Suppressive effects of citrus fruits on free radical generation and nobiletin, an anti-inflammatory polymethoxyflavonoid

Akira Murakami, Yoshimasa Nakamura, Yoshimi Ohto, Masamichi Yano, Teruaki Koshiba, Koichi Koshimizu, Harukuni Tokuda, Hoyoku Nishino, Hajime Ohigashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Citrus fruit intake is known to be associated with a reduction of cancer incidence. Free radicals, including superoxide (O2-) and nitric oxide (NO), are involved in some epithelial carcinogenesis processes. In the present study, we screened thirty-one citrus fruits for their suppressive activities toward three lines of free radical generating systems: 1) O2- generation by the xanthine (XA)-xanthine oxidase (XOD) system; 2) O2- generation induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in differentiated human promyelocytic HL-60 cells; and 3) NO generation in murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon (IFN)-γ. As a result, the inhibitory activities of peel parts were largely found to be higher than those of the corresponding juice sac parts. In particular, the peel portion of Dancy tangerine (Citrus tangerina) showed marked anti-oxidative activities in these systems. In addition, nobiletin, a polymethoxyflavonoid isolated from C. nobilis, showed a higher anti-inflammatory activity than indomethacin in a TPA-induced edema formation test in mouse ears. These results indicate that citrus fruits could be notable sources of anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and cancer preventive compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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