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Inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase by extracts derived from inflammation-treating Chinese medicinal herbs

Shi, Da-Hua, Xu, Chen, Guo, Bin-Xin, Wang, Xiao-Ting, Chen, Yun-Xi, Tan, Ren-Xiang
Phytotherapy research 2008 v.22 no.9 pp. 1264-1268
Sophora flavescens, epoxide hydrolase, ethanol, herbal medicines, inflammation, medicinal plants, new order, roots, screening, China
Soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) has been proved to be a key enzyme involved in inflammation progression, and inhibition of sEH is therefore very helpful or crucial for the treatment of inflammation-related diseases. In order to uncover new clues suggesting the presence of phytochemical-based sEH inhibitors, and to rationalize the utility of the inflammation-treating Chinese medicinal herbs, the ethanol extracts derived from 46 medicinal herbs, traditionally used for the treatment of inflammation-associated diseases in China, were tested for sEH-inhibition activity using a recently developed sensitive fluorescence-based assay. Screened at 10 μg/mL, four extracts showed substantial inhibitions of sEH (inhibition rates >50%). The ethanol extract of Sophora flavescens root (Fabaceae) possessed the strongest inhibitory activity against sEH (IC₅₀: 2.07 μg/mL). These preliminary findings highlighted the presence of sEH inhibitor(s) in the plant kingdom, and the possibility that the inflammation-treating herbal medicines could be an untapped reservoir for sEH-inhibition agents.