The effect of extracts from ginger rhizome on inflammatory mediator production

R. C. Lantz, G. J. Chen, M. Sarihan, A. M. Sólyom, S. D. Jolad, B. N. Timmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Compounds from rhizomes of Zingiber officinale, commonly called ginger, have been purported to have anti-inflammatory actions. We have used an in vitro test system to test the anti-inflammatory activity of compounds isolated from ginger rhizome. U937 cells were differentiated and exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli (1 μg/ml) in the presence or absence of organic extracts or standard compounds found in ginger (6-, 8-, 10-gingerol or 6-shogaol) for 24 h. Supernatants were collected and analyzed for the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) by standard ELISA assays. Predominant compounds in the organic extracts were identified as 6-, 8- 10-gingerols and 6-, 8-, 10-shogaols. Organic extracts or standards containing gingerols were not cytotoxic, while extracts or standards containing predominantly shogaols were cytotoxic at concentrations above 20 μg/ml. Crude organic extracts of ginger were capable of inhibiting LPS induced PGE2 (IC50<0.1 μg/ml) production. However, extracts were not nearly as effective at inhibiting TNF-α (IC50>30 μg/ml). Thirty three fractions and subfractions, prepared by column chromatography, were analyzed for bioactivity. Extracts containing either predominantly gingerols or shogaols (identified by HPLC) were both highly active at inhibiting LPS-induced PGE2 production (IC50<0.1 μg/ml), while extracts that contained unknown compounds were less effective (IC50<3.2 μg/ml). Extracts or standards containing predominantly gingerols were capable of inhibiting LPS-induced COX-2 expression while shogaol containing extracts had no effect on COX-2 expression. These data demonstrate that compounds found in ginger are capable of inhibiting PGE2 production and that the compounds may act at several sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 19 2007


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • COX-2
  • Cytokines
  • Ginger
  • PGE
  • Prostaglandins
  • TNF-α
  • Zingiber officinale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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