As a part of ongoing research to develop antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals, an ethanolic extract of Spergularia marina Griseb. was tested for its ability to scavenge radicals and suppress inflammation. The extract was able to scavenge 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), hydroxyl, and superoxide radicals, respectively, in cell-free environments as well as intracellular radicals in H2O2-stimulated mouse macrophages. Inflammation in mouse macrophages induced by lipopolysaccharides was suppressed by S. marina according to the measurement of nitric oxide generation and expression of inflammatory cytokines, i.e. tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6. The anti-inflammatory effect of S. marina was substantiated by the finding that the expression of the inflammatory modulators, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), was significantly decreased. The chemical composition of S. marina was evaluated by FT-IR analysis of the extract indicating the presence of polyphenols and flavonoids. In conclusion, S. marina is suggested as a novel source for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.
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