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Elderberry and Elderflower Extracts, Phenolic Compounds, and Metabolites and Their Effect on Complement, RAW 264.7 Macrophages and Dendritic Cells

Modulation of complement activity and inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) production by macrophages and dendritic cells may have therapeutic value in inflammatory diseases. Elderberry and elderflower extracts, constituents, and metabolites were investigated for their effects on the complement system, and on NO production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW 264.7macrophages and murine dendritic D2SC/I cells. The EtOH crude extracts from elderberry and elderflower and the isolated anthocyanins and procyanidins possessed strong complement fixating activity and strong inhibitory activity on NO production in RAW cells and dendritic cells. Phenolic compounds in the range of 0.1–100 µM showed a dose-dependent inhibition of NO production, with quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol as the most potent ones. Among the metabolites, caffeic acid and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid showed the strongest inhibitory effects on NO production in both cell lines, without having cytotoxic effect. Only 4-methylcatechol was cytotoxic at the highest tested concentration (100 µM). Elderberry and elderflower constituents may possess inflammatory modulating activity, which increases their nutritional value.