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Concept: Rosemary


Oxidative damage is one of the hallmarks of the aging process. The current study evaluated effects of two proprietary antioxidant-based ingredients, rosemary extract and spearmint extract containing carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, respectively, on learning and memory in the SAMP8 mouse model of accelerated aging.The two rosemary extracts contained carnosic acid (60% or 10% carnosic acid) and one spearmint extract contained 5% rosmarinic acid. Three doses of actives in each extract were tested: 32, 16, 1.6 or 0mg/kg. After 90days of treatment mice were tested in T-maze foot shock avoidance, object recognition and lever press. Rosemary extract containing 60% carnosic acid improved acquisition and retention in T-maze foot shock, object recognition and lever press. Rosemary extract with 10% carnosic acid improved retention in T-maze foot shock avoidance and lever press. Spearmint with 5% rosmarinic acid improved acquisition and retention in T-maze foot shock avoidance and object recognition. 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) was reduced in the brain cortex after treatment with all three extracts (P<0.001) compared to the vehicle treated SAMP8. Protein carbonyls were reduced in the hippocampus after administration of rosemary with 10% carnosic acid (P<0.05) and spearmint containing 5% rosmarinic acid (P<0.001). The current results indicate that the extracts from spearmint and rosemary have beneficial effects on learning and memory and brain tissue markers of oxidation that occur with age in SAMP8 mice.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Brain, Redox, Human brain, Cerebral cortex, Hippocampus, Carbonyl, Rosemary


The use of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) leaves and their constituents as a source of dietary antioxidants and flavoring agents is continuously growing. Carnosol and carnosic acid, two major components of rosemary extracts, have shown activity for cancer prevention and therapy.

Concepts: Lamiaceae, Medicinal plants, Rosemary, Rosmarinus


The aim of this study was to investigate the antidepressant-like effect of fractions from Rosmarinus officinalis L.: ethyl acetate 1 and 2 (AcOEt1 and 2), hexane (HEX), ethanolic (ET), and essential oil-free (EOF) fractions, as well as essential oil, the isolated compounds carnosol and betulinic acid in the tail suspension test, a predictive test of antidepressant activity. Swiss mice were acutely administered by oral route (p.o.) with fractions, essential oil or isolated compounds, 60 min before the tail suspension test or open-field test. All of them produced a significant antidepressant-like effect: AcOEt1, ET, EOF fractions and essential oil (0.1-100mg/kg, p.o); HEX (0.1-10mg/kg, p.o) and AcOEt2 fraction (0.1-1mg/kg, p.o), carnosol (0.01-0.1mg/kg, p.o.) isolated from the HEX fraction and betulinic acid (10mg/kg, p.o.), isolated from the AcOEt1 and AcOEt2 fractions. No psychostimulant effect was shown in the open-field test, indicating that the effects in the tail suspension test are specific. This study suggests that carnosol and betulinic acid could be responsible for the anti-immobility effect of extracts from R. officinalis.

Concepts: Effect, Ethanol, Acetic acid, Fraction, Essential oil, Sexagesimal, Betulinic acid, Rosemary


The goal of this study was to monitor the anti-proliferative activity of Rosmarinus officinalis and Salvia officinalis extracts against cancer cells and to correlate this activity with their phytochemical profiles using liquid chromatography/diode array detection/electrospray ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (LC/DAD/ESI-MS(n)). For the quantitative estimation of triterpenic acids in the crude extracts an NMR based methodology was used and compared with the HPLC measurements, both applied for the first time, for the case of betulinic acid. Both extracts exerted cytotoxic activity through dose-dependent impairment of viability and mitochondrial activity of rat insulinoma m5F (RINm5F) cells. Decrease of RINm5F viability was mediated by nitric oxide (NO)-induced apoptosis. Importantly, these extracts potentiated NO and TNF-α release from macrophages therefore enhancing their cytocidal action. The rosemary extract developed more pronounced antioxidant, cytotoxic and immunomodifying activities, probably due to the presence of betulinic acid and a higher concentration of carnosic acid in its phytochemical profile.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, PH, Lamiaceae, Medicinal plants, Tandem mass spectrometry, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance, Betulinic acid, Rosemary


The pathology of a gastric ulcer is complex and multifactorial. Gastric ulcers affect many people around the world and its development is a result of the imbalance between aggressive and protective factors in the gastric mucosa. In this study, we evaluated the ethanolic extract of Rosmarinus officinalis L. (eeRo); this plant, more commonly known as rosemary, has attracted the interest of the scientific community due to its numerous pharmacological properties and their potential therapeutic applications. Here, we tested the preventive effects of eeRo against gastric ulcer induced by 70% ethanol in male Wistar rats. In addition, we aimed to clarify the mechanism involved in the preventive action of the eeRo in gastric ulcers. Based on the analysis of markers of oxidative damage and enzymatic antioxidant defense systems, the measurement of nitrite and nitrate levels and the assessment of the inflammatory response, the eeRo exhibited significant antioxidant, vasodilator and antiinflammatory properties.

Concepts: Inflammation, Stomach, Anti-inflammatory, Helicobacter pylori, Peptic ulcer, Lamiaceae, Nitrate, Rosemary


The herb rosemary has been reported to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. We have previously shown that carnosic acid (CA), present in rosemary extract, crosses the blood-brain barrier to exert neuroprotective effects by upregulating endogenous antioxidant enzymes via the Nrf2 transcriptional pathway. Here we investigated the antioxidant and neuroprotective activity of CA in retinal cell lines exposed to oxidative stress and in a rat model of light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD).

Concepts: Protein, Adenosine triphosphate, Enzyme, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Oxidative phosphorylation, Herb, Rosemary


Our aim was to investigate the possible effects of regular drinking of Rosmarinus officinalis L. leaf infusion on behavior and on AChE activity of mice. Rosemary tea (2% w/w) phytochemical profile was investigated through LC/DAD/ESI-MS(n). Adult male mice were randomly divided into two groups: “Rosemary-treated” that received orally the rosemary tea for 4 weeks and “control” that received drinking water. The effects of regular drinking of rosemary tea on behavioral parameters were assessed by passive avoidance, elevated plus maze and forced swimming tests. Moreover, its effects on cerebral and liver cholinesterase (ChE) isoforms activity were examined colorimetricaly. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of diterpenes, flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic derivatives in rosemary tea; the major compounds were quantitatively determined. Its consumption rigorously affected anxiety/fear and depression-like behavior of mice, though memory/learning was unaffected. ChE isoforms activity was significantly decreased in brain and liver of “rosemary treated” mice. In order to explain the tissue ChE inhibition, principal component analysis, pharmacophore alignment and molecular docking were used to explore a possible relationship between main identified compounds of rosemary tea, i.e. rosmarinic acid, luteolin-7-O-glucuronide, caffeic acid and known AChE inhibitors. Results revealed potential common pharmacophores of the phenolic components with the inhibitors. Our findings suggest that rosemary tea administration exerts anxiolytic and antidepressant effects on mice and inhibits ChE activity; its main phytochemicals may function in a similar way as inhibitors.

Concepts: Enzyme inhibitor, Principal component analysis, Inhibitor, Lamiaceae, Acetylcholinesterase, Rosmarinic acid, Rosemary, Rosmarinus


Carnosic acid (CA) is a phenolic diterpene with anti-tumour, anti-diabetic, antibacterial and neuroprotective properties that is produced by a number of species from several genera of the Lamiaceae family, including Salvia fruticosa (Cretan sage) and Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary). To elucidate CA biosynthesis, glandular trichome transcriptome data of S. fruticosa were mined for terpene synthase genes. Two putative diterpene synthase genes, namely SfCPS and SfKSL, showing similarities to copalyl diphosphate synthase and kaurene synthase-like genes, respectively, were isolated and functionally characterized. Recombinant expression in Escherichia coli followed by in vitro enzyme activity assays confirmed that SfCPS is a copalyl diphosphate synthase. Coupling of SfCPS with SfKSL, both in vitro and in yeast, resulted in the synthesis miltiradiene, as confirmed by 1D and 2D NMR analyses (1H, 13C, DEPT, COSY H-H, HMQC and HMBC). Coupled transient in vivo assays of SfCPS and SfKSL in Nicotiana benthamiana further confirmed production of miltiradiene in planta. To elucidate the subsequent biosynthetic step, RNA-Seq data of S. fruticosa and R. officinalis were searched for cytochrome P450 (CYP) encoding genes potentially involved in the synthesis of the first phenolic compound in the CA pathway, ferruginol. Three candidate genes were selected, SfFS, RoFS1 and RoFS2. Using yeast and N. benthamiana expression systems, all three where confirmed to be coding for ferruginol synthases, thus revealing the enzymatic activities responsible for the first three steps leading to CA in two Lamiaceae genera.

Concepts: Gene expression, Bacteria, Metabolism, Enzyme, Escherichia coli, Cytochrome P450, Lamiaceae, Rosemary


The plant Lepechinia mutica (Benth.) Epling (family Lamiaceae) is endemic to Ecuador. In the present study, we report some major non-volatile secondary metabolites from the leaves and the chemistry of the essential oil distilled from the flowers. The main identified compounds were carnosol, viridiflorol, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, chrysothol, and 5-hydroxy-4′,7-dimethoxy flavone. Their structures were determined by X-ray diffraction and NMR and MS techniques. The essential oil showed a chemical composition similar to that distilled from the leaves, but with some qualitative and quantitative differences regarding several minor compounds. The main constituents (>4%) were: δ-3-carene (24.23%), eudesm-7(11)-en-4-ol (13.02%), thujopsan-2-α-ol (11.90%), β-pinene (7.96%), valerianol (5.19%), and co-eluting limonene and β-phellandrene (4.47%). The volatile fraction was also submitted to enantioselective analysis on a β-cyclodextrin column, obtaining the separation and identification of the enantiomers for α-thujene, β-pinene, sabinene, α-phellandrene, limonene and β-phellandrene. Furthermore, the anti-fungal activity of non-volatile secondary metabolites was tested in vitro, with carnosol resulting in being very active against the “blast disease” caused by the fungus Pyricularia oryzae.

Concepts: X-ray, Qualitative research, Terpenes and terpenoids, Lamiaceae, Essential oil, Ursolic acid, Oleanolic acid, Rosemary


This investigation demonstrates that the oxygen radical scavenging ability of rosemary leaf extract has significant seasonal variations. The scavenging ability of rosemary leaf extract was quantitatively evaluated for five active oxygen species by using the ESR spin-trapping method. It was found that leaves that were picked in the cold season showed higher scavenging ability than those picked in the warm season. Measurement of the scavenging rate in pure rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid indicated that the scavenging ability in the warm season was mainly derived from rosmarinic acid. In the boiled extract, rosmarinic acid decomposed into caffeic acid. Therefore, a marked increase in the scavenging ability against superoxide and singlet oxygen in the boiled extract is in line with the high activity of caffeic acid. This study demonstrates that the multiple free radical scavenging method can be a useful method in comparative antioxidant capacity studies of plant extracts.

Concepts: Oxygen, Rosemary