Inhibition of xanthine oxidase by some Chinese medicinal plants used to treat gout.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov;73(1-2):199-207. PMID: 11025157
The enzyme xanthine oxidase catalyses the oxidation of hypoxanthine to xanthine and then to uric acid, which plays a crucial role in gout. A total of 122 traditional Chinese medicinal plants, selected according to the clinical efficacy and prescription frequency for the treatment of gout and other hyperuricemia-related disorders, have been evaluated for the enzyme inhibitory activity. Among the 122 methanol extracts derived from these species, 69 were shown to be inhibitory at 100 microg/ml, with 29 having greater than 50% inhibition. As to the equal amount of water extracts, 40 were disclosed to be active at 100 microg/ml, with 13 possessing more than 50% inhibition. At 50 microg/ml, 58 methanol and 24 water extracts exhibited inhibitory activity, with 15 of the former and two of the latter showing greater than 50% inhibition. The most active was the methanol extract of the twig of Cinnamomum cassia (Lauraceae) (IC(50), 18 microg/ml), which was followed immediately by those of the flower of Chrysanthemum indicum (Asteraceae) (IC(50), 22 microg/ml) and the leaves of Lycopus europaeus (Lamiatae) (IC(50), 26 microg/ml). Among the water extracts, the strongest inhibition of the enzyme was observed with that of the rhizome of Polygonum cuspidatum (Polygonaceae) (IC(50), 38 microg/ml). The IC(50) value of allopurinol used as a positive control was 1.06 microg/ml. The study demonstrated that the effects for these medicinal plants used for the gout treatment were based, at least in part, on the xanthine oxidase inhibitory action.