Anti-inflammatory activity of Chinese medicinal vine plants

Document Type


Publication details

Li, RW, Lin, GD, Myers, SP & Leach, DN 2003, 'Anti-inflammatory activity of Chinese medicinal vine plants', Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 61-67.

Published version available from:


Peer Reviewed



Anti-inflammatory activities of ethanol extracts from nine vine plants used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory conditions were evaluated against a panel of key enzymes relating to inflammation. The enzymes included cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) and 12-lipoxygenase (12-LO). The vine plants studied were: the stem of Spatholobus suberectus Dunn, the stem of Trachelospermum jasminoides Lem., the root from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. f., the stem of Sinomenium acutum Rehder and Wilson, the stem of Piper kadsura (Choisy) Ohwi, the stem of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb., the root and stem from Tinospora sagittata Gagnep., the root of Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merrill, and the stem of Clematis chinensis Osbeck. All of the plant extracts showed inhibitory activities against at least one of the enzymes in various percentages depending upon the concentrations. The extract from S. suberectus was found to be active against all enzymes except COX-2. Its IC50 values were 158, 54, 31 and 35 ìg/ml in COX-1, PLA2, 5-LO and 12-LO assays, respectively. T. jasminoides showed potent inhibitory activities against both COX-1 (IC50 35 ìg/ml) and PLA2 (IC50 33 ìg/ml). The most potent COX-1, COX-2 and 5-LO inhibition was observed in the extract of T. wilfordii with the IC50 values of 27, 125 and 22 ìg/ml, respectively. The findings of this study may partly explain the use of these vine plants in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of inflammatory conditions.