125.7, 152.6, and 6.8 μg/mg of EUF, respectively. We further evaluated this fraction for anti-inflammatory properties in J774 macrophages activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plus interferon (IFN) γ to understand the biological effects of awara pulp oil. EUF strongly decreased nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) α, and interleukin (IL) -6 and -10 production in activated J774 cells. Moreover, it inhibited expression of inducible NO synthase and cyclooxygenases-2 in vitro. The anti-inflammatory properties of EUF were also confirmed in vivo by modulation of TNFα, IL-6 and IL-10 serum concentration in an endotoxic shock model. Pre-treatment with awara oil fraction offers promise as a protective means to lower the production of excessive amounts of pro-inflammatory molecules.


Awara (Astrocaryum vulgare M.) Unsaponifiable fraction Carotenoids Phytosterols Tocopherols Anti-inflammatory J774 macrophages Endotoxic shock 





Ethanolic unsaponifiable fraction








Nitric oxide synthase


Oxygen radical absorbance capacity




Reactive oxygen species


Sodium nitroprusside


Tumour necrosis factor

Supplementary material

11130_2012_323_MOESM1_ESM.doc (160 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 159 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilie Bony
    • 1
    • 3
  • Frédéric Boudard
    • 2
  • Emilie Dussossoy
    • 1
  • Karine Portet
    • 1
  • Pierre Brat
    • 3
  • Jean Giaimis
    • 2
  • Alain Michel
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pharmacologie et Physiopathologie Expérimentales, UMR Qualisud, Faculté de PharmacieUniversité Montpellier IMontpellier Cedex 5France
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Immunologie, Faculté de PharmacieUniversité Montpellier IMontpellier Cedex 5France
  3. 3.Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Département PERSYSTUMR QualisudMontpellier Cedex 5France

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