Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is known to be rich in phenolic compounds, which may have anti-inflammatory properties. The present study investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a knot extract from P. sylvestris and two stilbenes, pinosylvin and monomethylpinosylvin, isolated from the extract. Inflammation is characterized by increased release of pro-inflammatory and regulatory mediators including nitric oxide (NO) produced by the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) pathway. The knot extract (EC50 values of 3 and 3 mu mu g/mL) as well as two of its constituents, pinosylvin (EC50 values of 13 and 15 mu M) and monomethylpinosylvin (EC50 values of 8 and 12 mu M), reduced NO production and iNOS expression in activated macrophages. They also inhibited the production of inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and MCP-1. More importantly, pinosylvin and monomethylpinosylvin exerted a clear anti-inflammatory effect (80% inhibition at the dose of 100 mg/kg) in the standard in vivo model, carrageenan-induced paw inflammation in the mouse, with the effect being comparable to that of a known iNOS inhibitor L-NIL. The results reveal that the Scots pine stilbenes pinosylvin and monomethylpinosylvin are potential anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Pinus sylvestris