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Analysis of Flavonoids from Eugenia uniflora Leaves and Its Protective Effect against Murine Sepsis

DOI: 10.1155/2012/623940

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Eugenia uniflora, referred to as Pitanga cherry shrub, is largely distributed in tropical and subtropical America. This plant is cultivated in many countries and it is suitable for the production of juice, frozen pulp, and tea. Besides, it can be used as treatment for inflammatory diseases. We reported that a flavonoid-rich fraction (HE-Bu) obtained from leaves decreased the lethality induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), a clinically relevant model of sepsis. The oral administration of HE-Bu reduced the late mortality rate by 30%, prevented neutrophil accumulation in lungs, decreased TNF-α and IL-1β serum levels, and markedly decreased iNOS and COX-2 protein expression by ileum cells. Chemical investigation showed myricetin and quercetin rhamnosides as the major components of this fraction. The results showed that HE-Bu protected mice from sepsis and indicated that this edible plant produces compounds that could be considered as potential adjuvants for sepsis treatment. 1. Introduction Eugenia uniflora L. (Myrtaceae) is a tropical and subtropical shrub widely distributed in American countries [1]. It is commonly referred to as Pitanga cherry or Brazilian cherry. Regarding their effects on human health, both fruit and leaves are used as folk medicine to treat similar diseases, although the leaves show the advantage of being perennial and continuously available, while the fruit are available during a short period of the year [2]. The fresh or dried leaves have been used empirically as medicine, since the 15th century [3], for treating inflammatory and stomach diseases, rheumatism, fever, and hypertension [4, 5]. Some studies have confirmed that Eugenia uniflora possesses anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties [4, 6–8]. These benefits are usually attributed to the presence of many secondary metabolites present in the leaves, which includes many volatile terpenoid oils, flavonoids, and condensed and hydrolysable tannins, leucoanthocyanidins, and steroids and/or triterpenoids [9]. Flavonoids are presented in many plant extracts, being constantly the focus of pharmacological studies. Despite of their well-described antioxidant activity [10–12], they have shown many other properties, such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiaging, anticancer, and antiallergic, hypocholesterolemic and vasodilatation, [10–15]. Together, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of flavonoids can explain the efficacy of plant extracts against various diseases, such as osteoporosis and rheumatism [15]. Therapeutic properties attributed to

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