Inhibitory effects of methanol extract of seeds of Job's Tears (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen) on nitric oxide and superoxide production in RAW 264.7 macrophages.Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2000 Aug; 22(3):545-54.II
Overproduction of nitric oxide (NO) or superoxide (O2-) by activated macrophages is known to be involved in acute or chronic inflammation. The seeds of Job's Tears (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen) have been used as anti-inflammatory medicine and health food. However, it is still unclear how the seeds show anti-inflammatory properties. Using murine macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cells, we tried to know whether the overproduction of NO and O2 by activated macrophages could be prevented by the methanol (MeOH) extract of the seeds of Job's Tears. RAW 264.7 cells were activated with interferon-gamma plus lipopolysaccharide to produce NO and with pholbol ester to produce O2-. The MeOH extract showed marked inhibition of NO production by activated RAW 264.7 cells in a dose-dependent manner via suppression of inducible NO synthase mRNA expression. The MeOH extract also showed inhibition of O2- production by activated RAW 264.7 cells in dose- and time-dependent manners, possibly by interfering with NADPH oxidase machinery of macrophages. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the MeOH extract of the seeds of Job's Tears shows anti-inflammatory properties which may, in part, involve an inhibition of NO and O2- production by activated macrophages.