Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2020, 8(8), 392-398
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-8-8-2
Open AccessArticle

Suppression of Inflammatory Mediators by Ethanol Extracts of Pennisetum purpureum S. (Napiergrass Taishigrass no. 2) in Activated RAW 264.7 Macrophages

Yue-Hwa Chen1, 2, Yi-Han Wang1, Yun-Ting Chen1, Yuan-Yu Hou3, Sassy Bhawamai1, 4 and Yu-Wei Fang5, 6,

1School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan, ROC

2School of Food Safety, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan, ROC;Master Program in Food Safety, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan, ROC

3Department of Food and Beverage Management, Mackay Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Taipei 112, Taiwan, ROC

4CPF Food Research and Development Center Co., Ltd., Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand

5Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei 111, Taiwan, ROC

6Fu-Jen Catholic University, School of Medicine, Taipei 24205, Taiwan, ROC

Pub. Date: August 11, 2020

Cite this paper:
Yue-Hwa Chen, Yi-Han Wang, Yun-Ting Chen, Yuan-Yu Hou, Sassy Bhawamai and Yu-Wei Fang. Suppression of Inflammatory Mediators by Ethanol Extracts of Pennisetum purpureum S. (Napiergrass Taishigrass no. 2) in Activated RAW 264.7 Macrophages. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2020; 8(8):392-398. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-8-8-2


Napiergrass Taishigrass no. 2 (NT2) is a new hybrid of napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum S.), and is commonly added as an ingredient in bioorganic energy soup, a plant-based drink which is thought to have health-promoting effects. Thus, NT2 is hypothesized to possess biological functions. In this study, we explored the effects of NT2 ethanol extracts on in vitro antioxidant activities and on modulation of immune mediators in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Results showed that ethanol extracts contained significant amount of polyphenols and chlorophylls, and possessed in vitro ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) antioxidative activities. The ethanol extracts did not show immunomodulatory activities in macrophages without lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 100 ng/ml) treatment, but significantly suppressed the LPS-stimulated production of inflammatory mediators, including nitric oxide (NO), interleukin (IL)-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and such effects were associated with decreased expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) protein and cluster of differentiation 14 (CD14) mRNA, suggesting that NT2 has anti-inflammatory activities. On the other hand, the extracts increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 activity, but showed no effects on Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression. In conclusion, ethanol extracts of NT2 possessed in vitro antioxidative activities and exhibited anti-inflammatory activities by decreasing NO, IL-6, and TNF-α production in association with decreased CD14 mRNA expression in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages, indicating its potential roles on health promotion and prentive effects against chronic diseases and such effects were and it’s in vitro antioxidant activities, suggesting its potential roles on health promotion.

napiergrass macrophage lipopolysaccharide (LPS) anti-inflammation antioxidation

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Baldwin, A.S., Jr. “The NF-kappa B and I kappa B proteins: new discoveries and insights.” Annual Review of Immunology, 14 (1). 649-681, Apr. 1996.
[2]  Rhee, J.W., Lee, K.W., Kim, D., Lee, Y., Jeon, O.H., Kwon, H.J. and Kim, D.S. “NF-kappaB-dependent regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 gene expression by lipopolysaccharide in a macrophage cell line RAW 264.7.” Journal of Biochemisty and Molecular Biology, 40 (1). 88-94. Jan. 2007.
[3]  Guo, J. and Friedman, S.L. “Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in liver injury and hepatic fibrogenesis.” Fibrogenesis Tissue Repair, 3 (1). 21. Oct. 2010.
[4]  Murray, P.J. and Wynn, T.A. “Protective and pathogenic functions of macrophage subsets.” Nature Reviews Immunology, 11 (11). 723-737. Oct. 2011.
[5]  Linker-Israeli, M., Deans, R.J., Wallace, D.J., Prehn, J., Ozeri-Chen, T. and Klinenberg, J.R. “Elevated levels of endogenous IL-6 in systemic lupus erythematosus. A putative role in pathogenesis.” The Journal of Immunology, 147 (1). 117-123. July 1991.
[6]  Shrivastava, A.K., Singh, H.V., Raizada, A., Singh, S.K., Pandey, A., Singh, N., Yadav, D.S. and Sharma, H. “Inflammatory markers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.” Allergologiaet Immunopathologia, 43 (1). 81-87. Jan-Feb. 2015.
[7]  Mueller, M., Hobiger, S. and Jungbauer, A. “Anti-inflammatory activity of extracts from fruits, herbs and spices.” Food Chemistry, 122(4), 987-996. Oct. 2010.
[8]  Rahman, M.M.; Abdullah, R.B.; Wan Embong, W.K.; Nakagawa, T.; Akashi, R. “Effect of palm kernel cake as protein source in a concentrate diet on intake, digestibility and live weight gain of goats fed Napier grass.” Tropical Animal Health Production, 45 (3). 873-878. Mar. 2013.
[9]  Wanjala, B.W., Obonyo, M., Wachira, F.N., Muchugi, A., Mulaa, M., Harvey, J., Skilton, R.A., Proud, J. and Hanson, J. “Genetic diversity in Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) cultivars: implications for breeding and conservation.” AoB Plants, 5. plt022. May 2013
[10]  Scholl, A.L., Menegol, D., Pitarelo, A.P., Fontana, R.C., Filho, A.Z., Ramos, L.P., Dillon, A.J. and Camassola, M. “Ethanol production from sugars obtained during enzymatic hydrolysis of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum, Schum.) pretreated by steam explosion.” Bioresource Technology, 192, 228-237. Sep. 2015.
[11]  Takara, D. and Khanal, S.K. “Characterizing compositional changes of Napier grass at different stages of growth for biofuel and biobased products potential.” Bioresource Technology, 188, 103-108. Jul. 2015.
[12]  Yu, H.M., Wang, B.-S., Chu, H.L., Chang, L.-W., Yen, W.-J., Lin, C.-J. and Duh, P.-D. “Napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum S.) protects oxidative damage of biomolecules and modulates antioxidant enzyme activity.” Food Chemistry, 105 (4). 1364-1374. 2007.
[13]  Tsai, P.-J., Wu, S.-C. and Cheng, Y.-K. “Role of polyphenols in antioxidant capacity of napiergrass from different growing seasons.” Food Chemistry, 106 (1). 27-32. Jan. 2008.
[14]  Cicco, N., Lanorte, M.T., Paraggio, M., Viggiano, M. and Lattanzio, V. “A reproducible, rapid and inexpensive Folin-Ciocalteu micro-method in determining phenolics of plant methanol extracts.” Microchemical Journal, 91 (1). 107-110. Jan. 2009.
[15]  Barthelmebs, L., Divies, C. and Cavin, J.F. “Knockout of the p-coumarate decarboxylase gene from Lactobacillus plantarum reveals the existence of two other inducible enzymatic activities involved in phenolic acid metabolism.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 66 (8). 3368-3375. Aug. 2000.
[16]  Ritchie, R.J. “Consistent sets of spectrophotometric chlorophyll equations for acetone, methanol and ethanol solvents.” Photosynthesis Research, 89, 27-41. Jun. 2006.
[17]  Benzie, I.F.F. and Strain, J.J. “The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of antioxidant power: the FRAP assay”. Analytical Biochemistry, 239 (1). 70-76. Jul.1996.
[18]  Sharma, O.P. and Bhat, T.K. “DPPH antioxidant assay revisited.” Food Chemistry, 113(4). 1202-1205. Apr. 2009.
[19]  Privat, C., Lantoine, F., Bedioui, F., Millanvoye van Brussel, E., Devynck, J. and Devynck, M.A. “Nitric oxide production by endothelial cells: comparison of three methods of quantification.” Life Sciences, 61 (12). 1193-1202. Aug. 1997.
[20]  Parks, W.C., Wilson, C.L. and Lopez-Boado, Y.S. “Matrix metalloproteinases as modulators of inflammation and innate immunity.” Nature Reviews Immunology, 4 (8), 617-629. Aug. 2004.
[21]  Birkedal-Hansen, H. and Taylor, R.E. “Detergent-activation of latent collagenase and resolution of its component molecules.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 107 (4), 1173-1178. Aug. 1982.
[22]  Choi, H.J., Chung, T.W., Kim, J.E., Jeong, H.S., Joo, M., Cha, J., Kim, C.H. and Ha, K.T. “Aesculin inhibits matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression via p38 mitogen activated protein kinase and activator protein 1 in lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW264.7 cells.” International Immunopharmacology, 14 (3). 267-274. Nov. 2012.
[23]  Wang, J.X., Hou, L.F., Yang, Y., Tang, W., Li, Y. and Zuo, J.P. “SM905, an artemisinin derivative, inhibited NO and pro-inflammatory cytokine production by suppressing MAPK and NF-kappaB pathways in RAW 264.7 macrophages.” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 30 (10), 1428-1435. Oct. 2009.
[24]  Yeo, S.J., Yoon, J.G., Hong, S.C. and Yi, A.K. ”CpG DNA induces self and cross-hyporesponsiveness of RAW264.7 cells in response to CpG DNA and lipopolysaccharide: alterations in IL-1 receptor-associated kinase expression.” Journal of Immunology, 170 (2), 1052-1061. Jan. 2003.
[25]  Whicher, J. T. and Evans, S. W. “Cytokines in disease.” Clinical Chemistry, 36 (7), 1269-1281. Jul. 1990.
[26]  Ohshima, H. and Bartsch, H. “Chronic infections and inflammatory processes as cancer risk factors: possible role of nitric oxide in carcinogenesis.” Mutation Research, 305 (2), 253-264. Mar.1994.
[27]  Tamir, S.; Tannenbaum, S. R. “The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the carcinogenic process.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1288(2), F31-F36. Oct. 1996.
[28]  Fujihara, M., Muroi, M., Tanamoto, K., Suzuki, T., Azuma, H. and Ikeda, H. “Molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and deactivation by lipopolysaccharide: roles of the receptor complex.” Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 100 (2), 171-194. Nov. 2003.
[29]  Aderem, A. and Ulevitch, R.J. “Toll-like receptors in the induction of the innate immune response.” Nature, 406 (6797), 782-787. Aug. 2000.
[30]  Premkumar, V., Dey, M., Dorn, R. and Raskin, I. “MyD88-dependent and independent pathways of Toll-Like Receptors are engaged in biological activity of Triptolide in ligand-stimulated macrophages.” BMC Chemical Biology, 10. 3. Apr. 2010.
[31]  Yang, Y., Li, S., Yang, Q., Shi, Y., Zheng, M., Liu, Y., Chen, F., Song, G., Xu, H., Wan, T., He, J. and Chen, Z. “Resveratrol reduces the proinflammatory effects and lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of HMGB1 and TLR4 in RAW264.7 cells.” Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 33 (5). 1283-1292. Apr. 2014.
[32]  Nissinen, L. and Kähäri, V.-M. “Matrix metalloproteinases in inflammation.” Biochimica et. Biophysica Acta 1840.(8). 2571-2580. Aug. 2014.
[33]  Lee, D.K., Park, E.J., Kim, E.K., Jin, J.Y., Kim, J.S., Shin, I.J., Kim, B.Y., Lee, H. and Kim, D.-E. “Atorvastatin and simvastatin, but not pravastatin, up-regulate LPS-induced MMP-9 expression in macrophages by regulating phosphorylation of ERK and CREB.” Cellular Physiolology and Biochemistry, 30 (3). 499-511. July 2012.
[34]  Subramoniam, A., Asha, V.V., Nair, S.A., Sasidharan, S.P., Sureshkumar, P.K., Rajendran, K.N., Karunagaran, D. and Ramalingam, K. “Chlorophyll revisited: anti-inflammatory activities of chlorophyll a and inhibition of expression of TNF-alpha gene by the same.” Inflammation, 35 (3), 959-966. Jun. 2012.
[35]  Park, J.-Y., Park, C.-M., Kim, J.-J., Noh, K.-H., Cho, C.-W. and Song, Y.-S. “The protective effect of chlorophyll a against oxidative stress and inflammatory processes in LPS-stimulated macrophages.” Food Science and Biotechnology, 16 (2), 205-211. Apr. 2007.
[36]  Pragasam, S.J., Venkatesan, V. and Rasool, M. “Immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect of p-coumaric acid, a common dietary polyphenol on experimental inflammation in rats.” Inflammation, 36 (1). 169-176. Feb. 2013.
[37]  De Stefano, D., Maiuri, M.C., Simeon, V., Grassia, G., Soscia, A., Cinelli, M.P. and Carnuccio, R. “Lycopene, quercetin and tyrosol prevent macrophage activation induced by gliadin and IFN-gamma.” European Journal of Pharmacology, 566 (1-3), 192-199 Jul. 2007.
[38]  Gao, M., Ma, Y. and Liu, D. “Rutin suppresses palmitic acids-triggered inflammation in macrophages and blocks high fat diet-induced obesity and fatty liver in mice.” Pharmaceutical Research, 30 (11), 2940-2950. Nov. 2013.
[39]  O’Sullivan, A.M., O’Callaghan, Y.C., O’Connor, T.P. and O’Brien, N.M. “The content and bioaccessibility of carotenoids from selected commercially available health supplements.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 70 (OCE3), E62. Aug. 2011.
[40]  Lo, H.M., Chen, C.L. Yang, C.M., Wu, P.H., Tsou, C.J., Chiang, K.W. and Wu, W.B. “The carotenoid lutein enhances matrix metalloproteinase-9 production and phagocytosis through intracellular ROS generation and ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and RARbeta activation in murine macrophages.” Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 93 (5), 723-735. May 2013.