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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


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.

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Ethanolic unsaponifiable fraction








Nitric oxide synthase


Oxygen radical absorbance capacity




Reactive oxygen species


Sodium nitroprusside


Tumour necrosis factor


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Correspondence to Alain Michel.

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Bony, E., Boudard, F., Dussossoy, E. et al. 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. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 67, 384–392 (2012).

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