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Apocynin, also known as acetovanillone, is a natural organic compound structurally related to vanillin. It has been isolated from a variety of plant sources and is being studied for its variety of pharmacological properties.
Additional recommended knowledge
Apocynin was first described by Oswald Schmiedeberg , a German pharmacologist in 1883 and was first isolated from the root Canadian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum). At the time, this plant was already used for its known effectiveness against edema and heart problems. In 1971, apocynin was also isolated from Picrorhiza kurroa, a small plant that grows at high altitudes in the western Himalayas. P. kurroa was used for ages as a treatment for liver and heart problems, jaundice, and asthma. In 1990, Simons et al. isolated apocynin to a pharmacologically useful level using an actively guided isolation procedure. Apocynin’s observed anti-inflammatory capabilities proved to be a result of its ability to selectively prevent the formation of free radicals, oxygen ions, and peroxides in the body. Apocynin has since been extensively studied to help determine its disease fighting capabilities and applications.
Mode of action
NADPH oxidase is an enzyme that effectively reduces O2 to superoxide (O2–•), which can be used by the immune system to kill bacteria and fungi. Apoycnin is an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase activity and thus is effective in preventing the production of the superoxide in human white blood cells or neutrophilic granulocytes. It does not however obstruct the phagocytic or other defense roles of Granulocytes. Due to the selectivity of its inhibition, apocynin can be widely used as an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase without interfering in other aspects of the immune system.
Apocynin was used to determine whether ionic activation due to proton flux across the membrane of renal medulla cells was coupled to NADPH oxidase production of superoxide. Apoycnin was introduced to the cells and completely blocked the production of superoxide, and was a key component in determining that the proton outflow was responsible for the activation of NADPH oxidase.
Potential use in medical treatments
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Apocynin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|